You may not be buying a home in Los Angeles for an investment but having resale value in mind is a natural consideration. Barring any unforeseen calamities if you hold on to your property for at least five years then you should see a nice return.
Buying in a good school district, or in an area served by a particularly good school is going to almost guarantee you an easy resale. If you have children this is going to be a factor when you purchase your home, however, the reputation of a particular school can change so you cannot rely wholly on that. You need to do your research. Beverly Hills, of course is known for its good school district, but not everyone can afford to live there.
This is always the mantra when looking for a home. The recipe for a good location consists of schools; property taxes, public services, transportation and/or walkability. In Los Angeles County, property taxes are consistent at around 1.25% of the purchase price. Not known for our stellar transportation system, the new Expo Line running from Downtown L.A. to Santa Monica, through Culver City is going to add value to neighboring communities. You will want to consider the location of a home within a block or a condo within a building. Try to avoid a busy corner or street or one which offers up freeway noise. First floor units in buildings are more difficult to sell for safety reasons. Top floor units are the ultimate.
Number of Rooms
A two-bedroom condo is much easier to sell than a one-bedroom, as is a unit with more than one bathroom. It should have at least another half-bathroom in a condo and two bathrooms in a home. Obviously the more rooms the better.
It will be difficult to add a bathroom in a condo building, but you might be able to add a bedroom. In a single family home you have more flexibility, but you may not want to deal with getting all the permits from the City and the disruption. And also consider that you may or may not get back what you put into your home.
Buildings which don’t allow a laundry inside the unit are also harder to sell. The same applies to condo buildings without an elevator.
Size of Home
Look at the homes in your neighborhood. Buying the biggest and best is not going to bring you as much appreciation as buying the more moderate home whose price will be lifted by the higher-end homes in the area.
A home or condo with a view is always going to be more desirable than one facing a brick wall or another building.
Two-car covered parking, especially in a condo building is desirable, and if the spaces are side-by-side even better. Many Los Angeles homeowners have converted their garages into offices or work spaces. This can be a positive, but you should have the option of being able to convert it back. Which brings me to:
Avoid Homes with Non-Permitted Structures if Possible
The seller may not know what structures or upgrades are not permitted if they were done before they moved in themselves. They may not have done their due diligence at the time. If you suspect that something may not be permitted it would be a good idea to go down to the relevant Departments of Building and Safety in Los Angeles Santa Monica, Culver City, Beverly Hills, and West Hollywood to find out what is legal and what isn’t. If you do not choose to rectify any infractions yourself you will be passing them on to the next buyer and, since you are aware of them you will have to disclose them. If you choose not to check out permits you run the risk of the next buyer doing so and this could hurt the resale value.
There are many other features that add to the desirability of a home such as a swimming pool, landscaping, room sizes, etc. But bottom line, many of the things that are important to you will be present and chances are when it comes time to sell they will meet the next owner’s needs.
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