Buying a house is an exciting journey filled with visions of your future. But a 45-day escrow packs a lot in and you might overlook a few things if you aren’t paying attention or have a great realtor who has your back. Don’t get buyers remorse. Here are the things that most people overlook when buying a house in Los Angeles.
Buyers often fall in a love with a house and envision their wonderful life moving forward in it. This is great until you are in the house listening to a barking dog all night from your neighbor. It’s great until you realize there is a group of teenagers looking for trouble that hang out at the corner at odd hours of the day and night. It’s the little things within close proximity to the house that make a big difference. Spend some time in the neighborhood, walking up and down the street and chatting with people there. You’ll learn a lot about whether you will feel things are right or not.
Owning a home costs more than just the mortgage and insurance. There is property taxes and sometimes second or third insurance policies required for the area. Your lender may require costly flood or hurricane insurance. These costs could be eliminated in an area just a few miles away so make sure you understand what the rules are. Also, consider what might need upkeep. Pools are wonderful selling points but the upkeep of a pool is something to think about including high utility costs.
You might like the idea of a homeowners association taking care of the common areas and collecting fund to repair or replace things like fences, roofs, and plumbing. But sometimes homeowners find themselves immediately at odds with the HOA because of the rules they didn’t realize were rules. This is why you should probably really read the HOA rules and regulations when they give them to you. Rules might limit the types and sizes of pets you are allowed to have. It could say you can’t have a personal barbecue and need to use community areas. The HOA could limit the use of satellite dishes for cable. All of these things could potentially restrict the life you envisioned having in your new home.
Parking is important. Not only do you want to have easy access to your own parking space, but you want to make sure any visitors you have will be able to park easily as well. If you are moving into a building or association property, make sure there is adequate parking on both accounts. If you are buying a home, drive around in the neighborhood late in the evening and during the day. Get an idea of whether there is available parking regularly. Look at street signs to see restrictions for street cleaning or permits.
Find out how many previous owners there have been for the house and the history of why the home was sold when accessible. Have your realtor or insurance agent do some digging to see if there have been any major claims on the house. Understanding where issues existed before help you identify potential issues that may come up. For example, if the home is surrounded by large oak trees and has had several claims for wind damage with tree branches, you’ll want to address the issue. Either cut trees down or set a regular schedule for an arborist to properly trim them.