Whether you are a first-time buyer or a seasoned property investor, you’ll want to make sure that you find the best home possible. There are numerous factors to keep in mind when viewing houses for sale in Los Angeles, such as the area you choose, the local neighborhood and its future prospects, and the fixtures and fittings of the house itself.
Visit Various Neighborhoods
Real estate in California is very hot at the moment, and many houses sell within two to three months of being listed. However, there are still significant regional fluctuations, and not all townhomes for sale in Los Angles will be similar. The first thing to do when you decide to buy is to check out a few neighborhoods that interest you and visit them at different times of the day.
Where you’d like to live will depend on what your needs are. For example, if you’d enjoy a quiet area with lots of independent shops, you might consider Atwater Village, and if you’re looking for something exclusive and upmarket, you’ll gravitate towards areas like View Park or Windsor Hills.
Los Angeles has something to offer for everyone, but the real estate market is fast-paced and you’ll need to keep your options open. That’s why having extensive knowledge of two or three neighborhoods is key: it helps you to both narrow down the search to streets you’d love to live in, and broadens your experience, so you can evaluate the different real estate listings competently.
Assess Risks Before You Commit
Once you’ve decided on the neighborhoods that suit you, it’s time to narrow the search down. Before you commit to one area, assess all the risks and potential downsides of the location. For instance, there are certain areas that suffer from more criminal activity than others. While this may not be a big dealbreaker for everyone, you should choose a reasonably safe area if you have young children or are planning on walking around your neighborhood late at night.
Aside from violent crime, there may be other risks associated with specific areas, such as flooding. What’s more, these risks could affect your insurance premiums and future property value. Even within Los Angeles, they can vary greatly, so make sure you’re aware of any potential issues prior to committing. Double-check your research with your local real estate agent, who has extensive knowledge of the neighborhoods they deal with.
Use Various Methods to Research Houses for Sale in Los Angeles
When looking for a home, you should start the research process a few months before you hope to move. Sign up for property alerts with your realtor, so you can get an idea of which houses sell at what prices in your desired areas. You can also check out sold-price sites to gain insight into past house sales. Remember that the property market can fluctuate, and pay attention to any local changes that could affect the price you pay for your home.
Once you’re ready to buy, contact your Los Angeles real estate agent to get the process started. They will be able to help answer any questions that came up during your research.
Easily Spot Dealbreakers
You’ve researched areas, ruled out any serious issues, and are now looking through listings and visiting potential homes. While there’s a great number of excellent Los Angeles properties on the market, you need to be aware of some of the top problems that can arise, so you can make the best choice possible. When walking around your potential new home, keep the following tips in mind.
Firstly, look up at the ceilings for any signs of cracks, stains, or leaks. Often, these will indicate a problem with the plumbing. Next, open and close all the doors, drawers, and windows to check that they are working well, and also try any locks. Don’t be shy about flicking switches, flushing toilets, and turning all the taps on and off.
Remember, your home is one of the biggest expenses of your life, so it’s important to ensure that everything works well. Another simple trick is to pretend to use the rooms, particularly the kitchen. Does it feel roomy enough? Are all the appliances conveniently located? Are there enough power outlets to plug in all of your devices? Checking all of this beforehand can ensure that the house in question really is your dream home.
Chat to Your Real Estate Agent
Throughout the house-buying process, have regular conversations with your real estate agent and ask them to give you a call when something new becomes available. As mentioned, the Los Angeles market is very fast-paced, so they might have homes for sale that haven’t even been listed yet.
By getting in touch on a regular basis, you could gain priority access to homes that are just coming on the market. Also, make sure to clearly communicate your requirements and budget so both you and your agent can avoid wasting time on unsuitable properties.
Chat to the Sellers
Prior to making a final decision about a home, have a chat with the sellers. Ask them about other viewings and offers, the length of the lease if the property has one, why they are moving and whether there have been any issues in the neighborhood, recent renovations, service charges, and anything else that is important to you. Also ensure that you get the most important documents, such as recent electrical and gas inspections, in writing.
Another great way finds out more about your potential purchase is to speak to the neighbors, especially if you will be living in the same building with them. That way, you can both get a sense of the people you’ll be living closest to, and possibly some information that your sellers have left out. Make sure to visit the home on a few separate occasions and at different times during the day to check for noise issues such as loud music. Even if you can’t gain access, standing in the street for a while may reveal any serious problems.
Consider Ease of Resale
Although it won’t be your top concern once you’ve found your dream house, consider if this is your ‘forever home’ or if you’d like to move on at a later stage in your life. In case you’re not sure you’ll stay in this property forever, check how likely you’ll be able to sell it on at a later date. Are there any reasons why a resale would be hard? Any dealbreakers you’re happy to live with, but others might object to? If so, consider whether there’s something you can do to mitigate these or if it is safer to look for another property altogether.
There are plenty of amazing California dream homes available in the Los Angeles area, so you won’t be stuck for choice. Keep the most important factors, such as neighborhood, immediate surroundings, and the quality of your new home’s fittings and fixtures, in mind as you look through the different options.
No matter if you’re new to Los Angeles real estate or have bought a home in the area before, a competent and experienced professional will be able to help you make the best decision possible. Call Teresa Mack today to get the inside track from an expert and start your search for the perfect property.