You are ready to buy a home in Los Angeles. You have your loan pre-approval, check. You have your downpayment, check. You have chosen your Realtor®, check. Your next step is to find that ideal home.
Your Realtor® will have established what kind of home you are looking for and the location and will have put your criteria into a Multiple Listing (MLS) search. They will then send you those listings which closest match your criteria. After your choose which homes you are interested in your Realtor® will set up times for you to visit the homes together. What should you look for during your tour?
It is a good idea to decide on the things that are most important to you in a home. Things you cannot live with or without. Here are some ideas:
- How do you feel when you first see the home and step inside? There may be things that bother you which you would be able to fix, so take that under consideration, but if there is no fix you are going to be living with that feeling every day.
- There are those who cannot live in a dark place. Light can make up for a lot of defects and generally you are not going to be able to remedy a dark home. Make sure there is enough light.
- The layout of the home is also generally something you may not be able to change. So how does the flow of the home affect you?
- Are there enough bedrooms and bathrooms? Sometimes because of price restrictions families try and make do with a two-bedroom home when they really need three or more. If there is no possibility of adding on think carefully about living long-term with your kids having to share a room. And in the case of bathrooms you may not want guests using yours so a guest bathroom might be a necessity.
- Do you really want a home with stairs? If you are more mature you really need to think about having to navigate stairs as you age, especially outside stairs when you have to bring in your groceries.
- There is a tremendous amount of noise level in Los Angeles, and if you are noise sensitive check out the home at different times of the day to make sure this is not going to be a problem. Ask questions about early morning garbage collection , noisy neighbors, etc.
- Check out the parking. Can you live with tandem parking (one car behind the other)? This is going to become a problem when each person has a different schedule. You may be O.K. with uncovered parking now, but if you decide to get a new car do you want to keep it outside?
- Closet and storage space is another consideration. Again, if you cannot add on are you going to be able to live with the amount available?
If you do decide to make an offer on the home you will have a chance to do your due diligence by having inspections and reviewing all information pertaining to the property such as condo rules and financials. If there is anything that cannot be remedied at that point and which you cannot live with you will be able to walk away from the contract with no penalties. But before you go through the inspection period be sure that this a home worth pursuing.
Buying a home is an emotional process but you should go into finding the right place for you with your eyes wide open. If you intend to live in your home long-term make sure it is the right one to do that in.
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