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...]

Murphy’s Law of Real Estate:Yours Will Not be The Only Offer

Buying a home that has been on the market a while

You are in the process of buying a home in Los Angeles, and have gotten close to finding that ideal property only to be outbid by other buyers who were able to offer more or were all-cash buyers.  It is very frustrating. So what do you do next? You start to look at properties that have been on the market for a while. Anything that has been active for more than 30 days must have something wrong with it, right?  It is either overpriced, in a less than desirable location, or needs a fair … [Read more...]

Buying a Home in Los Angeles Be Aware of Your Price Range

You can still buy a home in Los Angeles

You are buying a home in Los Angeles and have done all your homework. You have contacted a lender and know what you can afford to buy. You have chosen your Los Angeles Realtor® and you are ready to go. Stop!  Think! For the purpose of this post, let's assume that you have been approved to purchase a property up to $600,000.  For Los Angeles this is not a high amount and will afford you  a median priced condo on the Westside. Your lender will have factored in your total cost, PITI (principal, … [Read more...]

Los Angeles First-Time Homebuyers Do Your Research!

Buying a home in Los Angeles for the first time

You are a first-time homebuyer and you are looking for a home in Los Angeles, where do you start?  In a city like Los Angeles you would assume that you have so many choices but you really don't. You are going to be limited by several factors: The main consideration is your budget, that is going to narrow down or expand your search considerably. When that is established you can then Type of housing.  Do you want to live in a condo or a house, a full service building, gated community, high … [Read more...]

When Buying a Home in Los Angeles Check Your Credit First

Repair your credit before buying a home in Los Angeles

If you are considering buying a home in Los Angeles it is important to know what your credit history is going to show before you start the process.  Why?  Because, depending on your score, and if there are any negative hits on your report, your interest rate is going to rise and you may also not get approved for a loan. There are three credit reporting agencies (CRA)  that track your credit:  Trans Union, Equifax and Experian, and you will need to run your credit through all three. You are … [Read more...]

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

Where to live in Los Angeles

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...]