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Tips on buying your first Los Angeles home

There is no place like home. Especially if it is your LA dream home

Los Angeles real estate
Los Angeles dreamhome

So, you are ready to buy your new home in Los Angeles? Congrats! Now that you have said it, it is time to get busy and actually do it. Yes, buying a home in LA is going to be a challenging, exciting fun, and nerve wracking attempt. But, believe me, the reward will be more than worth the effort. There is no better feeling than sleeping under a roof that you own. Especially if that roof is in the city of Los Angeles!

Buying your first house is an amazing experience and a enormous step, despite of your age. In the same time it is overwhelming, scary and exciting. This process can be stressful, exhausting and breathtaking, all at the same time. And there is nothing quite like own your own house.

Things that can hold you back from buying a house in Los Angeles

One of the main reasons why people put off buying a house are:

  • career instability
  • student debt
  • competitive housing market
  • not enough savings

Another important factor is affordability. The high price of rent, especially in big cities, makes it troublesome to save enough money for buying a house. However, there comes a time when pulling the trigger on being a first-time homebuyer becomes the most reasonable decision.

Buying a home in Los Angeles: Important steps

When it comes to living in LA it certainly is not one of the best options, especially if you are super concerned with the budget. But, the thing that the recent statistics is telling us is that with the average living cost which is about 20% higher than the average for the whole US, and with the unemployment rate which is as low as about 5.20%, a simple conclusion can be made: While Los Angeles might be a relatively expensive place to live in, with the right dedication and hard work, it is not impossible to become a homeowner of a Los Angeles new houseThe first step before all the steps is not to run out and start looking at property, no matter what you have been told. There are three important steps in buying a LA home. And each one of these steps needs to be done carefully and methodically to succeed. If you are navigating the Los Angeles real estate market for the first time, follow our advice.

  1. Know what you can buy
  2. Find a real estate agent
  3. Buy a home

Step one: Know what you can buy

Know what you can afford when buying a LA home
You have to know what you can afford in order not to fail

The most delicate step in buying a LA home is to know what you can afford. Take an straightforward and frank evaluation of what you can buy. You probably want the biggest and best, but not everyone can afford to make their dreams come true. If you want to avoid failure and disappointment later on in the buying process, now is the time to understand your buying power reality.

Get a pre-approval letter

Unless you plan to buy with all cash, you will need to start with a bank or mortgage broker. Getting started is not that hard. You should get an impartial opinion of your buying power and get a loan pre-approval letter. Once you have the pre-approval letter stating a specific dollar amount, you are ready to begin the dreaming part of your purchase. The loan officer will ask you for payroll stubs, tax returns, your assets and liabilities. You want an honest picture of what you can safely borrow and afford for years to come. Los Angeles real estate purchases can be made simple if you attack it methodically and treat it as a business decision. You should remember that this is probably the biggest purchase in your life. So get serious, but still have fun doing it.

Step two: Finding a real estate agent

Once you determine that you want to buy a LA home, make a list of what you want out of it. For instance, you’ll want to decide in advance how many bedrooms and bathrooms you want. You will also want to know the maximum distance from your workplace. By having these requirements laid out in advance, you have to decide if you will hire a real estate agent. The process of buying a new home in Los Angeles can be much easier with the help of real estate agent. You can use the services of agent to help you find a place within your price range. He can also assist you with all of the necessary paperwork.

Partnership is paramount

Partnership is paramount
You need someone whose full-time job is to know the market, to navigate through rough waters and to be your advocate

You are hiring an agent to work for you. But also understand, he has a choice as well.  If you seem unenthusiastic, disorganized or less than truthful during the interview process, good agents will pick up on that and can decline to work for you. Have in mind that partnership is a two-way street. Once you find your partner and new best friend, loyalty is pre-eminent.

Step three: Buy a home

Once you know what you can afford, the dream home criteria, and have a real estate agent assisting you, it is time to start shopping! And there are many ways to approach the business. Your real estate agent should take the initial lead here. Knowing your criteria, he should collect a list of Los Angeles homes for you to review. If this does not happen, fire him right away. Once you have this list, go over it carefully, and share with your agent why you like some listings and don’t like others. If you later want to change your criteria, just let him know.

Grade rank the homes of the listings

After a discussion with your realtor by phone, email, website or in person, you will be ready to go see listings. You should not see more than eight listings in a day. As you leave each one, you should do two things:

  1. Grade rank the home
  2. Give the home a nickname

A nickname such as “red window and white door” will help you remember characteristics of the home more easily. Also, it is a good idea to take a few photos of the house. Any home not graded as a B or higher should be rejected. 

Once you feel “this is the one”

When you get to a house you feel is grade A, stop searching! Now your agent should give you a full market analysis and put together an offer. Your goal now is to make your selection yours and you want to close the deal.

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