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Buyer’s Guide

Home buying

Downtown L.A. is everything you have ever dreamed of and more, and with the low interest rates, it’s a great time to buy property.

Take the first steps to homeownership and start by reading our Downtown Los Angeles home buyers guide below.

At a glance: Downtown Los Angeles real estate

Located in Central Los Angeles, Downtown L.A. is a diverse neighborhood composed of several smaller districts including Historic Core, Arts District, and Bunker Hill.

As a whole, the median price for single family homes in Los Angeles as of January 2020 is $650,000. Condos are slightly cheaper, with the median price recorded at $515,000.

As of February 2020, the median price estimate of condos for sale in Downtown L.A. is $652,536 with $685,000 as the median listing price according to Zillow.

The variation of real estate options and values in Downtown L.A. only emphasizes the need for home buyers, whether it’s your first time or your fifth, to work with qualified and experienced local real estate agents.

The home buying process

The entire home buying process is best summed up by dividing it into four stages: research, financing and the home search, offers and negotiations, and closing.

First stage: Research

The very first step in the home buying process is to do your research. This covers several other important aspects, such as determining if you should rent or buy a home, exploring different mortgage options, and learning about the kinds of residential properties available in the neighborhood.

  • Renting vs. buying: Lifestyle choices, your finances, your long-term goals, and the health of the real estate market affect your decision to rent or to buy a home. These guide questions will help you determine if you are mentally, emotionally, and financially prepared for homeownership.
  • Mortgage options: Assess your finances to see how much home you can afford. From there, start exploring different types of mortgage loans to find the one that suits you best.
  • Real estate options: Having a sense of what you want is always helpful. So, what kind of home are you looking for? In Downtown L.A., your options are limited to condos. There are, however, a plethora of different developments to choose from, each with their own vibe. Furthermore, some historic properties qualify for property tax savings. That is something to consider.

Second stage: Financing and the home search

Most sellers these days only accept offers from pre-approved buyers. It is best to get pre-approved for your chosen mortgage by your preferred lender just before you start looking at homes.

There are two reasons why. First, it might be that you need to do some additional work to improve your credit rating. Second, the application process can take anywhere from a few days to a month, depending on your circumstances.

Armed with the knowledge of the type of home you are looking for and the right kind of paperwork to make your offer sweeter, it is almost time to look at homes. But first, it is important to get a real estate agent, preferably one that specializes in Downtown L.A. real estate.

Once you have a reputable agent by your side, you can officially start the home search. In the process, respect open house protocols, keep your priorities and budget in mind, and know when to compromise. Most of all, set a realistic timetable. It is wholly possible that it will take time for you to find a home for sale you’ll love.

Third stage: Offers and negotiations

When you find “the one,” do not hesitate in drawing up an offer with your real estate agent. Aside from the pre-approval letter and the offer price, other attractive components include a short list of essential contingencies and the earnest money deposit.

That said, offers can be customized as you see fit. Sit down and discuss with your agent the different things you can include to make it sweeter. Right at the center is the offer price, which must be just right.

One of the best ways to arrive at a good offer price is to study the market by looking at comps in the neighborhood (recently sold or for sale properties that are similar to the one you like).

Another aspect of this stage are negotiations. A seller might put forward certain propositions. In such cases, keep an open mind and trust your agent to negotiate a better deal for you. Be firm yet willing to compromise.

Fourth stage: Closing

The final stage of the home buying process is closing. In this part of the transaction, you will have to finalize your mortgage application, fulfill your obligations as stated in the sales contract, remove contingencies, visit the home for a final walkthrough, and eventually, seal the deal.

Since the closing process involves several other steps that must also be completed by the seller, this stage can take up to a month or so to finish. Preparing ahead of time and including a smaller set of contingencies might speed up the process if your schedule requires you to wrap up the transaction as soon as possible.

What’s next?

Now that you have been given an overview of the home buying process, it is time to dive deeper and discover Downtown L.A. real estate. Contact Marsico Lukan & Associates today at 213.700.6515 or David(dotted)Lukan(at)Compass(dotted)com to learn more about Downtown Los Angeles real estate.


Recommended Reads:

  • Signs That You’re Ready to Buy a House
    How do you know when you’re truly ready to buy a house? That’s a question that many potential first-time home owners often have. Timing can be everything in the real estate market, and it is important to be sure that you are ready to make this big step. There are a number of factors to be checked off before you start looking for your first home. In this article, you can learn everything you need to know about whether you are ready to make the jump and purchase your first home.
  • How to choose the best home inspector when buying a house