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...]

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...]

Should I Downsize my Los Angeles Home?

Downsizing your Los Angeles Home, Buying on the Wilshire Corridor, Buying a Century City Condo

You know the story. The kids are gone. You have more space than you could ever use. The maintenance of the home is becoming more than you can handle and you are thinking, "should I downsize my Los Angeles home?" You have decided that you are ready and are wondering how to proceed: Should I wait to sell my Los Angeles home? The good news is that any time you are thinking of selling your Los Angeles home is the right time, and now is a great time. Los Angeles is primarily in a sellers' … [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...]

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...]

Relieve Your Stress When Searching for a Home in Los Angeles

Los Angeles homes for sale market report

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...]

Los Angeles Real Estate is a Sellers’ Market. Buyers Need to Adapt

Buying a Home in Los Angeles,

If you are a buyer looking for a home in Los Angeles it is important to understand the market you are in. Right now, Los Angeles real estate is a sellers' market.  What does this mean? Basically there are more buyers out there than homes available for sale and this creates a lot of competition. Unfortunately, many buyers don't adjust their expectations and continue to lose out until they finally understand that they really don't control the market. In a sellers' market when a home is first … [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 fru strated 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 … [Read more...]

Buying a Home in L.A. Which Area Can You Afford?

Los Angeles Real Estate Market 1st Qtr 2012

If you are buying a home in Los Angeles, especially if you unfamiliar with the prices in our fair city, you may want to take a look at the chart below to determine where you should be concentrating your efforts. Prices are the median price of homes currently on the market in each area, together with the lowest and highest listed with number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Los Angeles single family homes for sale Community Median Low Bed/Bath High Bed/Bath Bel Air/Holmby … [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

Watch your top price when buying 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...]

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...]