Is now a good time to buy again?

Asked by Brian Tran, Los Angeles, CA Thu May 31, 2012

I've been waiting and waiting for the right moment, this looks like now but I'm still unsure if I should wait another year. Also, which has more resale value 2 or 3 bedroom? Are condos only good for rental income?

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Ann-Marie Vi…, Agent, Pasadena, CA
Thu May 31, 2012
Your note sounds like you might be a first time buyer. And it sounds like you have identified an area that you like or have been watching the values and the units. It is a great time to buy when you are ready and you identify a good location with strong values.

SInce 91101 is a Pasadena zip code and is associated with the condominium area south of Colorado Boulevard, you are looking in a good area to start with for a first time investment. My office is actually in the 91101 zip code across from the Paseo Colorado at the corner of Marengo.

The increased number of bedrooms certainly has advantages, however, if all you can afford is a one bedroom, just try and find the best one bedroom available. A one bedroom sells just like a 2 or 3 bedroom. In a resale, there are always people looking for the cheapest thing possible, so a one bedroom would work most often with that criteria. However, more people need a 2 bedroom for family or office or guests, so that is a better option if you have the funds for more than 1 bedroom.

As far as renting, condos and houses and apartments are all good for investment income, there is always a market for a good unit in a good area.

Just remember that with a condominium, you have the monthly Home Owners Association dues. You need to factor that into your monthly costs. They vary depending on the building association and the amenities that the building offers. I own houses, units and condos, all as rentals, so I actually have personal experience myself, not just from buying and selling for my clients.

If you would like further assistance, I can be reached at 626-319-0585.

I hope to hear from you, Ann-Marie Villicana
Dilbeck Estates
225 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91101
2 votes
, ,
Thu May 31, 2012

Thank you for clarifying that you are a first time home buyer in the United States. There are many, many things to consider as to whether is a good time to buy now...or to wait. The answer to that question remains largely in your short and long term goals, and in your financial capacity.

The fact is that we are currently in a "perfect storm" of historically low housing pricing and historically low rates. However, the convergence of those two facts may, or may not, be in alignment with your goals and/or financial ability.

The fact is that asking your question of people who are completely passionate about the real estate industry MAY bring you some pretty biased answers. :-)!!! However, most professionals are here to educate and inform...once you have the answers to all of your questions, you are better prepared to know which path is best for you.

I suggest you talk with a mortgage professional to determine what you CAN do...then discuss the facts with your financial advisors, etc....then see if the opportunities in the market meet your goals and abilities. Hope this helps! Best to you!
1 vote
Tim Page, , 99037
Thu May 31, 2012
The best time to buy is when interest rates are affordable and there is lots to choose from. Yes.

The best time to buy is when you are financially able to afford a home.

You can still make a mistake when you buy. Make sure you get your own home appraised or understand how to read the appraisal or you may pay more than your market is willing to pay.

I wish that the appraisal was completed before you make the offer, but that is not the case, because the bank makes you pay for the appraisal and they hold control of the appraisal. The next best thing is to make sure your Realtor is looking out for you and make sure you review other sales in the area before you make an offer.

For resale value, three bedrooms all located on one level is most desirable in most cases,but this will depend on your market area.

Manufactured homes and condos are the first to decline in value in many cases when everything else being equal. Sometimes condos can't be rented because of the agreement that you sign before you buy.
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Are you saying that there are clauses that prohibit the owner from renting out to tenants?
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Gretchen Pal…, Agent, Pasadena, CA
Thu May 31, 2012
If you wait any longer you will miss this fantastic once in a life time moment to buy!!!!!
Many years from now people are going to talk about the deals the got from buying now.
Run to your lender to be qualified!!!!

More bedrooms are always better for resale.

Condos are good if it fits your needs but in a down market they are the first to fall in price.
If you want to make money in income properties buy 2 to 4 units.
Gretchen Palmer
1 vote
Chris Waybri…, Agent, Pasadena, CA
Thu May 31, 2012
No one can predict the future. What you should know, however, is that at this point in our history prices have been reduced and interest rates are historically low. These two statistics alone should be enough motivation to buy.
There are all sorts of things you need to take into consideration with regards to resale. You probably would have more buyers looking for 3 bedrooms but if that 3 bedroom is in a less desireable location that a 2 bedroom you may do better with a 2 bedroom.
If you know you can rent the property with ease then that would probably translate into being a good purchase whether you intend to reside there or lease it out.
1 vote
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Thu May 31, 2012
Brian I can tell you right now prices are low and interest rates are still low. Everyone agrees it is just a matter of time that int rates will rise. The difference now to a year back is there is less homes for sale than there was a year ago but still a good condition. We are switching form a buyers market to a sellers market here in NH. Most of the US is seeing similar trends, in a year there could be less choices, higher asking prices and higher rates. Choosing a good buyer agent who can explain what is happening in your market is key. good luck with your purchase wither now or in a year,.
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1 vote
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Wed Jun 6, 2012
Overall the jury is still out on that question and a lot depends on what your motives are. Are you looking for something to buy and hold and occupy long term? Or are you looking to turn and burn aka. "Fix and Flip"?.

Either one is fine, however, the latter is recommended for the more sophisticated investor. Unless you've got some good experience in investing or a wad of cash sitting on the sidelines looking for a place to park I'd be wary of the turn and burn venue. There's a lot of competition in that arena.

If you do want to invest as opposed to buy/hold/occupy or rent/lease I'd recommend getting involved with an experienced and sophisticated investment group. Just my opinion.
0 votes
The Emamian…, Agent, Pasadena, CA
Fri Jun 1, 2012
Hi Brian,

You are receiving some very sound advice. The varying news reports can certainly make the decision a confusing one. We are seeing a modest increase in home prices here but interest rates are still very favorable if you intend to get a mortgage. If you intend to pay cash, you may have a little more bargaining power.

You mentioned that you are looking at college students as possible tenants and Pasadena has plenty of those with Pasadena City College, The Art Center and Cal Tech. It is important to keep in mind however, that not all college students are responsible and it is important for you to screen applicants carefully and set forth ground rules as to parties and entertaining so as to avoid costly repairs. There are several condo developments in the Pasadena area in close proximity to these schools. As others have mentioned, you need to factor in costs for the homeowners dues. That being said, young people enjoy amenities such as swimming pools and may be willing to pay more rent for their enjoyment. I would be happy to assist you further, if you wish. Please feel free to contact me at Good luck! Jan
0 votes
Brian Tran, Home Buyer, Los Angeles, CA
Thu May 31, 2012
Thank you all. I'm convinced that it's either this or next year is the right time. I'm a first buyer in the US (I have a property in Europe) so I'm green more or less in US property buying experience. I am looking for a property to invest as a rental income or at least have the renter pays off itself with a minimum. I'm looking at college students as a target for my investment. Any advice in this area? Thanks again.
0 votes
If you want students, the 91101 zip code has a lot of them to attract. Art Center College of Design, Caltech, PCC are just a few of the close schools to select from for tenants. You just need to screen them and if they are not working, then you get their parents to sign as guarantors. Ann-Marie Villicana 626-319-0585, Dilbeck Estates, 225 E. COlorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91101
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