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Jane Peters' Blog

By Jane Peters | Agent in Los Angeles, CA
  • Relocating to L.A.? You Will Need to Find a Rental

    Posted Under: Rental Basics in Los Angeles, Rentals in Los Angeles  |  September 11, 2014 10:45 AM  |  73 views  |  No comments

    If you are preparing to move to Los Angeles, for a job or other reason, you are probably not going to be buying outright. You will need to find rental accommodation until you settle in. That in itself can be a stressful experience, especially in a tight market with rising rents.Finding a rental when moving to Los Angeles

    So how can you prepare? Here are six ways:

    1. Depending on your price range you will either search online yourself on sites such as Westside Rentals or Craigslist or try and find a Los Angeles Realtor who will be able to help. If your budget is below $3,000 a month, (the average for Los Angeles is around $2,500 for a two-bedroom) then the former will be more productive. Over that, especially if you are trying to do this long distance, then using an agent is a good idea.
    2. You can check out the market anytime, but unless you are ready to sign a lease within two weeks then actively looking at properties will be a waste of time as landlords will not hold properties vacant for a month. Of course some properties will be shown earlier than their actual availability. Timing is everything.
    3. Check out your credit. If it is questionable then you may have to line up a co-signor or guarantor. If you can show funds that will cover at least one year or rent or are prepared to pay several months up front then that may suffice. Each landlord has different expectations.
    4. Be prepared to pay three months up front - two months of security and one month's rent.
    5. If you are out of the area and need to find something before you move to Los Angeles, line up a friend or family member to check out properties you are interested in. If you are in town, don't waste time in previewing. Good rentals do not stay on the market for long.
    6. If you are dealing with a Realtor be specific.
      • How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need?
      • How many people will be occupying the property?
      • Do you have a pet? Be specific. Many buildings have size and number restrictions.
      • Is inside laundry a must? Remember, if you have help a community laundry situation might be fine. That can open up more possibilities.
      • How many parking spaces do you need? Most two-bedroom units will have two spaces, but clarify, especially if you need secure parking.
      • Be specific about areas. Maybe you need to be in a particular school district. Research that ahead of time because two neighboring homes can be in two different school districts.

    Bottom line, it is hard work finding a good rental these days whether you do it alone or with the help of a Realtor. Flexibility, communication and a committed attitude are what will get the job done.

    Homes for Rent in Los Angeles


    Get help with your home search. Fill out the CONTACT FORM or call me at 310-473-6919

  • Buying or Renting a Home in L.A.? Don't do it Alone

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Los Angeles, Rental Basics in Los Angeles, Rentals in Los Angeles  |  August 8, 2014 11:00 AM  |  82 views  |  2 comments

    If you are unrepresented, when you first start looking for a home for sale or rent in Los Angeles, or anywhere else for that matter, you will be faced with so many choices. The search term "buying a home in Los Angeles" will bring you 77 million plus results. If you are more specific, for Homes for sale in Los Angelesinstance "buying a condo on the Wilshire Corridor", you will be faced with a "mere" 175,000 results.

    So what happens next?  You find yourself interested in a particular property you find on aggregator sites such as Zillow and Trulia which top the search results list, and you click on that property for further information. The contact information will be for the listing agent. Can you call the listing agent for more information and a showing? Yes.  Is it a good idea?  No. Why not? Because the listing agent primarily represents the seller. The seller is paying the commission and it is extremely difficult for an agent to be neutral and represent both sides equally when they are privvy to each side's deepest and darkest secrets.

    As an aside:

    • Information on these aggregator sites is not always up-to-date and they are not real estate brokerages with their own agents to advise you.
    • The famous "Zestimates" should not be relied on. These are not based on boots-on-the ground information where an agent has compared like to like listings.
    • There is a lot of paid advertising on these sites. Just because you may see an agent's face representing a specific zip code or community, does not make them any more or less of a neighborhood expert.

    You may input the address of the property into Google and be directed to the specific agent's information, where you are in the same situation of dealing with the listing agent.

    However, you may be directed to a listing which shows information on another agent who has nothing to do with the listing.  Why is that?  Because many agents with websites subscribe to what is known as an Internet Data Exchange solution (IDX) which is basically a live feed from their specific Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Simply put, the most accurate real estate search tool is the MLS, and this is fed to sites subscribing to it through an IDX. Some IDXs are supplied for free to MLS members, but the ones you are likely to come across are those which the agent has paid for and which may require you to input your information in order to access further details on the listing.

    So often a caller is under the impression that because the agent's contact information is shown with the listing that they are the listing agent. If you look further, you will see that the actual brokerage and agent are named within the listing.  It is a legal requirement. The agent on whose site you have landed is making no misrepresentations. They are in the business of providing information for buyers (and in many cases sellers and renters), and they will be able to help you with information on this property, arrange a showing, and possibly direct you to other homes which may be of interest.  And all this at no cost to you.

    This is all a roundabout way of leading you the the purpose of the post.

    The home buying or renting process can be overwhelming if you attempt to go it alone. Imagine you find 6 homes you like and then have to scramble to contact 6 different agents, none really invested in you, for more details and showings.

    Choose your own agent. Let them do all the work for you. If is sometimes difficult to give up the reins, but apart from the odd "For Sale by Owner", or pocket listing (much frowned-upon), you will not find anything online that any agent worth his or her salt will not know about and have access to.

    So, rather than spending many hours searching high an low for suitable homes (assuming that you have talked to a lender and been qualified at a certain amount)  all you have to do is:

    • Find an agent you feel you can work with and trust.
    • Give the agent as complete a picture of your requirements as possible.
    • Be available for showings.
    • Communicate. If you are your agent are on the same page the process can go extremely smoothly.

    You can still play in the sandbox and check out listings on your own. In fact your agent can set you up to receive all listings within your specifications that come on the market, as they come on the market, and you can inform them of any they may have not considered for you but in which you are interested.

    Imagine.  All you have to do is sit back and let the agent manage the entire process through to the day you receive the keys to your new home.  Do you still want to go it alone?

    Homes for Sale in Los Angeles


    Get help with your home search. Fill out the CONTACT FORM or call me at 310-473-6919

  • What's the Difference Between a Condo and an Apartment?

    Posted Under: Rental Basics in Los Angeles, For Rent in Los Angeles, Rentals in Los Angeles  |  June 27, 2014 11:38 AM  |  226 views  |  No comments

    I often get calls from people looking to rent a home in Los Angeles, especially on the Wilshire Corridor. They start the conversation with "I saw a listing for an apartment at......"

    The majority of buildings on the Wilshire Corridor are not apartment buildings, they are condominiums.  So what's the difference?What's the difference between a condo and an apartment?

    An apartment building is generally owned by one entity which leases out the individual units to individual tenants.  A condominium building consists of units which are individually owned.

    Condominium buildings do not have property  managers who rent out the units as an apartment building will. You cannot walk into one of those condo buildings and ask about rentals. The way to find a lease in one of those buildings is to contact a real estate agent. Most often in the higher price ranges owners will seek help when renting their units.

    When you rent a unit in an apartment building you will be dealing with the management company and everything is pretty standardized. When you rent a unit in a condo building, you will be dealing directly with the owner or his or her agent. Each owner has different expectations from their prospective tenants, and the vetting process is often more cumbersome. Also condo buildings often require a move-in-move out fee which is generally paid by the tenant. It can be anything from $100 to $300 and is non-refundable. They may even require that a deposit be held to ensure that no damage is done, refundable in the event that none is.

    As a tenant leasing from a private owner you are entitled to all the amenities paid for by, and granted to the owner through the association - use of gym, pool, guest parking, etc. and you will be required to read the association rules and strictly abide by them. Sometimes, if the association dues paid by the owner include utilities, these will be included in the rent. If the utilities are not included then whether you are renting an apartment or a condo you will be responsible for transferring the utilities into your own name.

    Bottom line, leasing a condo is more of a personal transaction, after all you are going to be living in someone's home and the majority of your neighbors are going to be homeowners in the building and will not be as tolerant of any infractions as fellow tenants in an apartment complex might.

    Condos for rent on the Wilshire Corridor


    Get help with your home search. Fill out the CONTACT FORM or call me at 310-473-6919

  • 7 Problems When Renting a Home in Los Angeles

    Posted Under: Rental Basics in Los Angeles, Rentals in Los Angeles  |  June 9, 2014 11:01 AM  |  301 views  |  No comments

    Finding a good rental property in Los Angeles is difficult at the best of times. Inventory, although improving, is still low, rents are rising, and the good homes lease quickly. Some of the following items are going to make finding a good lease more difficult:7 problems when renting a home in Los Angeles

    1. Bad credit or no credit. The first thing a landlord is going to want to see from a prospective tenant is their credit history. Anything lower than a score of around 650 is going to be a problem. This is going to be an ongoing problem. What are some ways around this?
      1. Work  on repairing and/or building up your credit.
      2. If you have a reasonable explanation for the low credit, write a letter of explanation to the landlord.
      3. Provide proof of funds which would well cover a year's rent.
      4. Offer to pay several months rent up front. Maybe even a year's rent.
      5. Find a guarantor who will sign the lease. They should be prepared to have their credit checked.
    2. Foreign nationals. Foreign nationals are not likely to have established credit and in this case items c,d, and e will help. Also the applicant's employer may provide proof of employment and sometimes act as a guarantor.
    3. Multiple tenants. If you are more than one individual (not a family) looking to rent an apartment together, you need to be prepared to have each applicant's credit checked. One applicant with bad credit may ruin the other's chances.
    4. Pets. Having pets can often limit a prospective tenant's chances of finding a place. Many landlords don't allow pets, and there is usually a pet policy in condo buildings as to number of pets and size (30 lbs seems to be common). Before you get that dog, and perhaps two cats, think twice if you are contemplating a move.
    5. Wants and needs. An inside laundry is nice, but this may not be feasible in your price range. The same goes with outside space and amenities, hardwood vs carpet. Decide what you are willing to give up and adjust your search accordingly. Depending on your price range you may have to look in a different neighborhood.
    6. Timing. Don't start looking for a property before you are ready either to take it on the spot or within a reasonable time period, maybe two weeks.  Landlords may agree to split the difference if you need to give a month's notice at your present rental, but they are unlikely to hold the place open for an entire month, certainly not in this competitive rental market.
    7. Smoking. Many buildings have a non-smoking policy so unless you are willing to give it up you will have to find somewhere which will accommodate you.

    Money is the answer to many of the above problems, so do your homework and set your expectations accordingly when looking for a rental property in Los Angeles.

    Los Angeles homes for rent


    Get help with your home search. Fill out the CONTACT FORM or call me at 310-473-6919

  • To Buy, Sell, or Rent. Are you Confused Yet?

    Posted Under: Home Selling, Rentals  |  June 5, 2014 10:44 AM  |  309 views  |  No comments

    It's a strange phase in the Los Angeles real estate cycle right now, and as in any economic cycle there are winners and losers.  So who are the biggest winners right now?

    Landlords/InvestorsTo buy, rent, or sell. Confused yet?

    After the recession homeowners who were forced to sell are still unable to get back into the housing market, either because of credit issues or because they are being priced out of the market by the competition. There is a shortage of inventory, and there are many cash buyers with deep pockets swooping in, especially in the single family housing market. Investors make up a large portion of these cash buyers, and they turning the homes into rental properties, taking advantage of the current shortage. Rental rates are rising and occupancy is high.

    Sellers

    If ever there was a time to sell, this is it. With the shortage of inventory, if a home is well-priced, it is going to go into multiple offers and selling quickly, most probably over theasking price. Check out the average days on the market and sold vs list price to understand this sellers' market.  However, the downside here is that if a seller is thinking of selling and buying another home in Los Angeles, then they will put themselves in the pool with all the other buyers competing for the same homes. A seller cannot make their offer contingent on the sale of their own property as it will not be accepted, so unless they don't have to rely on the sale of their own property to buy then they should think carefully. However, don't worry about buying at the top of market because you are also selling at the top of the market.

    Buyers

    If you are sick of paying someone else's mortgage and have decided that it makes more sense to buy than lease then be strong and stick with the market. Keep making offers until yours is the successful one. It is all about attitude. Yes it is the top of the market right now, but real estate will always be a good investment, and whenever you buy you will look back and be glad you did. Your alternative is to remain in the ranks below.

    Renters

    Sometimes it just does not make sense to buy. Your rent is so cheap. You love the area in which you live and would not be able to afford to buy there. You don't have the down payment or your credit is not good. You are nervous about committing yourself to a mortgage. These are all valid reasons not to buy. But, the rental market is a fickle one. Right now rents are on the rise, vacancies are down , and competition is high, making buying a home look more and more attractive. Do the math and see what makes more sense long term.

    Homes for Sale in Los Angeles


    Get help with your home search. Fill out the CONTACT FORM or call me at 310-473-6919

  • Renting on the Wilshire Corridor. What are the Benefits

    Posted Under: Rental Basics in Los Angeles, For Rent in Los Angeles, Rentals in Los Angeles  |  May 7, 2014 1:02 PM  |  417 views  |  No comments

    I often get contacted by people looking rent on the Wilshire Corridor, and sometimes feel there is a misconception of what living on the Corridor is.

    The Corridor is not a neighborhood, it is an approximately two-mile stretch of Wilshire Blvd. consisting of condo and apartment buildings, beginning at Malcolm Ave and ending at Comstock Ave., and its draw is the high-end, full-service buildings contained therein.

    Wilshire Corridor condos for rent

    However, all things are not equal on The Corridor. These are some of the facts you should take into consideration:

    Plusses

    • If you are able to afford the rent, living in a full-service high rise is the height of luxury. 24/7 concierge and valet and all the amenities you need.
    • You will be treated the same as the owner of the unit. Your guests will be able to valet park, your packages will be delivered to your door, you will be able to use the conference room for meetings, etc.
    • The security is second to none.
    • Depending on the floor you may have some spectacular views.

    Minusses

    • If you are on the Wilshire side of the building, especially if you are on a lower floor, then there is going to be significant noise with the windows open, and if they are not double-paned it will be noisy inside .
    • If you have a large pet, or more than one, you may not be able to rent in the building.
    • Leases on the Corridor are for a minimum of one year. No short-term.
    • You are looking at an average of about $4,500 per month for a two bedroom in a full-service building.

    There are areas close to The Corridor, South of Wilshire and West of the 405 where you are going to pay a little less and still be in the same general neighborhood.

    Bottom line, if you don’t need all the amenities then you may want to check out areas around the Corridor.C for rent on the Wilshire Corridor

    Condos for rent on the Wilshire Corridor

  • Leasing on the Wilshire Corridor. How Much Does it Cost?

    Posted Under: Rentals in Los Angeles  |  November 13, 2013 2:07 PM  |  246 views  |  No comments

    receive a lot of inquiries about renting on the Wilshire Corridor. And why not. Who would not want to live in a full service building with spectacular views with numerous amenities and people to park your car and take up your packages. However you will need to understand that they don’t come cheap.

    Wilshire Corridor condos for lease

    To give you an idea of what you get for your money when renting on the Wilshire Corridor. Prices below reflect the average.

    $2,200 to $2,500

    One bedroom

    Wilshire Selby West, 10751 Wilshire – concierge and pool, community laundry.
    Wilshire Selby East, 10747 Wilshire – concierge and pool, community laundry.
    Wilshire Regent - full amenities. Community laundry.  All utilities included.

    $2,501 to $3,000

    One Bedroom

    Wilshire Holmby, 10433 Wilshire – Full service building.
    Crown Towers, 10701 Wilshire – full service building. Not all units have inside laundry.
    The Churchill, 10450 Wilshire – full service building. Utilities included. Major pool construction through April 2014.

    Two bedroom
    Wilshire Selby West, 10751 Wilshire — concierge and pool, community laundry.
    Wilshire Marquis, 10535 Wilshire – Full amenities including tennis courts.  No valet service.

    $3,001 to $3,500

    One bedroom

    Wilshire Comstock, 865-875 Comstock – full service building.
    Wilshire Selby East, 10747 Wilshire - concierge and pool, community laundry.
    Park Wilshire, 10724 Wilshire – full service building. Largest gym on the Wilshire Corridor.

    Two bedroom

    Marie Antoinette – 10787 Wilshire – concierge and valet.  No pool.  Not all units have inside laundry.

    Three bedroom

    Wilshire Marquis, 10535 Wilshire – Full amenities including tennis courts.  No valet service.

    $3,501 to $4,000

    Two bedroom

    Wilshire Regent - full amenities. No inside laundry.  All utilities included.
    The Dorchester, 10420 Wilshire – full service building. Roof-top pool.
    Wilshire Holmby, 10433 Wilshire – Full service building.
    The Churchill, 10450 Wilshire – full service building. Utilities included. Major pool construction through April 2014.

    $4,001 to $5,000

    Two bedroom

    Wilshire Comstock, 865-875 Comstock – full service building
    Blair House, 10490 Wilshire – full service building. Tennis court and largest pool deck on the Wilshire Corridor
    The Grand, 10445 Wilshire – full service building
    The Regency, 10551 Wilshire – full service building
    Crown Towers, 10701 Wilshire – full service building. Not all units have inside laundry.
    Wilshire Thayer, 10550 Wilshire. Concierge and valet.  No pool or gym.
    The Longford, 10790 Wilshire – full service building
    The Wilshire Manning, 10660 Wilshire – full service building

    Three Bedroom

    The Churchill, 10450 Wilshire – full service building. Utilities included. Major pool construction through April 2014.

    $5,001 to $6,000

    Two bedroom

    Park Wilshire, 10724 Wilshire – full service building. Largest gym on the Wilshire Corridor.
    Ten Five Sixty, 10560 Wilshire – full service building
    The Diplomat, 10350 Wilshire – full service building
    The Westholme, 10590 Wilshire – full service building except valet is not 24 hours.

    Three bedroom

    Wilshire Comstock, 865-875 Comstock – full service building
    The Dorchester, 10420 Wilshire – full service building
    The Wilshire Manning, 10660 Wilshire – full service building

    $6,000 to $7,000

    Three bedroom

    Crown Towers, 10701 Wilshire – full service building. Not all units have inside laundry.

    $7,001 to $8,000

    Two bedroom

    The Remington, 10727 Wilshire. – full service building
    The Westford, 10750 Wilshire – full service building

    Three bedroom

    Blair House, 10490 Wilshire – full service building. Tennis court and largest pool deck on the Wilshire Corridor.

    $8,000 to $10,000

    Two bedroom

    The Wilshire, 10580 Wilshire – full service building
    The Californian, 10800 Wilshire – full service building
    The Mirabella, 10430 Wilshire – full service building
    Wilshire House, 10601 Wilshire – full service building

    Three bedroom

    Park Wilshire, 10724 Wilshire – full service building. Largest gym on the Wilshire Corridor.

    $10,000 to $15,000

    Three bedroom

    The Wilshire, 10580 Wilshire – full service building
    La Tour, 10380 Wilshire – full service building
    Wilshire House, 10601 Wilshire – full service building

    $15,000 up

    Three bedroom

    The Remington, 10727 Wilshire. – full service building
    The Californian, 10800 Wilshire – full service building

    If you are looking for a rental on the Wilshire Corridor you are probably thinking of a completely full service building with inside laundry and a view. Realistically you are going to be paying between $3,500 to $5,000 at the lower end. Anything less and you may have to give up something.

    For a free consult on your L.A. real estate needs, fill out the CONTACT FORM or call me at 310-473-6919


    Read more: http://www.homejane.com/how-much-does-it-cost-to-rent-on-the-wilshire-corridor.html#ixzz2kZ7IlNI7
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