Moving in Los Angeles>Question Details

Ambrose, Home Buyer in Boston, MA

Moving to LA.

Asked by Ambrose, Boston, MA Sat Jun 21, 2008

We are moving to LA in Sept. I work in downtown LA.We have a child under 3 Y. Would like to buy a house. Any recomendations?

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Answers

21
Cameron,
I am enjoying this debate. Again, I am only willing to buy at a price that cushions the upcoming loss of equity in prime Los Angeles areas.
As to your points:
1) Recession. I don't care what the government numbers say. It's an election year and it is in the best interests of the powers that be to fudge the numbers a little. Don't believe me, how about asking this Warren Buffett guy?
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25371792/

2) Great point about market value. But it doesn't matter who is under duress. If several foreclosed homes in Malibu sell for let's say, $200/sq foot, then any comparable home in that vicinity is going to have difficulty competing for a higher price. If this were an isolated incident, and there were just one foreclosure in a prime area, then I would concede that the home under duress would not be indicative of a trend. I am under the assumption that the tsunami of resetting ARMs over the next two years is going to destroy market values in all prime Los Angeles neighborhoods. My thesis may be right or wrong, but the folks who bet on these numbers on the futures markets agree with me. Look up the futures market for home prices in Southern California. The people who bet futures overwhelmingly believe home prices are going to crumble in Southern Cal. Soon, everyone will be able to bet on this as well:
http://seekingalpha.com/article/81244-macroshares-to-launch-…

3) I have no personal feelings toward the market. The free market is the free market. It will sort itself out. I am happy to lend unbiased advice to Ambrose. She can read the CEPR report and make her own decision.

John
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 1, 2008
Hi Ambrose-
How exciting and stressed out you may be, having to make a move with such a young child. May we suggest the Hollywood Hills area of Los Feliz. Its a very nice neighborhood, close to Downtown, yet far enough to leave it behind you. It is a safe and clean area and ranges in price depending on the specific location. We specialize in this area and would be happy to offer you our website as a fewwe search tool. You can search houses on the MLS at http://www.myLARealEstateGroup.com . You can also check you additinal buyer resources that might help you out with supplememntal information. If you find something you may be interested in, feel free to give us a call or email.
Good Luck to you , Im sure you will love LA!
Welcome...
Lou Arakelian
LA Real Estate Group
Keller Williams - Hollywood Hills
info@myLARealEstateGroup.com
http://www.myLARealEstateGroup.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 21, 2008
Hi there Ambrose, exciting to have you moving to the city! I would start off by letting you know a few neighborhoods that are great and close to downtown. Pasadena is wonderful and not too far, also Los Feliz (I have m office here) has wonderful schools, great walkable downtown area, and even closer to downtown. Also there are some great deals to be had on loft spaces downtown if you are into this type of living. The Biscuit Company and the Toy Company are new developments, as well as many others.

Hope this gives you a good start! Contact me anytime for more help.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 21, 2008
John,

I just found it odd that you told Ambrose it was a terrible idea but you were going to do it yourself. It still doesn't really make sense to me but you are free to do what you like.

Three Observations:

1. We are not in a recession.

Definition: Recession - A period of general economic decline; specifically, a decline in GDP for two or more consecutive quarters.

The most recent numbers released for GDP showed positive growth. In other words, it will be (assuming negative growth for each) two quarters before your statement will be true.

http://www.bea.gov/national/index.htm#gdp

2. Definition: Market Value - The price a agreed to by a willing buyer and a willing seller without duress.

Your hope to have the banks correct the market is ill conceved. Bank owned sales and foreclosures are not an indicator of market value and while it will have some effect on the market, it will not, for this very reason, bring the entire market down. Sorry.

3. Reading through the rest of your posts you seem to have a real bent about the upcoming crash in the market. Did you get messed over on a property, or is your overall negative attitude the result of something else?

Cameron Piper
Web Reference: http://www.campiper.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 1, 2008
Cameron,
Great question. I'm happy to take a very calculated risk. As a result, I wouldn't pay more than 1998/1999 prices.

If Ambrose anyone else in LA were to buy, they shouldn't pay more than those prices, because they are in line with income/rent to home price ratios.

We are in a recession. Not only are home prices falling, but folks are losing their jobs and the economy is contracting. Prices are coming down. At 1998/1999 prices, my mortgage would be a fair ratio of my rent.

That is the only measure a buyer should use: Cost of rent vs. cost of purchase.

Because there is some time before banks capitulate and finally lower their asking prices to those 1998/1999 prices (thereby lowering the market for all homes), I am happy to wait. But I'll be ready to take that risk when they do.

John
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 1, 2008
John,

For someone who is so down on the market, why are you risking your $250,000 in LA?

http://www.trulia.com/voices/Home_Buying/Looking_to_buy_a_pr…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 1, 2008
Ambrose,
You literally have to be doing drugs to buy a home right now in Los Angeles. The Center for Economic Policy & Research put out a report last month. They estimated that if you buy a home today, in four years, you will lose $271,851 to $280,952 in equity.

http://www.cepr.net/index.php/publications/reports/the-cost-…

Seriously, you have over $250,000 to lose? If so, what do you do for a living? Sign me up!

Believe me, the best thing you can possibly do is to rent. You will save money and you will be able to learn the city and it's preferred areas of residence. Personally, I am going to buy in Pacific Palisades--it took five years of living here before I realized that this is the best spot for me.

Prices are starting to come down BIG TIME. And they are only going lower.

Best,
John
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 1, 2008
Hi, Ambrose. My suggestion would be to determine how far you want to commute or if the downtown urban living is for you and your family. I would also determine where you want your child to go to school/pre-school and if you like to attend church I would determine which church you want to be a part of. If your family participates in sports activities I would check all those options out as well. If your family likes to snow ski, you can usually get to the ski resorts within an hour and a half from some areas.

Los Angeles is a huge city with a lot to offer. I believe there is literally something for everyone!

I welcome you to our great city!
Web Reference: http://www.DotChance.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 24, 2008
Hi Ambrose,

Homa made a very good suggestion. Please consider this option.

Laarni
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 22, 2008
Hi Ambrose,
I left Michigan in 1989 and lived in So. Pasadena for one year before changing job and home to Orange County. You may consider renting for a while before purchasing. You will have time during this one year to figure everything and visit a few places. Good luck!

Homa
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 22, 2008
Los Angeles is a big place you can get an advantage by searching the Multiple Listing Service for the entire County. You can search for available properties in and around Los Angeles County. Go to my website: reoLicensedSpecialist.com or if you email me, I can put you on a daily alert of properties that are in your price range and the fit your criteria only. This service is free to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 21, 2008
Los Angeles is much different then Boston or other East Coast Cities. The downtown area is now being revitalized but for years it was in disrepair and neglect. Most of our population does not live downtown, but in surrounding areas and suburbs.
Another thing to consider also, is our lack of unified public transportation. Most people must use their own vehicles, which accounts for our traffic problems.
I am a big fan of my area (Culver City) for moderate priced homes and quality of life it offers. But there are other areas you could consider..Im sure the other realtors on this forum will contribute their favorite areas too.
Best of luck to you! You will love California!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 21, 2008
Hi Ambrose,

Not sure what your price point is, but I'd suggest looking into Pasadena and South Pasadena. Both are very close to downtown LA.

Irina
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 21, 2008
Hello Ambrose,
I'm sure that you have a very big decision ahead of you and all these areas that have been mentioned really are great places to live. I'm born and raised in LA I can tell you that you are getting really good adivce on locations, but I'm very partial to my area of Downey. It about 12 miles from Downtown LA with great transportation options that take right to Downtown. I've lived in Downey for 9 years and I worked in Downtown LA for 8 years. Downey if very well priced with great neighborhoods and a very good public and private school system. Its very centrally located between LA and Orange County. Good Luck!

Jimmy Hutchinson
Atmosphere Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 21, 2008
Hi there Ambrose, It would be a good idea to think about what is important to you, and what you like to do. Do you like th beach, do you like parks, views, safety, convenience, prestige, mountains, arts, shopping, etc. This will really help you make a intelligent decision about which neigborhoods offer you these . WHat is right for ine person does not mean it is right for another Everyone had different tastes.

There are a lot of good neighborhods but unless you know what is really important to you it will be difficult for you to determine the best one for you. Trust me I moved here myself from Boston 15 years ago and I am gald I did this.

Hope this helps
Kind Regards
Michael Barron
Realtor/MBA
First Team Real Estate
(714) 552-6817
michael-barron@sbcglobal.net
GO CELTICS
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 21, 2008
I am President of my Neighborhood Association and have lived in Culver City for the past 9 years. My husband and I are raising our 2 toddlers here because we love it! Culver City has great parks, city services and elementary schools. In addition, the redevelopment agency has done a fabulous job of revitalizing the City's downtown business and art gallery districts, with plans underway to remodel and expand the local mall.

Culver City is less than 15 miles from Downtown LA. And currently, the Expo Line is under construction and will take passengers from Culver City to Downtown LA in under 30 minutes. Completion is scheduled for Summer 2010.

Culver City has a great small town feel to it. It's a place where you know your neighbors and your neighbors know you; it's a place where there are small family-owned businesses that have been operating for many years; and it's a place where you can develop personal relationships with the Mayor, City Council Members and other city government officials.

Culver City gets my vote. For more information, check out http:// http://www.culvercity.org or contact me.

Lezlie Brazil
Keller Williams Realty
T 310-991-4263
F 310-861-0207
E lezliebrazil@kw.com
W http:// http://www.lezliebrazil.com
Web Reference: http://www.lezliebrazil.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 21, 2008
Ambrose,
How do you like to spend your free time? Given that Los Angeles has so many diverse communities, you can certainly choose a neighborhood that is well suited for your lifestyle. If you like to spend time at the beach, Long Beach is a great option, if outdoor activities are what you like - the San Fernando Valley might be right for you. Do you love the hustle and bustle of city life - Hancock Park/Hollywood Hills might be right.
As mentioned by the other agents, how much you are willing to pay and the size of home you need, may dictate whether certain neighborhoods are comfortable for you.
I would be more than happy to answer any questions that you have.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 21, 2008
Hello Ambrose,

Welcome to Los Angeles! Best move I made from Vermont over 11 years ago myself. We have the HIGHEST gas prices in the nation and because of this I highly recommend you move to a location that gives you access to mass transit (both to save on the commute and the gas prices) LA has one of the most challenging traffic conditions in the nation too.

Having said all that, I highly recommend two areas for you to consider: ONE, for the economics and the diversity...Long Beach, CA is tops on my list of cities for you to live in...especially with a child that is under 3. I have been to Boston many times and Long Beach will be close in spirit to the way you're used to living in Boston (albeit in the summer ). Check out my website http://www.ourlongbeach.com for information on Long Beach and things to do on a discount and budget.

If money is no object then I would wholeheatedly recommend the Beach Cities in the South Bay: Manhattan, Hermosa or Redondo Beach...absolutely beautiful areas, also have a train to downtown and very close to LAX if you're going to travel. I've lived in both locations and I am still living and working in Long Beach/Seal Beach area...

Hope this answers your question and if you'd like to take a look at properties...check out my real estate website...maggiehomefinder.com!

Have an awesome weekend!
Maggie
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 21, 2008
Ambrose,

Hi, I work in Long Beach, an area where many commute to and from LA. We have a great metro system that takes you right into LA from Long Beach. If the Long Beach area is a location you are considering, it would be my pleasure to show you around. In the meantime, please visit me on my website- loubandb.com and you can start checking out different areas and have a good idea what Long Beach has to offer before you come out.

Feel free to contact me should you have any questions or concerns.

Lou McNamee
Coldwell Banker
562-879-9677
Web Reference: http://www.loubandb.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 21, 2008
Hi Ambrose,
We have an office in Beverly Hills and I will be able to help you. LA is a megalopolis and I agree with Cameron, please give me some parameters to meeet your needs. First of all, what is your budget how many bedrooms or baths, house or townhouse, yard or no yard, downtown or suburb, and estimated square footage of the home. If I have missed something else, please make a list of your realistic needs and wants and then post it again or better yet, e-mail me!
All the Best to you,
Laarni
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 21, 2008
Ambrose,

I don't work in that market but the agents are going to want to know some basics, probably starting with price. From there they would need to know what your prefered commute time is, style of home, townhouse vs. single family home, etc. The more information that you can give to us now the better the answer will be.

Cameron Piper
Web Reference: http://www.campiper.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 21, 2008
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