My first advice would be to get a Realtor to assist you with the offer price. If the price was reduced over $100k, it would be pretty hard to offend the owner since it obvious it's not moving too fast. If its a possible short sale, the decision is up to the bank and the owner has no say in what price to accept anyway. I would love to evaluate the property in more detail and assist you.
Mar Vista is a great place to live and has about a 20 minute or less commute to Century City. There are many condos available as well as homes built anywhere from the 1920's to newly renovated. Property taxes are about 1.25%. As far as one of the other responses made earlier. the property taxes are billed separately by the City of Los Angeles and not through your dues. Home owners dues are usually performed through a property management company that collects fees from each homeowner monthly and pays the bills on behalf of all the owners. Money should always be set aside in reserves for large repairs such as new roofing, termites etc.... more