Buying a house in Los Angeles requires a good amount of planning and then following through with discipline to achieve your home-buying goals. To help you prepare for the obstacle course ahead, it’s a good idea to learn the 4 most difficult things about buying a house in Los Angeles.
Run the Numbers
A large part of where your home buying experience will end has to do with a combination of your income, assets, and any outstanding debts.
To get everything started in the right direction, make a budget that prioritizes saving what you feel is realistic every single month. This will give you a better idea of what you can afford for the all-important down payment. Remember that with a conventional mortgage you should always aim to put down a minimum of twenty percent of the purchase price of the home in order to avoid paying the additional Private Mortgage Insurance, or PMI, charges in monthly mortgage payments.
Another important step when budgeting is to set aside some savings for both moving and covering potential unforeseen expenses that pop up when buying a house in Los Angeles.
Comb through the Listings
While financing is a large part of the home buying equation, what you want and need to get out of your new property is extremely important.
It can be surprisingly complicated to determine what specifics you need in a property versus your wants. Making an actual list of these will both help push you through the process as well as act as a reminder of them. This list ensures you don’t find yourself going back to the drawing board once a property that seemed to work turns out to not really be for you, on re-examination.
Scour listings in your area, and lean on your agent to assist you in finding the right home for you. Have a general idea of what room dimensions feel suitable to you, and be willing to cut your initial list of interesting properties down to a handful to focus your efforts.
Once you’re neck-deep in listings, it’s very easy to become overly excited and want to jump at the first place that catches your eye.
Stay calm and take everything one step at a time by scheduling showings and then meticulously exploring every nook and cranny of the properties that appear to meet your needs. During showings, have the listing available to review on a phone or tablet in order to double-check details and remind you of any particular concerns or areas of the property you wanted to investigate.
Once you’re done with a showing, dedicate time to thinking about what you liked and did not like about the property, as well as any questions or matters you would like addressed by the owners.
Do Not Overcommit
As you begin to pursue a specific property, it’s a good idea to temper your expectations and excitement.
By submitting an offer and entering negotiations with a level head, you’re less likely to reveal how motivated you are as a buyer and, in turn, avoid being taken advantage of. This is the point where your agent can really shine, as they will help push negotiations in your direction on your behalf while maintaining a constant veneer of professionalism. Allowing negotiation to move forward without emotion involved helps both parties, and increases the likelihood of a favorable outcome for everyone.
Having said that, there is always the chance that things will not work out, and this is where it’s a great idea to always have a plan B when buying a house in Los Angeles.
Just like students applying for college, homebuyers should approach their original choice with a backup property that will suit their needs just as well. You may find that the willingness to walk away from a negotiation pays off in the end.