L.A. Real Estate. To Buy or Not to Buy? That is the Question

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

Los Angeles is not an inexpensive place to live, and not a place where you can easily say it makes more sense to buy than rent. However, I often get people who are considering renting a home in Los Angeles and end up buying because it does make more sense. Because rents are so high in Los Angeles we are talking about people looking for rentals around the $3,000 and up mark. At $3,000 a month you are throwing away $36,000 a year paying someone else's mortgage, and at this level it makes … [Read more...]

Will Your Mortgage Co-Signor Deliver Magic?

Will your mortgage co-signor delivery magic?

More and more often, the topic of co-signing on a Mortgage is being brought up both during my initial inquiries and Pre-Qualification conversations.  I'm presented with questions regarding Mortgage co-signing from both hopeful recipients of the co-signing and those actually considering becoming a co-signor. I find that there is often confusion surrounding this topic.  (Some simply have co-signingconfused with co-borrowing.    Two different things.)  And many times, recipient and co-signor … [Read more...]

Using an Online Lender When Buying a Home in Los Angeles

Don't use an online lender when buying a home in L.A.

If you are a first-time homebuyer and have started the process of buying a home in Los Angeles you may have been tempted to find a lender online. This would probably be because you have not yet talked to a Los Angeles Realtor® who would be advising you on the path to take. A huge part of the escrow process, in fact the major part, is acquiring the loan. It is difficult enough under normal circumstances without having to deal with someone across the country who is not familiar with the local … [Read more...]

Buying a Home in L.A. Can You Still Personalize the Process?

When buying a home in L.A. write a letter to the seller

You may think that the process of buying a home in Los Angeles is totally a matter of the highest price. Whoever offers the most is going to get the home. In many cases that is true, but there still remains an element of the personal in some transactions. There are still homeowners who are emotionally attached to the property. And there are still agents who actually consider the buyers who are making offers and their agents, to see with whom they are going to be able to work, and who … [Read more...]

Buying or Renting a Home in L.A. Don’t Shoot the Messenger

When buying a home in L.A. don't shoot the messenger

When buying a home in Los Angeles you hopefully will and should have your own buyer representation through a Los Angeles Realtor®.  And sometimes you will use a Realtor® when you are looking for a Los Angeles rental property. Remember that when you choose your agent they are working for you and no one else.  Their duty is to you the buyer or renter. They also do not call the shots, the seller or landlord does. So if you receive certain requests for information when writing a purchase … [Read more...]

Buying a Home in Los Angeles? What are the Different Statuses

Buying a home in Los Angeles. What are the different statuses

You are buying a home in Los Angeles and trying to stay on top of a fast-moving market. You see a home for sale and call your Los Angeles Realtor®.  By the time they check into it for you it is already shows a status of 'B" or maybe even "P". What does this mean? Assuming the agent is doing their job correctly, these are the various statuses: "A" for "Active". This is the status you should be concentrating on. If you see a status of "B" or "Waiting for Backup" the property has gone into … [Read more...]

L.A. Million Dollar Views for Less than a Million Dollars

Los Angeles Million Dollar Views

You are buying, or even renting a home in Los Angeles and you want a view. It is going to cost you $1 million to find a home like that, right? Wrong. Especially if you are looking at a condo. There are many high rise buildings all over Los Angeles that will offer you spectacular views at a price you can afford.  Not to mention all the amenities that come with those views. These are the views from a rental unit I visited today at 2170 Century Park East. 2170 is away from Olympic Boulevard … [Read more...]

5 Steps to Buying Your First Los Angeles Home

5 steps to buying your first home in Los Angeles

If you are a first time Los Angeles home buyer you are probably going to and have a ton of questions, including ones you never thought to ask. The process of buying a home can be an overwhelming for anyone, let alone for someone who has never bought before.  Hopefully following these steps will help alleviate some of the stress: Step 1: Get your finances in order.  If you have an accountant, or someone who can advise you, find out how much you are going to be comfortable paying each … [Read more...]

What is a Los Angeles Home Worth? Depends Which Corner You Are In

What is a Los Angeles home worth? Depends

What is a Los Angeles home worth?  Well that depends in which corner you are standing, the seller's, the buyer's or the lender's.  And the meaning of "worth" changes depending on your corner and the market in which you find yourself - a sellers' or a buyers'.  For the purpose of this discussion we will assume it is a balanced market with a note at the end of each section covering today's sellers' market. The Seller If you are considering selling your Los Angeles home may be thinking, "what … [Read more...]

Need Help Finding a Los Angeles Home for Sale or Rent?

A Realtor® can save you time when buying a home in L.A.

If you need help finding a Los Angeles home for sale or rent, call a Los Angeles Realtor®. You are a busy person, right?  Do you think it is the best use of your time to scour the internet for homes of interest? Isn't it rather frustrating to try and get hold of someone to show you that property?  Have you ever left a message with no return call? Do you know the history of the property?  I could go on and on. Many Los Angeles home buyers and renters who contact me do so because they saw … [Read more...]

How to Compete with Cash Buyers When Buying a Home in Los Angeles

How to beat out cash offers when buying a home in L.A.

If you are buying a home in Los Angeles right now you will know that the market is crazy.  You make offer after offer only to be outbid by others, many of whom are paying all cash.  So how do you compete? Well, bottom line it will come down to the amount  and cleanliness of the offer, cash or not.  If two offers are similar enough and one is all cash, then the all cash offer is going to win out.  But, you can beat out the cash offer if yours is high enough or co ntingency- free enough. … [Read more...]

When Buying a Home in Los Angeles it Helps to Make a List

Buying a Los Angeles home? Make a list

You are buying a home in Los Angeles and have a vision of that property which is going to have everything you dreamed of.  Unfortunately, if you are buying a home in Los Angeles today, some of the features of that dream home are going to have to be set aside.  The competition right now is huge and if you are waiting to find the perfect home you are going to be left in the dust. After you have determined  with your lender your absolute top price, the best thing to do is make a list.  What do … [Read more...]

Buying a Los Angeles Home, How to Negotiate the Inspection Phase. Carefully

Buying a home in L.A. Handle the Inspection with care

Congratulations, you are the successful buyer of a Los Angeles home, leaving many other buyers disappointed.  With your Los Angeles Realtor® you negotiated your way to this stage.  Now comes more negotiation, equally as important as the Purchase. I am sure that a big part of you being the buyer of choice was the fact that your agent helped you write a clean offer which would have included a short inspection contingency period.  The standard period written in the contract is 17 days, but no … [Read more...]

Buying a Home in Los Angeles and Don’t Want to Overpay?

Buying a home in L.A. how do you avoid overpaying?

You are buying a home in Los Angeles and don't want to overpay?  Oh boy, where do I start. No one wants to feel like they are overpaying for anything let alone for as large an investment as a home. But here is the reality of today's market.  If you love the home and you want it, you are going to have to go all out to get it. So, when we are representing Los Angeles home buyers how do we make sure that they are not "overpaying".  We do the same thing as the listing agents try to do when … [Read more...]

Homes for Sale in Los Angeles With Pools

Los Angeles homes for sale with a pool

Not that it matters in Los Angeles, with great weather all year round, but summer is here and wouldn't it be nice to take a dip in the pool after a hard day's work or over the weekend.  Think of all the pool parties you can have, and July 4th is around the corner. There are many condo buildings which have pools among their amenities, especially on the Wilshire Corridor.  But if you are looking for a single family home with a pool then you will need to dig a little further. You can, of … [Read more...]

Los Angeles Homes for Sale by Walk Score

Los Angeles walk scores

We all know nobody walks in L.A. right!  But sometimes you just don't want to get in your car and drive. Within a Los Angeles zip code, walk scores can vary tremendously so you should check out each listing to see whether it is in an area that meets your needs.  Our Multiple Listing Service (MLS) includes the walk score for each listing but you can also visit the Walk Score site to input your parameters.  Anything over 70 means you can accomplish most tasks by foot. Within the Los Angeles … [Read more...]

Buying a Home in Los Angeles is Not For Shrinking Violets

Buying a home in Los Angeles. Be agressive

We've all heard the news, Los Angeles is a sellers' market.  So what does that mean if you are buying a home in Los Angeles?  Well, you may need to look for your inner Hulk, because it is not pretty out there. Case in point: A home recently listed in the Westwood area for $829,000 sold in 13 days for $914,000.  Another listed for $1.995M sold for $2.082M in 22 days.  And one listed for $3.495M sold for $3.860M, 10% over asking. The average of 15 out of the 21 homes sold in Westwood … [Read more...]

Los Angeles Home Buyer Frequently Asked Questions. What is Title Insurance?

What is title insurance

When buying a home in Los Angeles you will be faced with the term "Title Insurance".  So what is title insurance? Title insurance protects against any kind of problems affecting the title to a piece of property.  Some of those problems could be: Questions about the legal ownership of the property Any errors in the public records that were not found before the sale Liens against the property Problems with wills and trusts affecting the property Fraudulent documents affecting the … [Read more...]

Los Angeles Home Buyers FAQ. Understanding the Purchase Contract

Understanding the Los Angeles real estate purchase contract

When buying a Los Angeles home it helps if you understand the Residential Purchase Agreement (RPA) which is what will be filled out when making an offer.  The majority of the contract is standard and pretty much self-explanatory, but there are areas that need to be filled out that can cause some confusion. Below is an explanation of the Purchase Agreement you will be filling out once you have decided on a property. It will help you understand some of the terms of the contract. 1.  This is … [Read more...]

Home Buyers Frequently Asked Questions. How to Read an MLS Listing

Understanding MLS terminology when buying a Los Angeles home

Buying a home in Los Angeles can be a daunting task.  Where do you start?  Well, ideally you should use the services of a Los Angeles real estate agent, but often buyers like to look for listings themselves. Most of the listings you will see online derive from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) the bible of the real estate industry.  The layout will look different on different sites, but this should help explain some of the general terminology: LP - list price Status - this will show … [Read more...]