I hope that you have found a Realtor that is representing your interests.
It is their job to give you that assurance that you are going into the transaction with full knowledge, which would include what prices comparable homes have sold for in that area. There is no short cut to market knowledge.
I would ask your Realtor for a CMA of comparable homes and if you have any doubts, ask to see the homes that are being offered as comps.
Let me give you the source that all real estate agents use to look at properties that are on the market.
Click the link below, its 100% free for you to use.
Given that background - you do realize that I have a little knowledge of Granada Hills houses as I have looked into at least 40 houses. It is not easy to get a good deal - but what helped us was the fact that we were looking forward to buying our first house and living in it. Affordability was of course a big priority and so was location. Compare houses that are sold nearby; yes your real estate agent should be able to help you out but there are many many websites out there now a days that can show you prices for nearby sold houses. Also look at the price that the house used to be in 2006 (or whenever was the height of the price). My rule of thumb was - it is a good deal if the current market value of the house is 200K less than what it was in 2006 height. Of course you can't apply the 200K rule to a 2 million dollars house cause those might be worth only 1.4 millions now! As my budget was nowhere near 2 million dollars houses (I have purchased mine for less than 500K) - the 200K rules worked fine for me!
Good luck. I am sure there are many others on this forum who will be able to provide you helpful answers.
There are different ways to know if it is a good deal, you need to an idea of what's the Market Value of the area. Preferably you would need someone who knows the area, a local realtor. You can get a CMA yes to get the comps in the area. Right now the market still expecting for prices to fall, but we are not able to tell how the market is going to react. Let me know if I can help you I am local in Granada Hills. We can seat down and I can show you what has sold in the area and for how much. There are a lot of homes in the market right now Foreclosures, short-sales and some who are just regular sales. Interest rates are low and there are lots of incentives for first time buyers.
While buying a home can be a stressful process, it can also provide you great sense of achievement and satisfaction. Here is some helpful advice for you to consider when trying to get the best deal.
Vacant Properties are a great way to get good deals. Properties that are vacant do not have anyone living in them and are not making any money for the seller. Often, sellers are very willing to enter negotiations to get these properties off their books. This can be a great negotiation point for you, the buyer.
Do not underestimate the value of a fixer upper! While it may not be the most attractive house on the block today, it very well may be tomorrow. New carpets, a coat of paint and landscaping can turn a seemingly dilapidated old shack into a sparkling new home. Try not to get distracted by things that are easily fixed. If the home has no structural issues and matches your needs, consider the potential when making your decision. Often, homes that are not initially aesthetically pleasing, will turn out to be the customized home of your dreams!
Get an accurate idea of how many homes in the area you are considering, truly match your needs. Having a solid idea of this number will help you determine your negotiating power. The more homes there are that match your needs, the greater your ability to negotiate. Your agent can help you find this information.
Survey the area's schools. Just because you do not have children now does not mean that you will not in the future or that you should not consider the schools. Schools can be a great negotiating tool, as well. Good schools are an indication of property value that is underlying and potentially long-lasting. Not-so-good schools in the area can give you another bargaining chip when entering negotiations with the seller.
Have a flexible touring schedule. Often, and especially in this market, sellers rent their properties while they are trying to sell them. This means that there may be tenants living in the property, or perhaps there is no lockbox and tours may be on an appointment basis only. While this may seem burdensome, consider this. A home that is not often viewed, is not often made an offer on. As a result, your offer may be taken more seriously. Minimally shown homes do not pull in offers the way open houses do, so the seller may be more willing to entertain and negotiate your terms.
A common point of contention between buyers and sellers is the closing date. Buyers are often eager and want to close as soon as possible to meet their own personal deadlines, be it the opening of school or beginning of summer or recently after a wedding. Sellers are often eager for many of the same reasons as well. However, it would be beneficial to the Buyer to determine the Seller's deadline when making the offer. This way, the seller may be more likely to accept the offer.
Using this advice and help from the right agent, you're sure to get the best deal possible!
If you have more questions, feel free to contact me!
GREAT question !