Check with a lawyer. I'm not a lawyer, so this isn't legal advice. And I don't know California law at all.
Keep in mind that it's extremely difficult to buy a property using an LLC. It's easy to buy a property, then transfer it into an LLC, but it's very difficult to persuade any lender to lend to an LLC.
You might also consider using an Illinois-style land trust in the same way. It's in some ways more secure than an LLC.
What you might be able to do--and, again, this is not legal or accounting advice--is find someone willing to keep their equity intact for a while; they don't need their cash out immediately. The property owner (with your assistance and guidance) creates a land trust. He/she then transfers the property into his/her land trust. That's simple and painless.
Then, you purchase part or all of the land trust. If you don't have the money initially, you can purchase--or receive--say a 10% interest in the trust as a beneficiary. If you were living there, you'd be the resident beneficiary. If you were living there, there'd also be a possessory agreement, similar to a lease. And there'd be a separate agreement specifying under what conditions the property could be brought out of the trust so that you could purchase it. However, that may not be an issue; you can have the same/equivalent rights through control of a land trust that you can with ownership of the actual property.
Feel free to contact me for more information. Or check out the link below.