Lately I’ve been hearing the same concern from many home buyers in Los Angeles which is, “I keep missing out on homes I find.” This is especially true for houses and condos in desirable areas that are less than $350,000 which seem to be flying off the shelves. Today I was contacted by a woman searching for a condo in Glendale CA for less than $200,000. She is having a similar experience–she finds a home, visits the property, but the seller accepts an offer before she has time to make one.
It’s not uncommon for the revival of a housing market to start with lower priced properties, which is what we’re seeing in Southern California. And yes, for those reading this who are unfamiliar with the area, a home for less than $350k in a desirable area of Los Angeles is considered VERY affordable by most people. Here is some advice to avoid missing out on a great opportunity for those searching for a home in Los Angeles for less than $350,000.
TIPS ON BUYING AN AFFORDABLE HOME IN LOS ANGELES:
- Separate your needs and wants. You should know what you’re looking for by the time you begin visiting properties. Of course, things will change once you start to see homes in person, however, try and be as prepared as possible. At this price range, there’s no time to find the place, then start to figure out if it’s really what you want. “Do I really need the extra bedroom or half bath? How important is having a community pool? Would I rather have laundry on-site, garage parking, or a corner unit.. or do I really want all three?” Consider what is most important to you, what you’re willing to let go, and what are your MUST HAVE’s before looking. By the time you figure that out, the home you looked at a few days ago might be Pending Sale.
- Get Pre-Approved. The process of obtaining a loan can add several weeks or months onto buying a home. Having financing in order will expedite your ability to act fast when you find the home you’d like to make an offer on. Note the difference between Pre-Approval and Pre-Qualification, which is merely an estimate of what you can afford, with no commitment to lend you any money. Talk to a loan officer before beginning your search.
- Put down a larger cash deposit in escrow. Money talks and putting down a larger cash deposit shows you are serious about buying the home. A substantial deposit (5-10% or higher) can potentially make the difference in whether or not the seller accepts your offer, especially in a situation with multiple offers on the table.
- Work with a real estate broker. Representation by a California Realtor provides the expertise that can ultimately save you thousands of dollars or improve the quality of the home you find. An experienced broker can help you understand things like contract contingencies, title insurance, mortgage insurance, which can work to your advantage. Plus working with a broker allows a professional to be accountable for acting within your best interest, which is difficult to do without understanding the detailed inner-workings of the real estate industry.
- Don’t be afraid to act quick. This is the main reason why many folks are missing out on great homes… fear! “Is this the right decision? Is there a better home coming available next week? Should I or shouldn’t I?” Through education comes confidence — which is the key factor in eliminating fear. Work with experienced brokers like our team at CAPropertyFinder.com. We are here to help eliminate your fears and put you into a wonderful home that fits your needs and wants. We will make sure you are educated and prepared to act quickly when the time comes, but at the same time, we’ll never rush you into making a poor decision. We know there’s a perfect place out there for you and it’s our mission to help you buy it.
Contact us today at 1-800-287-1808 or tell us what you’re looking for. We’re looking forward to exceeding your needs as real estate brokers.
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