I recently wrote a post about getting creative when buying a Los Angeles home. However, as creative as you may get, there are some things that you should really not compromise on.
- School District
You may have children, in which case a good school district is going to be important to you. But even if you don’t it is good to think ahead. Buying a home in a good school district is going to help the resale value of your home if and when you decide to sell. Do your research on the best districts and schools in those districts. You can check out schools on Great Schools. Another site where you can find which school the home you are interested in covers is Resident School Identifier.
- Floor Plan
This may not be too much of a problem if you are buying a house, but if you are buying a condo then there is not much you are going to be able to do about the existing floor plan. If you need three bedrooms and there are only two, short of turning the dining area, if there is one, into a bedroom you are stuck. The same goes for bathrooms. And if you can find a way to change the floor plan there may be building restrictions. Also you may be O.K. with things now but you need to make sure you plan for the future. Maybe you will be having children or another child.
I had mentioned in my previous post that you may want a top floor unit in a condo building so you don’t have to hear people above you leading their daily lives, and that maybe you can check to see how the insulation is as you may not be able to hear them. But if you are not sure and are sensitive to noise you had better make sure neighbors are not an issue for you. If you are buying a house, then check out the neighborhood. How well kept are the homes near? Homes around you will affect your resale value either up or down. Do you hear any noises like a constantly barking dog or freeway noise? Does the street have heavy traffic? This will all drive you nuts if you are sensitive to noise.
Do not be lulled into the fact that you qualify for a certain loan amount and maximize your monthly payments. The price of the home is only one part of your monthly payments which include principle, interest, taxes, and insurance (PITI), and you need to be prepared for the unforeseen such as maintenance and repairs. You want to enjoy your home and not become a slave to it.
You may not be able to afford a home near your work, but be honest with yourself about how long a commute you are willing to endure with the Los Angeles traffic. If you have flexible hours then this may not be a problem, but rush hour in L.A. is no fun.
Buying a new home is an exciting proposition but make sure you do your homework and weigh all the factors before buying. If you compromise too much you are not going to enjoy the experience of home ownership.
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