Do not give up no matter what others say. I am 22 and I am so glad to have accomplished this. I have co-workers that make more than me but are renting with roomates because they refuse to leave "West L.A." well I am perfectly happy here in North Hills.!!
Since living here I would say to check out Northridge, Van Nuys, North Hills, Mission Hills, San Fernando, Sylmar and even some parts of Panorama City and Pacoima. Don't forget to look for townhouses and PUDS. Here is an example of one:
Townhouse - http://www.redfin.com/CA/North-Hills/9650-Sepulveda-Blvd-913
PUD - These are GORGEOUS I wanted in this complex but at the time there was none in our price range that weren't short sales. look for these http://www.redfin.com/CA/Sylmar/13463-Twin-Palms-Ln-91342/ho
This was our other favorite complex.. Look for others with this same address. We went inside the gated community and let me tell you - it was GORGEOUS. http://www.redfin.com/CA/Sylmar/15232-Foothill-Blvd-91342/un
I can reccomend you my agent I used Paris 911 specifically the real estate agent Jamie. Contact Connor McIvor he was always very honest and very helpful.
Your best option is find an agent that will have listings in your area - it's easier to get a listing when it's your agent's own listing. Don't give up..!!! I have friends that needed a VA home in South Central as well for under 200k and they found it as well after loosing about 20 homes. It just takes time.
I have been looking since before the bubble began and priced me out. Now, I am almost ready to buy. If the right price came along I would be.
Instead, be smart. You may find that you can not buy anything now. Maybe it will be 2 or 3 years before you can. Instead of complaining about it make the best use of that time. Save every penny you can. You may be amazed at how quickly money can add up over a short time. If you could save $500 a month in one year you would have saved $6,000. In 3 years it would be $18,000. That is a nice chunk of change. Even at $200 a month it is $2,400 a year and $7,200 after 3 years. Still not a bad addition to your pocketbook. Learn all you can about the buying process. Learn all about the contingencies and what you should and should not include in a contract to protect you, or to make it more likely an offer will be accepted.
Be honest, does renting or buying make more sense for you economically? Look below and figure it out.
It makes more sense to buy? GREAT!!! Look below for some ideas on what to do while you are trying to buy a house.
Below, I have a list of things that could be a concern with any property. Look at it and be prepared.
You might want to try another area if you cannot find anything in your price range. I'm sure your agents are working very hard to try to find a property in your range. Your other option is to consider a condo or townhouse that might be closer to your budget.
Best of Luck to you!
Find an agent and stick with him/her. If you do change, interview several different agents before making a choice. Make sure he/she understands what you want and what your limitations are. Make sure he/she understands your style/manner of looking for properties.
Are you changing agents, or are they dropping you? Figure out what the problem is.
Remember, too, that the homes on the MLS are limited. If there are only a few, not in good condition, in your price range, then that's the way it is. Changing an agent isn't going to make more homes appear on the MLS. It just won't.
What you need is an agent who'll take some time with you and explain your options. As you correctly note, maybe the answer is to look in different areas. Or, as is suggested below, sometimes homes that appear in poor condition don't need that much in the way of rehab. Example, there's a community near where I live. Homes sell for about $630,000. There's a foreclosure on the market for $470,000. It needs some work on the inside--paint, new kitchen cabinets, some new flooring, etc. But it would be fully liveable with $15,000-$20,000 of repairs/rehabs. Someone could buy it, put $20,000 into it, and end up with a house for $140,000 less than the houses on the same block. But buyers are afraid of doing it. The same lesson, on a smaller scale, might work for you.
Along those lines, look into a 203k loan. It's an FHA loan that includes rehab costs in it. That way, you might be able to buy a home in poor condition and have the fix-up money included in your mortgage. Ask your Realtor about that option.
Another possibility is to do a lease-option or lease-purchase on a property. That'll open your prospects up to homes that might be on the market as rentals, so you're not competing against so many other potential buyers. Again, ask your Realtor about that.
So, don't give up. But if you've been doing something that hasn't been working (like changing agents in order to try to find homes that apparently aren't on the MLS), then change what you've been doing. Look elsewhere. Or look at homes that need some fix-up. Or look at potential lease-options and lease-purchases.
Hope that helps.
It's very hard and competitive. I do believe you need to be more flexible and expand your search to more areas. Don't get discouraged and you will eventually get one offer accepted. I don't know what type of loan you are doing, but if you are an FHA buyer it's even harder. If I can be of any help, here is my contact information.
Dilbeck Real Estate
Don't give up. You stick with one agent. In order to be competitive you should remain with the one that is doing the best job for you. It's not the agent but probably the price point your in which is very competitive.
6 months is nothing.
The Carrabba Group
Keller Williams Hollywood Hills
There is a tremendous amount of competition in the Valley for places in the sub-$300,000 range. Unfortunately, if you are an FHA buyer then the majority of lenders selling foreclosed property will look at that type of loan unfavorable, and give precedence to all-cash buyers and buyers with conventional loans with more money down. You just have to be patient. I have been working with on FHA buyer who has written 7 offers since August of 2009 without even getting a single counter-offer, sometimes offering as much as $30,000 OVER the list price. But we kept at it & they just got an offer accepted and are going into escrow today.
As far as the quality of places, many of the houses in that price range will not be in the greatest condition. Go into it with an open mind & eye and there are many things you can do to fix up places - this even gives you the chance to add your own personal touch to the remodeling.
Don't give up - it is likely not your agents fault, as long as they are communicating with you..
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Web Reference: http://www.jbknowsthevalley.com
If you are searching in a particular area can't locate a home you like best search in another area.
Many home buyers anticipate the perfect home have you consider locate a home in area you like, and customize the interior to your specifications? Amazing what a can of paint , home furnishings can do for a home, lighting, additional accessories.