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...]

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...]

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...]

Will I Benefit by Using the Listing Agent to Buy a Home?

Should I uses the listing agent when buying a home in L.A.?

If you are in the process of buying a home in Los Angeles and come across a listing on my website you are actually looking at a feed from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) provided by the Internet Data Exchange (IDX) to which I am subscribed. I am probably not the listing agent. I often get calls about "your listing" and proceed to tell the caller that I am not the listing agent but will certainly be able to help them. Sometimes they will ask me for the name of the listing agent, and this is … [Read more...]

Should I Sell my Home Before Buying?

You should sell your Los Angeles home before selling another

If you are thinking of selling your Los Angeles home you are going to be in one of the following situations: Looking to move up or downsize. Changing school districts Moving to a new city In any event, if you are selling your home you are going to have to live somewhere, and if you are buying another place then you will need to plan carefully, because with the shortage of inventory in many markets you are going to have to have all your ducks in a row. So, should you sell your … [Read more...]

Don’t Make the Mistakes I Made. Invest in Real Estate.

If you can afford it buying a home is the best investment you can make

O.K., I admit it. I am a Realtor® who does not own property. Had I started in this business earlier then I probably would have realized that one of the best investments you can make in your life is to buy real estate. I did own for a short period around 20 years ago, but it was a bad investment, and I sold it nine months after buying for reasons included below*. You only have to do the math to realize that if there is any way you can make it work buying is going to cost you less over the … [Read more...]

What You Need to Know About The Wilshire Corridor

Checking in on the Wilshire Corridor condo market

If you are thinking of buying or renting a condo on the Wilshire Corridor there are some facts to consider. Also known as The Golden Mile, the Corridor is an approximately 2-mile stretch of luxury high-rise condominium buildings which runs from just east of Westwood Village to the west side of the Los Angeles Country Club. There are 31 of these buildings but not all of them will provide what a buyer or renter is looking for. Often people new to the area are not familiar with the prices. … [Read more...]

A Guide to Finding a Home in Los Angeles. Don’t do it Alone!

Buying or Renting a home in L.A.? Don't go it alone

If you are unrepresented, when you first start looking for a home for sale or rent in Los Angeles, or anywhere else for that matter, you will be faced with so many choices. The search term "buying a home in Los Angeles" will bring you 77 million plus results. If you are more specific, for instance "buying a condo on the Wilshire Corridor", you will be faced with a "mere" 175,000 results. So what happens next?  You find yourself interested in a particular property you find on aggregator sites … [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...]

What Offer Should I Make When Buying a Home in Los Angeles?

Buying a home in L.A. What kind of offer should I make?

If you are buying a home in Los Angeles and have been in the market for a while, you may not have this question on your mind.  You may be giving it everything you've got to finally be able to call somewhere home. However it is human nature to try and get a "deal". No one wants to overpay.  It is important to keep one thing in mind. If you love the home, and you want it, if you end up with the home you did not overpay. Setting aside appraisals, comps, etc. a home is only worth what someone is … [Read more...]

To Buy to Sell to Rent? Is Your Head Spinning?

To buy, to rent, to sell. Is your head spinning?

It's a strange phase in the Los Angeles real estate cycle right now, and as in any economic cycle there are winners and losers.  So who are the biggest winners right now? Landlords/Investors After the recession homeowners who were forced to sell are still unable to get back into the housing market, either because of credit issues or because they are being priced out of the market by the competition. There is a shortage of inventory, and there are many cash buyers with deep pockets swooping … [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...]

Moving to Los Angeles? Be Prepared for Sticker Shock

Be prepared for sticker shock when moving to L.A.

Many prospective home buyers or renters who are moving to Los Angeles, either for work or to be closer to their family, don't have a realistic idea of the cost of housing in our fair city. I will often receive emails asking me to help find homes to rent under $2,000 or to buy under $300,000. Take a look at where you would need to start at a minimum, and I do mean minimum. Single family homes - $850,000 Condos - $450,000 and this would probably be a one-bedroom. Leases - $2,500, but … [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...]

Buying a Home in Encino, Sherman Oaks or Tarzana

San Fernando Valley real estate market report

I have been meaning to post some information on real estate in the San Fernando Valley, specifically Encino, Sherman Oaks and Tarzana. Studio City is already covered. So let's take a look at statistics for  2013 compared to 2012. Sherman Oaks single family Sold +/- 2012 Median +/- 2012 Active Median Pending 651 +62 $801,500 +15.32% 104 $799,974 62 Sherman Oaks condos Sold +/- 2012 Median +/- … [Read more...]

Los Angeles Top Ten Neighborhoods for Home Sales This Year

Checking in on the Wilshire Corridor condo market

I you are thinking of buying or selling a home in Los Angeles it would be good to check in on sales and availability in some of the Los Angeles neighborhoods. What were the top selling neighborhoods so far this year: Single Family 1. Hollywood Hills West - Sold = 64 at a median price of $1,402,500 - Active Listings:  156 at a median price of $2,382.50. 2. Silver Lake | Echo Park - Sold = 44 at a median price of $762,000 - Active Listings:  37 at a median price of $695,000. 3. Palms | … [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...]

Finding ways to help young adults make their first home purchases

Initial buyer will become co-signor's renter

See on Scoop.it - Around Los Angeles WASHINGTON — Parents, grandparents and young adults know the problem only too well: Heavy student-debt loads, persistent employment troubles stemming from the recession, plus newly toughened mortgage underwriting standards are all standing in the way of vast numbers of potential first-time home buyers in their 20s and 30s.   Jane Peters www.homejane.com's insight: This is a great option for those first-time home buyers See on … [Read more...]