In the past three years, prices of homes in Los Angeles have soared by 30 percent. In many areas, you’ll find a seller’s market. Only a three months’ supply of home available with 5,538 properties (single family homes and condos) sold in the past 6 months. Experts predict a seller’s market in 5 months’ time in Los Angeles and you can expect prices to go higher in coming years. So, if you’re still waiting to buy a home in Los Angeles, don’t wait too long.
But jumping in hastily isn’t recommended either. It’s possible for first time buyers to get too excited about the home buying prospect and rush in. Follow these 5 tips to avoid first time home buyer mistakes when buying a home in Los Angeles:
- How much house can I afford?
How much can you really afford? You need to determine how much of the monthly mortgage payments you’ll be comfortable with. Apart from meeting with a lender and reviewing your finances, there should be some soul-searching. Experts advise against going for the most expensive home you qualify for, unless you can truly bear the costs that come along with it.
- Be prepared
As a first timer, buying a home in Los Angeles presents you with so many options, yet you need to be prepared for rigid competition. If you are not paying cash, you should get a pre-approval from your lender before you proceed with buying a home in Los Angeles. Cash buyers tend to be more attractive to sellers because then the seller wouldn’t have to wait for the lender to approve a loan. You will need to have a down payment that’ll cover at least 20 percent of the selling price, and you may still face a bidding war for the home of your dreams.
- Check the down payment assistance program
Before you buy, check to see if you qualify for one of the down payment assistance programs. In Orange County, a family of four may qualify for state and federal assistance, even with an income as high as $108,350.
- Research The Neighborhood
Your knowledge of the area shouldn’t just be based on what your realtor told you. Research the neighborhood yourself during the day and at night. Converse with the locals at “Mom-and-Pop” stores, cafes, restaurants, markets, etc.
Immersing yourself into the neighborhood as a “local” will help you catch information that will not be disclosed by your realtor. This will give you a pellucid picture of the area.
- Choose the best Realtor
The truth is; agents deal with enormous amounts of problems and stress. Most of them are expert problem solvers, have “insider” information about properties/areas and can get you a great price on your home through great negotiation skills.
But just like in virtually any vocation, there will be the good and the bad. An inexperienced agent will set you back in time, money and can decrease your likelihood of getting the property you truly want. You need the best hands when buying a home in Los Angeles as a first timer, Give me a call 714.963.7462. Let’s find your dream home!