I'd like to know if it's a good time to buy

Asked by Joanna Cottrell, 90401 Fri Jul 13, 2007

this is a ground up construction, architectural, top of the line construction, materials, applicances, etc. just reduced from 2.5M - 2M

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Cecil Duarte- Broker,ABR, CRS’s answer
Cecil Duarte-…, , Phoenix and all surrounding Cities
Fri Jul 13, 2007
It truly depends on the area you are considering since lot of areas have experienced a reduction in value based on the rapid appreciation and boom of 2003-2004 and early parts of 2005. Need to analyze the recent sales and also what other properties are listed for since this recently has been a driving force for a lot of buyers to determine what they will offer based on competition and not on past history of recorded sales. As a buyer- the ball and momentum has come to you and you are in the drivers seat but be aware of falling prices since it still appears that the bottom has not been hit on recent market value drops on a lot of area of the country. Good luck
Web Reference:  http://www.cecilduarte.com
0 votes
Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Sun Apr 20, 2008
Most sellers are motivated at this time and willing to negotiate. Is the home worth the asking price?
You need a good agent to assist you. We are currently in a buyer's market so yes, if you love the house, and the price is right it is a good time for you!
Web Reference:  http://www.doreneslavitz.com
2 votes
Hi, , Virginia
Fri Mar 14, 2008
Think about buying in 2010. But, if you have the kind of money, where a half million doesn't make much difference, you're probably ok. Maybe read the newspaper internet headlines, see whats happening with the economy, then decide. In my opinion, housing prices will drop much more.
1 vote
J Lo, Home Buyer, California Glory, Brentwood, CA
Fri Jul 13, 2007
The crystal ball says....

Yup - thats what I thought. You may be in a great market: Venice California can't be a bad investment - HOWEVER!! Do your homework, get an agent. Do a comparative analysis. How long are you planning on occupying this unit. Are you able to make the payments - consistently without pain in the pocketbook syndrome?

Take time - unless the market returns to the "waiting lists" of the past you have time to investigate all angles.

Good luck!
1 vote
Kim Chitwood, Agent, Fayetteville, GA
Fri Jul 13, 2007
You might want to order an appraisal if you aren't using an agent.
ps. Hey Cecil, where is your head? :)
1 vote
Endre Barath, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Sat Dec 17, 2011
Joanna, great question, it is what I call a "timeless" question. Many first time buyers are asking this question. Seasoned buyers, investors know the answer. Interest rates are at a 60 year low, prices are at 2003 levels. The answer is clear. The reality is people have a "heard mentality" they generally buy when "everyone else does" the savvy buyers buy when the opportunity is there. The real question is why do you want to buy? If you can answer that then everything else falls in place. My advice is you should buy so you get rid of your "Landlors" and have a place that is yours and insures that your "cost of living" (what was your rent) remains a constant not something that is open to annual increases.
If you want more advice feel free to reach out to me at homes@endrebarath. com or call me on my mobile at 310.486.1002. Warm regards, Endre
Web Reference:  http://www.endrebarath.com
0 votes
Andrew Jones, Agent, Venice Beach, CA
Fri Jul 22, 2011
Hi Joanna,

Even when you have all the facts, evaluating homes is a little like reading tea leaves. I do have a few observations about properties in general and Venice in particular that you may find helpful.

Buying a brand new home can be a little like buying a new car. The sellers usually put a high value on it since they want to cover their construction and carrying costs... and make a profit. Unfortunately the market has little room for these considerations and resale may be a very different story.

A lot of the new homes in Venice are built on small lots of 3000 square feet or less. The average lot size for much of Venice is probably closer to 5000 s.f.. Remember, the name of the game is 'real estate'... not 'house.'

Except for some listings on or very near the beach, most of the homes in Venice can be bought for under $2.5M, usually for substantially less. The exceptions to this are the Canals and some homes around Abbot Kinney and the in the Walk Streets. I can understand this kind of valuation for some Canal homes because the area is unique in Los Angeles and quite close to the beach. I can't say the same for the areas around Abbot Kinney which are simply trendy and the Walk Streets, which are very nice, but just plain over-valued in my opinion. The lots tend to be smaller and the area is over a mile from the beach. I think that the main reason that the Walk Streets command higher prices is that, like the Canals, they were already 'gentrified' before the startling escalation of prices in Venice during the recent real estate boom.

On the subject of 'is this a good time to buy in Venice,' my answer is a qualified 'yes.' Much of Venice enjoyed a close to six-fold increase in prices since the late 90's because prices were so much lower here than in any of L.A.'s other beach cities which were already commanding significant coastal premiums.

Because prices were still lower in Venice than the surrounding areas in the first year or two of the housing market meltdown it was surprisingly resistant to devaluation while prices were declining in Santa Monica and particularly in Marina del Rey. Sales were still made with more frequency than the surrounding areas and prices only dropped around 10% to 15%.

Prices in Venice have readjusted downward another 20% or so since the beginning of last year (on fairly strong sales totals) and though further devaluation is possible, this is still the least expensive beach property available in Los Angeles.

Please feel free to contact me if you'd like a more specific analysis of the house that you mentioned here. You'll also find all the homes currently listed for sale on my website.
0 votes
Sri Kesava, Agent, Venice, CA
Fri Jun 17, 2011
In 2007 I was telling highly leveraged clients to sell - and some thought I was mad. In 2011 I'm telling clients to buy - and from some of the comments here, apparently I'm still mad :) I'm not talking of flipping - though I do think there are bargains to be had for all-cash buyers of distressed properties. In general, I'm talking buy and hold. We could be at the bottom, we might not be - people only know that with a decade's hindsight. What I do know is that:

When it's cheaper to buy than rent... buy. When interest rates are almost negligible... borrow.

Warren Buffett says market prices "will move higher, perhaps substantially so, well before either sentiment or the economy turns up," and warned: "if you wait for the robins, Spring will be over." Check out this link dated March 16th 2011 for more Buffett nuggets of gold on whether it's time to buy real estate:


A good, and possibly too boring for "speculators," plan is to: buy low (relative to the past ten years), get a fixed mortgage with affordable payments and be in a position to hold should that prove necessary.

I bought my first home in NYC in '94 at the end of the last crash... an 800 sqft 1 bedroom co-op in a gorgeous historic building with 24hr concierge for $50k. YES $50k. Today it's worth over $600k even in this recession. Sadly when prices drop, they never drop back to past historic lows. At least I haven't seen it. And there are certain places that just like NYC, in our case Venice, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Hollywood Hills etc... these place will ALWAYS be comparatively sheltered markets. They can't be duplicated.

Good luck whatever you decide.
0 votes
David Chiles, Other Pro, Los Angeles, CA
Wed Oct 6, 2010
Thank you for your question about market conditions. I recommend making an offer based on what you feel the property is worth given current market conditions because the market decides. Consumer confidence is low despite recent wall street gains therefore, it appears the real estate market will continue to go down due to low consumer confidence.
0 votes
JD Songstad, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Tue Sep 28, 2010
Hard for me to know unless I know the address and more details. New construction is almost always a great investment (expecially at the right price).
Web Reference:  http://MrWestside.com
0 votes
Zack, , Westchester County, NY
Fri Mar 14, 2008
If they just dropped the property 20% its obvious that your market is in trouble, especially on the high end. If you plan to live in the place for a long time, maybe it could be right for you to buy but expect to lose probably another 20% on your house in the next 2-4 years, then in probalby 7, be back to where you bought it in real terms, maybe longer.
0 votes
Michelle Car…, Agent, Coppertino, AL
Fri Jul 13, 2007
Others have given good suggestions (checking comps, getting an appraisal).

As far as a decision,I always advise clients to pray to find out if this is the right home for their family. A couple of questions to ask yourself: 1) Is this what you've wanted/dreamed of? 2) Is it within your budget? 3) How likely is it a similar opportunity will come along like this again? 4) Is there anything else your "gut" is telling you about this place/opportunity?
A 20% price reduction is very significant, at all price points. Do check out the builder, construction co., etc. thru BBB and CA Contractor's Licensing Board.

As far as timing, interest rates are low, and if the property meets your personal criteria above, the question is are you more afraid you'll get it or not get it? If you miss out, will you always compare the following homes to this one?
0 votes
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