Buying the right home is certainly important, but choosing the right neighborhood can be just as important, both for residents and investors. Neighborhoods can be distinctly different, so finding the right neighborhood in Los Angeles usually takes a good deal of research, an examination of both quantitative and qualitative factors. Here, then, are some tips on how to find the right neighborhood in Los Angeles.
Examine Local Pricing
To find the right neighborhood in Los Angeles, you will need to analyze pricing, both current and past, of the neighborhood’s homes and apartment buildings. You can peruse sites like Zillow and Streeteasy to find a price history of the neighborhood(s) under consideration. Experts recommend looking at pricing for the past two to three years. And they also advise examining not only average sales prices but price appreciation on recently sold properties and how much they are selling under or over the asking price. It’s also a good idea to check market reports from local brokerage firms.
Check Absorption Rates
The neighborhood’s absorption rate is also important. These figures are available through local brokers and pertinent real estate sites and can give you a good idea of the sales pace of the neighborhood, being derived from the number of sales vs. listing inventory. You can get the monthly absorption rate by dividing the total listing inventory by the number of sales in a month. This will yield sales activity of the neighborhood, letting you know how strong the market is there and whether it’s a good area for investment. It’s essential to get a good feel for the market in this way before putting down your money.
Whether you live in the property or rent it, neighborhood amenities will be an important consideration to help you find the right neighborhood in Los Angeles. Some of the important amenities to consider include access to public transportation such as trains and buses and walking and biking opportunities. In addition, you should look for greenery and open spaces like parks or a nearby waterfront walk. You should also be able to detect a strong sense of community in the neighborhood as evidenced in community gardens and commercial corridors, coffee shops and local restaurants.
Track Neighborhood Growth
Most of the time, increasing home values is a phenomenon of proximity. When people (both individuals and businesses) are priced out of one area, they will move to the nearest, more affordable neighborhood. Tracking this kind of growth in potential neighborhoods will help you find the right neighborhood in Los Angeles.
Observe at Ground Level
You can learn a lot by talking to real estate agents and checking online sources, but nothing beats a ground-level, in-the-trenches view. So when you think you’ve found a likely neighborhood, it’s time to hit the sidewalk with some shoe leather. Walk around the neighborhood observing carefully, use the public transportation yourself, do some shopping in local stores, and talk to neighborhood residents. Statistics like crime statistics can be misleading at the least. So if you want a better idea of how safe a neighborhood is, talk to homeowners and local business people.
Location is everything, they say, and so it is. So you really have to put in the time and effort and do the research to find the right neighborhood in Los Angeles. But you don’t have to do it all yourself. The right real estate professionals can make it much easier to find the right neighborhood. And we are ready to help you do just that.