When Buying a Home in Los Angeles it Helps to Make a List

You are buying a home in Los Angeles and have a vision of that property which is going to have everything you dreamed of.  Unfortunately, if you are buying a home in Los Angeles today, some of the features of that dream home are going to have to be set aside.  The competition right now is huge and if you are waiting to find the perfect home you are going to be left in the dust.

After you have determined  with your lender your absolute top price, the best thing to do is make a list.  What do you have to have, what you would like, and what can you live without.   Below is an example of some features to consider, with the items in red relating specifically to a condominium.

Features Must Have Would Like Flexible Cannot Live With
Location Specific area Specific area N/A N/A
# of Bedrooms Minimum 2 3 N/A 1 bedroom
# of Bathrooms Minimum 1.5 2 N/A 1 bathroom
Parking 2 car parking Covered Doesn’t have to be covered Street parking
Yard Outdoor space Larger outdoor space Doesn’t have to be huge Concrete yard
Style Move-in ready Modern Not modern if clean Fixer
View N/A View N/A Looking at a wall
N/A Gas Electric O.K. N/A
A/C Yes Central Wall O.K. No A/C
Fireplace Yes Wood Can be gas or wood-burning N/A
Pool Yes Yes N/A N/A
Flooring N/A Hardwood This can be changed N/A
Laundry Inside Yes N/A N/A
HOA Fees Below $X N/A  N/A N/A
Floor Higher floor Above 10th floor N/A  Not below 5th floor
Amenities Pool and gym Concierge and Valet O.K. if just security building No security
View Yes South facing Other direction O.K. Facing a building

So, if we look at the above list we can make the following conclusion:  (If location is set in stone, then we will assume that the area you are looking in is possible based on your budget.  If not, that will have to change.)

The minimum kind of house you would be looking for would be:

2 beds
1.5 baths
Private parking for 2 cars, doesn’t have to be covered
Some outdoor grassy space
Move-in ready, not necessarily upgraded
View not important as long as not blocked by another building
Some A/C, can be a wall unit
Pool (limiting)

Of course if location is flexible then you open up your options considerably.

If you compare this list with the items in the “Would Like” column then your options are opened up.  With the limited inventory at the moment, depending on your budget, the more flexible you are the more likely you are to find the property that you can make into your “dream home”.


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