Blood Sweat and Tears: The Peril of Being a First Time Buyer in LA

Real Estate Agent with The Carrabba Group/Keller Williams BRE# 01708376

Blood Sweat and Tears: The Peril of Being a First Time Buyer in Los Angeles. How to find Your First Home that you can Afford.


Be open to the area that you choose.  Don’t be afraid to move into an area that is up and coming. It’s your first home and not your forever home.  As long as it’s near another area that is already up in value. How the “up and coming” works is it spreads from better neighborhoods to the surrounding not so nice areas. Think of Elysian Valley to Echo Park and Silverlak; Mid City and West Adams to Miracle Mile and Culver City. Leimert Park to View Park and Baldwin Hills.


Don’t be afraid of a fixer. A lot can be wrong with a house but it’s usually all fixable. Roof, electric, plumbing, foundation, sewer, windows, popcorn ceiling. If a home is “original” that possibly it can look great with cleaning and paint. Check at and www.apartmenttherapy for great ideas.  If it’s your first home chances are you are not burned out on doing things yourself so put on your vision goggles and pull out your paint brush! A fixer can mean huge savings and sweat equity! All you need is patience, vision and (of course) money (funds are becoming available for equity loans to make renovations, so check with your lender).

The Ugly Duckling/Freak and Geek Syndrome.
What to look for: Here are some tips. The ugliest house on a great block. A large home in an OK neighborhood. A tiny home in a great neighborhood. Key is to finding the home no one wants.


Brave and priced out of the market read on.

So you have looked at everything and can’t find anything in your budget. Some options are to buy a home near something that no one wants to live next to.
High power lines, freeway or triple whammy freeway off-ramp, industrial building, busy street, alley, next to a school or cemetery. For resale purposes, it’s not always the best thing to do but if it’s all you can afford, don’t be afraid to go for it.


Still Can’t Find A House You Can Afford? Be Creative! If you can’t find a house then perhaps you could do a lease option where part of your rent goes to increase your down payment. Or move a little further into the suburbs. Or consider a condo or a duplex with income to allow you to qualify for a little more of a loan. Another option is a little risky but maybe you can do an interest-only loan which will make your payment lower the first couple of years while you improve your income and prepare for a larger payment. 

Whatever you do, don’t give up and be patient!

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