Buying a Los Angeles Home. How Much Should I Offer?

What should you offer when buying a home in L.A.?

Maybe you have been looking to buy a Los Angeles home for a long time, or just started, but you finally find one you like. You are ready to make an offer. Nearly always, buyers ask me "what should I offer?"  Translation: "How low can I go.?" As you will no doubt know, the Los Angeles real estate market for the most part does not favor buyers. Until recently there was a buying frenzy with as many as 8 nine offers or more on a property. In that situation the answer would be "How high can you … [Read more...]

Guide to Buying a Home in Los Angeles for Foreign Nationals

Foreign nationals buying a home in Los angeles

The purchase of properties in Los Angeles by foreign nationals has seen a healthy growth lately and many may not be familiar with the mechanics. Hopefully the summary below will help shed light on what is really not such an overwhelming process. Step 1 Most foreign buyers are going to be all cash as it is difficult to get a loan. Should getting a loan be an option then a pre-qualification/approval will be required from the lender before an offer can be made. For cash buyers proof of … [Read more...]

Los Angeles Homes for Sale. The Calm Before the Storm?

Renting a Home in Santa Monica, Santa Monica Rental Properties

Wouldn't it be lovely if we all had a crystal ball? We would know exactly the right time to buy and the right time to sell real estate. We would wait until the top of the market to sell our home or the bottom of the market to buy. Gauging the top or the bottom of the market is extremely difficult and we would all be millionaires if we had that skill. So when is the right time? Sorry, I don't have a crystal ball so I cannot tell you definitively. What I will tell you is, the right time is … [Read more...]

L.A. Homes for Sale by Zip Code 3rd Qtr 2014 Market Report

Los Angeles Zip Code Map, Search Los Angeles Homes for Sale by Zip Code

Los Angeles real estate market reports are also available by area. But this one is broken down by selected zip codes. If you would like information on the performance of other Los Angeles zip codes please don't hesitate to contact me.   Single Family Zip Code Sold +/- Median Price % +/- For Sale Median Price Pending 90007, 90012, 90013 90014, 90015, 90017 90021, 90031, … [Read more...]

The Importance of Verification of Funds in Mortgage Process

Where the money comes from is important to underwriters

One topic ... one direction provided during the Mortgage Process that seems to baffle and frustrate my prospective home buyers during their Mortgage Process, surrounds the sourcing and documenting of Down Payment and Closing Cost Funds. When I touch upon this portion of the Process I often hear the comment, "it shouldn't matter where the money comes from" from my Borrowers.  There also seems to be a mindset that their Earnest Money is something other than an initial portion of the Down … [Read more...]

Los Angeles Homes for Sale 3rd Qtr 2014 Market Report

Los Angeles real estate market report September 2014

Let's check in on Los Angeles real estate by a few neighborhoods and see how if did in the 3rd Qtr of 2014 as compared to the previous one. The cities of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, and Culver City, as well as several other neighborhoods are covered separately. Percentage difference is over the previous Quarter. Los Angeles Single Family Homes Community Sold +/- Price Range Median +/- % Active Median Pending Bel Air/Holmby … [Read more...]

Westwood Homes for Sale 3rd Qtr 2014 Market Report

Westwood, Los Angeles real estate market

How is the Westwood real estate market doing? Let's compare the 3rd Qtr performance against the 2nd Qtr. Westwood single family home sales   Sold +/- Median % +/- Active Median Pending 32 +15 $2,252,500 +16.41 14 $2,987,000 7 Westwood condo sales Sold +/- Median % +/- Active Median Pending 85 +14 $770,000 +10.79 89 $1,099,000 38   Sellers Market Balanced Market Buyers' Market Less than 5 months 5 to … [Read more...]

West Hollywood Homes for Sale 3rd Qtr 2014 Market Report

West Hollywood homes for sale 2nd Qtr 2013 in review

West Hollywood is one of the more affordable communities in Los Angeles. An incorporated city with a high Walk Score, West Hollywood has great dining, stores, galleries, and nightlife. West Hollywood continues to evolve and is a much sought after area for those who are looking for more of a neighborhood feel. (The West Hollywood area on the MLS does include neighborhoods just around the city itself.) West Hollywood single family sales Sold +/- Median % … [Read more...]

How to Make Your First Mortgage Payment

How to make your first mortgage payment on your Los Angeles home

Inside Mortgage Finance News reported on October 28, 2014 ... "Total mortgage-related complaints filed by borrowers with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fell again in the third quarter of 2014 – the fifth drop in the last six quarters, according to figures compiled by Inside the CFPB.      Data contained in the CFPB’s consumer complaint database show that such consumer gripes fell 17.6 percent in the third quarter of the year, and are now down 23.6 percent from the same period in … [Read more...]

Culver City Homes for Sale 3rd Qtr 2014 Market Report

Culver City real estate, homes for sale

Culver City is one of the up-and-coming areas of Los Angeles. It is one of the more sought-after neighborhoods due to its place on the Expo line which runs from Downtown Los Angeles, with the extension to Santa Monica in full force, and the gentrification of its downtown area with boutiques, galleries and restaurants.   How are home sales doing in Culver City. We will compare the 3rd Qtr with the previous one. Culver City Single Family Sales Sold +/- Median % … [Read more...]

How Much is My Home Really Worth? Ask Your Buyer

What is my home worth

You may be thinking of refinancing or selling your Los Angeles home. Are you wondering what it is worth these days? Well, for refinancing an appraiser is the one who will determine the value, but if you are thinking of selling your home then it is only going to be worth what a buyer is willing to pay. The first step in pricing your home for a listing is for your real estate agent to present you with a comparable market analysis (CMA), sales of comparable homes in the immediate area, or if … [Read more...]

Century City Condos for Sale 3rd Qtr 2014 Market Report

Century City Condos Market Report

It's time to take a look at how the Century City condo market is doing. Together with the Wilshire Corridor, Century City has one of the few concentrated collections of full-service high-rise communities and, unlike the Corridor, gated ones, with grounds in which to walk. Let's see how the 3rd Qtr fared.   The comparison is between the 2nd Qtr 2014. Building Sold +/- Median % +/- Avg. Price per S/F Active Median Pending The … [Read more...]

Santa Monica Homes for Sale. How is the 3rd Qtr 2014 Market?

Santa Monica homes for sale 3rd Qtr 2014 market report

How did the Santa Monica real estate market do over the 3rd Quarter of 2014.  Did we see more inventory come on the market? How is the median price now? Let's take a look.  The percentage difference is over the previous Quarter. Santa Monica single family 90401 - this is primarily a business district so you will see little or no activity here. Sold +/- Median % +/- Active Median Pending 0 = $1,522,000** -N/A 3 $3,950,000 0 90402 - which includes the … [Read more...]

How is the Brentwood L.A. Real Estate Market? 3rd Qtr 2014

Brentwood Los Angeles homes for sale

How is the Brentwood Los Angeles real estate market doing? Let's compare with the previous Quarter. Brentwood single family home sales Sold +/- Median +/- % Active Median Pending 64 -4 $2,525,000 -7.51 69 $3,398,000 33 Brentwood condo sales Sold +/- Median +/- % Active Median Pending 70 +11 $770,724 +14.69 56 $831,950 29 Information provided by the MLS/CLAW deemed reliable but not guaranteed For single family homes,  … [Read more...]

How is the Beverly Hills Real Estate Market? 3rd Qtr 2014

Beverly Hill new homes per month September 2014

How is the Beverly Hills real estate market doing? We are already in the 4th Quarter of 2014 so it's time to check in on sales of single family homes. The median price of sold properties has only dropped 1% over the previous year, and improvement over the previous quarter. At the end of June the median price of sold properties was down 32%. This quarter shows a vast improvement. There is still a disconnect between the asking price and sold price, a 37% difference. This is not unusual … [Read more...]

How is the Wilshire Corridor Condo Market? 3rd Quarter 2014

Checking in on the Wilshire Corridor condo market

The Wilshire Corridor is a unique market. The average price of a condo is $1.1 Million and the turnover at that price is not large, as you can imagine. Let's see how the market performed over the last Quarter: Building Sold +/ Price/ Median Price Avg. Price Per Sq. Ft.++ Total Active Price/ Median Price Pending Beverly West* 1 +1 $6,218,000 $1,630.74 2 $6,872,500 0 Blair House 1 +1 $2,146,500 $773.23 1 $2,399,000 0 Crown … [Read more...]

Buying a Home in Los Angeles With Resale in Mind

Buying a home with resale in mind

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. How can you maximize your return? Here are some factors to consider: Schools 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 … [Read more...]

Reasons Why The L.A. Housing Market Is Good For Home Sellers

Average days on the market for homes in L.A. are down

Are you a Los Angeles homeowner considering putting their home on the market? Have you been thinking about the possibility for quite a while? Was the situation was not right, or were you waiting out the market? If the latter is true, and coincidentally any barriers to selling have been removed, now is a great time. Why is that? Let's take a look at the numbers for single family homes taken from a sampling of the major Los Angeles communities: The median home prices are up 20% over a … [Read more...]

I Received a New Property Assessment. What Do I Do?

What happens if I receive a property assessment

As a Chicago-area Mortgage Lender, I've always been asked a lot of questions regarding Taxes and Property Assessments.  Property Taxes, and subsequently monthly tax escrow contributions, play a very important role in loan approvals/denials. But throughout the recent housing downturn, the topic of property taxes and assessments has cropped-up more often and has become far more important to homeowners ... As of this writing (Sept. 2014), property Assessments have been completed in much of … [Read more...]

5 Biggest Homebuyer Mistakes And What You Can Do About Them

Avoid these 5 mistakes when buying a home in Los Angeles

In today's sellers' market buying a home in Los Angeles is a competitive process, and a buyer cannot afford to make any mistakes if they truly want to become a homeowner. Prices are high but mortgage rates are low. Timing the market is difficult so if you are really motivated to find a home here are 5 major mistakes to avoid. Little knowledge of the market. Take time to understand the current conditions. Not doing so will lead you to make bad decisions in your buying process. A sellers' … [Read more...]