How to Choose the Right Agent When Selling Your Home

When selling your Los Angeles home set expectations with your Realtor

You have decided to sell your Los Angeles home and are in the process of picking an agent to represent you. They are not difficult to find. They may still be knocking on your door, sending you postcards in the mail, or maybe cold calling you. There are hundreds of them with online websites, and someone may have referred one to you. So how do you choose the right one for you? The same way the agent working for the buyer represents that buyer, the agent working for the seller represents that … [Read more...]

The Difference Between Leasing an Apartment or a Condominium

Wilshire Corridor condos 3rd Qtr 2013 market report

I often get calls from people looking to rent a home in Los Angeles, especially on the Wilshire Corridor. They start the conversation with "I saw a listing for an apartment at......" The majority of buildings on the Wilshire Corridor are not apartment buildings, they are condominiums.  So what's the difference? An apartment building is generally owned by one entity which leases out the individual units to individual tenants.  A condominium building consists of units which are individually … [Read more...]

Inventory is Low, But You Can’t Overprice Your Home

Don't over price your home for sale

Just because the Los Angeles real estate market is low in inventory does not mean that you can go ahead and overprice your home. Here are some examples of why: For single family homes, in an area which covers Westwood and West Los Angeles: There were 73 sales over the past six months, 11 of which had a price reduction during the course of the listing. The sold price vs list of the 62 which did not have a price reduction was 102.54% with an average of 34 days on the market. The … [Read more...]

Calculating Your Monthly Payments When Buying a Home in L.A.

Calculating your mortgage when buying ahome in L.A.

You are thinking about buying a home in Los Angeles but are wondering how your monthly payments would change compared with what you are paying now for a rental. Of course your first step will be to talk to a lender who will give you a more accurate estimate and determine the amount of property you qualify for, but before you go that route here is a simple way to get an idea: Let's base our calculations on the purchase of a home at $750,000 and a mortgage interest rate around 4.5%. It is … [Read more...]

7 Potential Problems When Renting a Home in Los Angeles

7 barriers to overcome when looking for a rental home in l.A.

Finding a good rental property in Los Angeles is difficult at the best of times. Inventory, although improving, is still low, rents are rising, and the good homes lease quickly. Some of the following items are going to make finding a good lease more difficult: Bad credit or no credit. The first thing a landlord is going to want to see from a prospective tenant is their credit history. Anything lower than a score of around 650 is going to be a problem. This is going to be an ongoing problem. … [Read more...]

L.A. Home Buyers and Renters, Appreciate Your Realtor@

Appreciate your Realtor®

There are good and bad eggs in every basket, so I wonder why the services of the real estate agent, especially when it comes to home buyers and renters, is often taken for granted and under-appreciated. Where else do you get the kind of services we offer and the results we provide at no cost to you? Yes of course agents get paid by the seller (or landlord) and quite well depending on the area we cover and properties we sell, but we often end up spending our time, gas and energy for no … [Read more...]

Looking to Buy a Condominium? What You Need to Know

Buying a condo in L.A.? What you need to know

If you're presently in a house hunt, or even just dabbling with the idea of buying a home, you've probably done some research and run across multiple articles regarding the current Mortgage Process ... and its challenges ... You've probably also heard that you'll be asked to submit plenty of documentation regarding your finances (savings, credit/debt), employment, down payment ability, and more to meet lending requirements.  And that the home your hoping to buy will need to pass muster (via … [Read more...]

Buying a Home for Your Kid in Los Angeles May Make Sense

To buy or not to buy a home in Los Angeles?

There are occasions when buying a home for your kid in Los Angeles may make sense. You have a child who will be attending college in Los Angeles and will be looking for at least four years of rental accommodation.  They may be happy sharing with other students in which case the cost of renting could be reasonable depending on what kind of place they find and where it is located. However, the son or daughter who is moving here for their first job probably is past the apartment-sharing phase … [Read more...]

Buying a Home in Los Angeles What is Escrow?

How to buy a home in Los Angeles, The Escrow Process

If you are an out-of-towner buying a home in Los Angeles you may not be familiar with the escrow process. In fact I sometimes forget that fact and half way through the process find out that my buyers, or sellers are totally lost and sometimes want to use the services of an attorney. I would never discourage anyone from seeking the advice of an attorney, but unless there are complications, or you are purchasing a home directly from a developer, it is often a waste of money. It would be almost … [Read more...]

Real Estate is a Business of Emotions Not Actions

Act don't react in the home buying and selling process

When buying a car there is an unwritten rule that you are supposed to haggle for the best price and emotions generally don't factor in. Some people enjoy the dance and don't take it personally when they don't get what they want. Real estate is a business in which emotions probably run higher than any other. The purchase is huge and it is personal, and often the process is approached like preparation for battle. The buyer knows the seller is out to get them and vice versa. And from there each … [Read more...]

Are You Self-Employed and Hoping to Get a Mortgage?

How to get a mortgage when self-employed

From a Mortgage Lender's perspective, the most complicated Mortgage Applicant is often the Applicant that is Self-Employed.      Why?      Full Documentation Loan Files are demanded in today's Mortgage lending.  IRS transcripts are requested (and received) on the vast majority of Mortgage Loan Applications.  With Self-Employed Borrowers, the only way to verify income (and expenses) is through an Individual U.S. Tax Return and the Tax Returns filed by the business they own.  And that is true … [Read more...]

Los Angeles First-Time Home Buyers Beware of Hidden Costs

Find out the cost of buying a home in Los Angeles

If you are a Los Angeles first-time home buyers you need to be aware of costs for home ownership over and above the  Principal, Interest, Taxes and Insurance (PITI), amount presented to you by your Lender. Some will be monthly, others may be a one-time initial cost. These are some points to consider: Utilities:  gas, water, electricity, cable, telephone. You may not be able to handle your landscaping and may need to employ the services of a gardener. If you are thinking of buying a … [Read more...]

Moving Into Your Los Angeles Home, Some Things to Consider

Buying a Los Angeles home? Make a list

You made an offer on a Los Angeles home and are nearing the closing date. Congratulations, the excitement must be building. However, don't get so excited that you forget some basics. Even though your Los Angeles Realtor® will hopefully remind you of what is necessary, it doesn't hurt to be on top of things. Coordinate with the Seller to order the utilities turned off in advance so that you can call and put them into your name without a fee. The effective date should be the date you are … [Read more...]

Sometimes the First Home You See is The Right One

The first home you see could be THE home

You are starting your search when buying or renting a home in Los Angeles and you are preparing yourself for the prospect of visiting a number of properties before you are going to find the right one. It doesn't have to be that way. It is human nature to think that there is something better around the corner. You think you will be missing out  if you don't look at everything out there and more. But sometimes you walk into the perfect house immediately. When it feels right it probably is. The … [Read more...]

If in Doubt, When Selling your Los Angeles Home Disclose All

Selling your L.A. home, disclose, disclose, disclose

When selling your Los Angeles home you are going to be faced with the responsibility of disclosing everything you know about your property. There is no question that you can hide certain matters for fear that it will affect the sale in some way. All will out in the end and you do not want to go through escrow and have the buyer walk, or worst case have to deal with a lawsuit. As a seller you will be required to fill out various documents a couple of which will ask you specific questions, the … [Read more...]

Relieve Your Stress When Searching for a Home in Los Angeles

Century City Condo Market Report June 2014

You have decided to buy a home in Los Angeles, are about to start your search, and are worried about the toll it is going to take on you.  Worry not. There really is an easy way to do it. The home search process has increasingly shifted to the internet and it certainly is not a bad way to look at homes when you are in the very early stages. It gives you an idea of the market - what is available and what you can get for your money. But once you become serious, it really can wear you down and … [Read more...]

When Buying a Home in Los Angeles Attitude is Everything

Buying a Home in L.A. Don't Give up

You have been trying to buy a home in Los Angeles now for quite a while and feel like you have been beaten to a pulp.  You have made numerous offers only to find that you are just one of a bunch of others doing the same. Other buyers who are as frustrated as you by the process, and you wonder if this time you will be the lucky one. Well don't give up. One day you will be. One day you will walk into an open house and happen to meet a proud owner standing there proudly extolling the virtues … [Read more...]

How Much Does it Cost to Rent on the Wilshire Corridor?

Wilshire Corridor condos for sale

I receive a lot of inquiries about renting on the Wilshire Corridor. And why not. Who would not want to live in a full service building with spectacular views with numerous amenities and people to park your car and take up your packages. However you will need to understand that they don't come cheap. To give you an idea of what you get for your money when renting on the Wilshire Corridor. Prices below reflect the average. $2,200 to $2,500 One bedroom Wilshire Selby West, 10751 … [Read more...]

How to Interpret The Home Inspection

What;s the difference between an inspection and an appraisal

You are buying a home in Los Angeles and are the lucky buyer who has had your offer accepted. You are on your way to home ownership and everything should be smooth sailing. However you start to get nervous. This is a big step with financial responsibility.  You want to make sure you have not gotten in over your head. The next step, and one which should fully educate you on what you will actually be getting into, will be to conduct a home inspection. Your Realtor® will arrange for a qualified … [Read more...]

Tips for Out-of-State Los Angeles Home Buyers

Out of town Los Angeles home buyer tips

If you are an out of state Los Angeles home buyer the process may be different if you have bought a home in another State.  In fact it probably is. California is an escrow state.  What is Escrow?  Escrow is a neutral party acting between the buyer and seller in the homes sales process. They are provided the terms of the contract and ensure that all terms are abided by and completed before any funds and title change hands. No attorneys are involved and there is no "closing table". Upon the … [Read more...]