I would like to go to Los Angeles to look at the property befor I buy. Who do I talk to?

Asked by Estella Hurt, 40218 Tue Feb 5, 2008

I live in Kentucky. I am interested in buying in L.A.

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Monique & Joe…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Tue Mar 18, 2008
Hello Estella,

What a great time to be a buyer. First think first. Where in Los Angeles are you considering? I am an LA Native and we know the area quite well. Feel free to check out our website. You can also search the MLS on our site too.


3 votes
Newportfiji, , Long Beach, CA
Thu Mar 20, 2008
Talk to your accountant and ask if you will be OK if prices drop 25% and you have to sell. I would suggest you strongly consider alternatives before buying in LA in this real estate bubble.

Although the realtors on this site will attack me for the following comment, in my opinion this would be a terrible time to buy, unless you must buy now (because of a 1031 exchange, for example). Inventory has increased, sales transaction volume has slowed dramatically, lending standards have tightened (pulling thousands of non-qualified buyers from the market), notices of defaults and foreclosures are increasing substantially, the economy is slowing (looking more and more like a recession) and literally thousands of high paying mortgage and other real estate related jobs have been lost in Southern California over the past year. All of these things will put downward pressure on pricing for some time to come.

The reality is that prices will almost certainly be lower next year, likely lower in 2009 and possibly even lower in 2010. Real estate cycles take many years to play out and we are at the very beginning of a down cycle. I disagree with many realtors who say that it does not matter what price you pay if you are looking to hold on for the property for 5 to 10 to 15 years. Let's say you buy now for $1,000,000 and prices drop 20% (actually, Forbes in a recent article estimated a 26% anticipated decrease from June '07 prices by 2010 for Los Angeles and Orange counties) over the next couple of years. You would have lost $200K in future equity by having not waited. Additionally, you would have to service the $200K by paying property taxes and interest on the $200K. Unlike a stock, when you buy at the wrong time, you need to service your hasty decision through increased property taxes and interest.

I have an MA in Economics from USC and have been in the real estate business for 15 years. In my opinion, this real estate bubble will take many years to play out. The previous down cycle was from 1990-1996 and values dropped approximately 20 - 25% in nominal pricing (40 - 45% in real numbers when factoring inflation). The 82 -85 down cycle was a bit shorter. However, that was a period of higher inflation which masked much of the decrease in real prices.

With cash in hand, time is your ally. Unlike stocks which are very subject to dramatic short term fluctuations, real estate is illiquid and cycles move slowly. If you are paying attention, you likely will not miss the change as prices tend to remain flat for an extended period flowing stability in the home market. Clues will be increasing transaction volume and a closer cost ratio in comparing the costs of renting versus owning. Simply stated, following a down cycle, people are generally more conservative in real estate purchases so prices will not likely rebound quickly.

Despite what the spin doctors at the NAR and realtors would like the public to believe – it is NOT always a good time to buy.

With that said, if you have sufficient assets, you may not care about whether your home decreases substantially in value and there are benefits from home ownership. But, in my opinion, there are ample rental opportunities to wait out the deflating real estate bubble.

Best of luck, and if you want an objective opinion, don't waste your time listening to cheerleading realtors, who have a self interest in being overly optimistic about the real estate market.

2 votes
L.A. Real Es…, , Los Angeles, CA
Wed Feb 6, 2008
Hi Estella,
Let me start by telling you what a great place Los Angeles is! Not only as a place to possibly live, but also as a place to invest. And now is a great time to take advantage of the "buyer's Market" condition. We are two agents who serve the greater Los Angeles area. I am a Native Angeleno and know the city inside and out. Our office, The LA Real Estate Group, helps with various parts of real estate involved such as appraisals, consulting, sales, property managment, and investment analysis. (In case you wanted to stay or return to Kentucky but still wanted to keep your property here in Los Angeles). WE offer a number of services to our clients rather than just selling/buying. We offer customized searches and filter out your wants and needs before you actually have to come out to see a property. We use the latest technology to keep you up to date with everything you need to know as well as just want to know. Feel free to give us a call with any questions or concerns you may have, we would love to help. We can send you a list of different popular Los Angeles neighborhoods along with a description of each and the average cost per square foot. Good Luck! Lou
LA Real Estate Group 323-704-7129
2 votes
Dazelle Stee…, , 90292
Thu Mar 27, 2008
I feel your pain. I am from Chicago, and moved to California eight year ago via a company relocation, handled by a company that was NOT in California. You are wise to visit Los Angeles and look at properties before you buy. Not only will you get a real "feel" for the locations for which you are considering, but you you get a "360 perspective" at night and during the day that pictures on agents website cannot convey. Have fun shopping!
1 vote
Cameron Fedd…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Wed Mar 12, 2008
Estella, what areas are you looking at in LA, if you know that already? Are you coming for work? If so, where? Would you like condo or single family residence? Are you by yourself or do you have kids, etc.? I can send you some property to look at by e-mail if you like. cameron.fedderman@era.com
1 vote
Ray Chen & C…, Agent, City of Industry, CA
Sun Mar 9, 2008
Hi Estella,
1.go to realtor.com
2. type in the zip code of the city you want to move to
3. call up the realtors with listings or banner ads on this site.
4. ask them questions.
5. for market conditions you can check out http://www.dqnews.com/ZIPLAT.shtm
1 vote
Dot Chance, Agent, Burbank, CA
Thu Feb 7, 2008
Estella, as you can see there are many of us who are ready, willing and able to find you a new home in LA.

In determining which part of the city you want to live in you should first of all let your Realtor know what part of the city you will be working in, what kind of lifestyle are you planning to live in LA (surf, snow ski, clubs, acting, church, friends in the area). And, of course, the all-important question of what your budget is.

For the time being, you can do a free search at my website http://www.DotChance.com I also am using a new online service for my buyers to help them find exactly what they are looking for. If you email me I will be glad to let you know about it.
Web Reference:  http://www.DotChance.com
1 vote
Lourdrie McN…, Agent, Long Beach, CA
Thu Feb 7, 2008

Hi, first of all I would like to say, "Welcome to L.A.". Los Angeles is a very large area, which part of L.A. are you wanting to visit. If you are considering our lovely Long Beach coastal area and surrounding cities, as a realtor I can show you what is on the market , would love to hear from you. Enjoy your visit!
Web Reference:  http://www.loubandb.com
1 vote
Terra Bruns, Agent, Santa Clarita, CA
Wed Feb 6, 2008
I am in Los Angeles county, but a very nice part of LA county--it is Santa Clarita, and is about 35 miles north of LA proper. We have above national average income per capita, lower housing costs than LA proper, and MUCH less traffic!! Along with stellar schools, and shopping and dining second to none!! All of these items are very important factors to consider when looking to invest in real estate in a particular area, so please contact me so that I can tell you even more about this wonderful part of Los Angeles County!!
Web Reference:  http://www.TerraBruns.com
1 vote
Mary Dignan, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Wed Feb 6, 2008
Hi Estella,
Are you currently working with a realtor? You will need to find an agent in California to represent you in the purchase of the property. Please give me a call and perhaps we can work together!
1 vote
Ray Calnan, , Los Angeles, CA
Wed Feb 6, 2008
Hi Estella,

As the previous two responses show, the best option for you is to be in contact with a real estate agent prior to coming out here. Ideally you should have a phone conversation with a few agents to make sure that you “click” with them and do a little research on them to be sure that they are qualified to properly assist you.

Once you find one that you are comfortable with, then you should discuss your needs. Part of the discussion should include your financing needs. It is very important for you to speak to a lender to determine what price range you are qualified for and more importantly what monthly payment you are comfortable with. After the money issue is taken care of, your agent can provide you with listings via email so that you can start narrowing the list of potential homes and help refine the search. Lastly, it would be great to have your agent schedule lots of viewings over a weekend or whenever you ca come out for a few days. This way you can make a whole day of seeing homes that fit your needs and maybe an additional day to find out about the areas and what they have to offer you.

I hope this helps as a kind of outline to start you on your path. Please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions or need more information.

Good Luck.

1 vote
Tisza Major-…, Agent, Upland, CA
Tue Feb 5, 2008
Hi Estella,

Where in Los Angeles would you like to be? What kind of a home are you looking for? Where will you be working and how close to work would you like or need to be? What is your price range? Have you found some homes that are of interest to you already? Would you like to start previewing homes from the comfort of your computer while someone does the legwork to see if what they look like online is what they are like in real life?

I have lived and worked all over the greater Los Angeles area, from the ocean to the Valley and everywhere in between. I would love to speak with you to find out if what you need and what I can offer are in sync. I can also set you up to start having properties that meet your requirements emailed directly to you as soon as they hit the market.

Also, if you are thinking about pursuing a Short Sale or bank owned Foreclosure property, then I am DEFINATELY your girl :-)

To get an even better feel for who I am and how I work, please drop by my blog http://Route66Living.com.

Feel free to either drop me a line either through Trulia or to my personal email Tisza (at) HomesByTisza.com. Or, if you prefer, you are welcome to give me a call.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Take care,

Tisza Major-Posner, Realtor, Keller Williams (909) 837-8922 or (213) 392-4084
Web Reference:  http://Route66Living.com
1 vote
Dot Chance, Agent, Burbank, CA
Tue Feb 5, 2008
You've come to the right place. I work the Greater Los Angeles area, my office is in Studio City. What area and what price are you looking for? I would love to show you around.

Dot Chance
The Chance Team
Keller Williams Realty Studio City
Web Reference:  http://www.DotChance.com
1 vote
Hi, , Virginia
Thu Mar 27, 2008
maybe you should wait a bit
just watched a video
says that CA home prices are dropping $2,000 per week
wait a few weeks
save thousands


good luck

link to video below
0 votes
Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Sat Mar 8, 2008
You can log on to the MLS as a guest and see all listed properties in West Los Angeles. Go to http://www.themls.com. After you find some properties you are interested in, call a local realtor to get more specific information .
0 votes
John, , Los Angeles, CA
Sun Feb 10, 2008
Los Angeles is the most overpriced housing market in the country. Prices are falling like a rock and they have a long, long, long way to go...
Check out this graph of home prices. Do a snapshot of Los Angeles versus other housing markets and you will see that nowhere is as overpriced as LA.

Also, check out this article:

Prices will fall to get in line with Home Price vs. Rent and Median Home Price vs. Median income ratios. You will probably kick yourself if you buy a home anytime soon. Renting is your best bet right now, and wait to buy in 2011 or 2012 or even later.

If you bought a home for $300,000 and next year, you saw an identical home across the street selling for $240,000, would you kick youself? You are in a prime position to rent a great place and negotiate a great price for that rental. Save your money and buy in a few years.

Good luck,
0 votes
Julia Huntsm…, Agent, Long Beach, CA
Wed Feb 6, 2008
Hello Estella, Los Angeles is a very big place--when people refer to it these days it usually encompasses several different cities they would consider. If you're interested in South Bay/Long Beach areas, and you would like to find out how I can help you as a Realtor, as well as show you the best buys in the market, please feel free to contact me.
0 votes
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