Andrew, Home Buyer in California

With $500K in savings and a steady $200K/yr job, what kind of house am I looking at in the West L.A area?

Asked by Andrew, California Thu Jul 31, 2008

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Tisza Major-Posner’s answer
BEST ANSWER
Hi Andrew,

I think the better question is "What kind of a house do you want"? If your credit is in as good a place as your income appears to be then your options are far less limited and you are in what some would call an enviable position.

I am guessing that you are wanting an idea of your purchasing power and that question is truly best answered by a lender. I can help you find the property that fits your needs and your ability to purchase but I rely on my client's lender to help determine what the value we are working with should be.

In West LA there are cute bungalows built in the 20's and 30's, great condos and some more sprawling properties, it really just depends on which part of the city you want to be in. If you want to be in WeHo proper, (closer to Santa Monica Boulevard, past La Cienega and heading toward the beach) there are more multi-family homes in that area than single family ones. That doesn't mean that there are not some great houses nestled in there, but the vibe of the area tends to be more social.

If you haven't already spoken with a lender, then I would suggest that this is probably one of the first places you should start. Speak with a couple different folks to see who you "click" with and who has the best product to service your needs.

You should also be looking at meeting with a couple different Realtors to see who you would like to work with. Your opportunity to purchase, especially because of the financial position you are in, has truly never been better in recent years.

If you have any additional questions, or if I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Take care and have a great day!

Tisza Major-Posner, Realtor, IVPG Realty (213) 392-4084 or (909) 837-8922
Web Reference: http://Route66Living.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 31, 2008
You have lots of options, but in this market you want to make a good decision. Let me know of more of your interests and we can go from there.....

Since 1988 I have been in real estate. I am the broker and owner of Centuryside Real Estate Inc. I am also a State Licensed Real Estate Appraiser and expert witness for Attorneys in court property evaluation cases. I represent you directly, not a part time real estate person or individual who just decided to get a real estate license to fill in the time while performing other home activities.

David Krecker, BSBA, SRA, MRA
Centuryside Real Estate Inc.
David Krecker
Broker/Owner/State License Appraiser
Office 562-690-6987
Fax: 562-690-7337
Serving the areas of Orange County, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino, and Riverside.

Email: dave@centuryside.com
Website: http://www.centuryside.com

Oh, By The Way....if you know of someone thinking of buying or selling a home or investing in Real Estate, who would appreciate the kind of service I offer, I'd love to help them. So, when you think of these people, just give me a call or email me with their name and number. I'll be happy to follow up and tend to their Real Estate needs.
Web Reference: http://www.centuryside.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 31, 2008
Andrew
My recommendation is for you to do a couple of things:
Talk with a lender about different scenarios.
Also, talk with a Realtor about your options:
Depending on your short and long term goals I recommend:
1. If this is your first home and you are currently renting, consider purchasing a duplex or a triplex. The principles of appreciation and leveraging might surprise you if you are unfamiliar with them. Imagine buying your first home in a buyer's market, living in it for five years, then when it's time to move on retain the property and the tenants pay the mortgage!

2. Discuss the after tax implications with your CPA - that is probably one of the reasons you are looking at buying, right? Run the scenarios of owning a single family home versus an income property.

3, If you are looking at a single family home, it may be the right now you do not have children and a small home will do fine. However, some very good advice we received from our first Realtor when we purchased our first home...the most popular style of home is a three bedroom two bath.

The dilemma most first time buyers have is:
Do I buy a smaller home in a nicer area, or a larger home in an area that perhaps is not so nice (and it's all relative.)

Good l uck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 31, 2008
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
MVP'08
Contact
It all depends on your price range and the specific sub market you are targeting in WEST LA. When you speak to a lender to get pre-approval they will require a lot more information than a good down payment and solid income. They will want to know your income to debt ratios and your credit score for starters. Also, a lender will require that you have a good chunk (ie: 6 months) of saving to be kept in reserves. Once you get pre approved you will be in a strong position to target specific neighborhoods. If your target price range is under $1m you'll have the most options in West LA, Mar Vista, Culver City, Venice, lower Westwood, Rancho Park, Santa Monica Sunset Park, etc . If you qualify for $1.5m you'll have options in all of the above plus Brentwood, Westwood, Santa Monica, Cheviot Hills, Pacific Palisades, etc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 5, 2009
I work extensively in the West Los Angeles area and am a long time business owner and resident here.
Prices vary, as others have told you and much depends upon where you want to live. In Culver City, the average home is priced in the 700-800 Thousand Dollar range, but they can go higher. To give you an example..a home priced at 750,000 will have a monthly mortgage payment of approx.$3,792.41 that is with a 20% downpayment and the current interest rate of 6.5% (30 year fixed loan). Interest rates change weekly however so that is just a rough estimate.
We do have loan officers in our office who will give you an exact figure if you are interested.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 1, 2009
Hey Andrew,

With 500k down you need to figure out how much of a payment you are comfortable with. I work work with a lender at Chase in Santa Monica that can come up with some payment scenereos. Once you determine what payment you are comfortable with than you can determine your price range. If you know what price range you are looking at, that would help me best answer your question. We need to know what you can afford and what your minimum requirements are for size, style and condition. If you like you can shoot me an email with that info and that way I can figure out what you can afford. Also, what towns on the Westside do you like best?

Best,

Monique Carrabba
The Reavis Group
Keller Williams Wilshire
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 1, 2008
Thank you for your answers! I'll talk to a lender about this. Because of my job I have to travel a lot these days and won't be able to start looking for my home before the end of 2009 but as this is my first home purchase I want to do the proper research and come prepared. The advice you have given me is great. I've read in the papers that the prices could continue to fall for another year or two, but I guess they could also go up. It seems SoCal is more stable than the rest of the market, though. I suppose at one point you just have to dive head first and hope for the best, right? It's a scary thought. So many questions. What if, what if, what if!?! It's great to see so many helpful people here. Thanks a lot for taking time to answer me. I'm looking forward to maybe working with one of you come 2009!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 1, 2008
You have a ton of options when it comes to what you can get in this crazy market, but follow the advice of some of the other agents below and talk to a Lender to get a figure, what you can afford today could change in a week. West LA has some great properties for sale in the 750,000 - 1,250,000 range. It all depends on your needs. Is it just you, are you married, Kids etc... beds baths Sq ft . What ever your needs are let a lender tell you what you can't or can qualify for. Once you have a dollar figure you a comfortable with then you can go after the right house. If you would like a referal to a few great lenders that will give you solid advice and info feel free to email me for their contact info, no hassle....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 31, 2008
Wow Andrew, This is excellent. Whatever you really want.I would recommend you meet and tlk to a reputable lender who can review many different optins for you. If yiu do not have one I can refer you to an excellent one. Then I would Hire a realtor that can help you find and negotiate the very best property out there. There a lot of great properties in West LA and surrounding cities, If you drop me an e mail to michael-barron@sbcglobal.net with your preferences and requirements I will send you all the matching properties so you can get a feel for the inventory.
If you need a really professional, honest, hard working agent then please let me know. I know of some really great homes that are not even in the market in this area

Hope this Helps
Michael Barron
Realtor/MBA
First Team Estates
(714) 552-6817
michael-barron@sbcglobal.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 31, 2008
Andrew--you can search the So Cal Mls for free. PLease visit my website: http://reolicensedspecialist.com. If you see one you like please call and I will do futher investigating, and set up a showing. Signed up to receive daily or weekly updates--you will be one of the first to see a listing---sometimes even beofe some Realtors! To get a free list on Bank Owned properties email--as you can't get one just of Bank Own properities unless I set up a account for you. Let me know!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 31, 2008
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