With the high cost of living and competitive real estate market in Los Angeles, buying a home can be challenging.
However, with the right knowledge and preparation, you can navigate the process and find the perfect home for you and your family.
In this guide on “How to Buy a Home in Los Angeles,” we will cover the different types of homes available in Los Angeles, the important facts about the down payment, and the overall cost of a home in LA.
Moreover, we will discuss additional expenses to consider when buying a home in Los Angeles, such as property taxes and home insurance.
Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned property investor, this guide will provide valuable information to help you make an informed decision when purchasing a home in Los Angeles.
So, let’s dig in…
Types of Homes You can Buy in Los Angeles
Apart from being famous for its landmark museums and exceptional buildings, Los Angeles is quite famous for its American-style homes and attractive apartments.
So, choosing a home in Los Angeles is more exciting than it seems. Here we have discussed a few home types you can buy in Los Angeles. Let’s have a quick rundown.
Single homes are free standing residential buildings having no shared walls with the neighbors and might have separate garages and swimming pools.
They are intended for a single-family and have separate utility power like water, electricity, gas, telephone, and the internet.
Condos refer to separate units with ownership in one standard building. Each unit is designed for a separate family, having individual utility supplies, but joined with some common areas like parking, garden, parks, gyms, and corridors.
Commonly known as building complexes, Condos are a relatively affordable option with increased security and more facilities.
However, their increased maintenance fees, limited parking facility, and other restrictions are headaches.
Duplexes and Triplexes:
Duplexes or triplexes are defined as a home built on a residential plot having two or three units attached.
Each unit has separate entries, a kitchen, balconies, bathrooms, a utility supply, and multiple rooms.
They are best for extended families or homeowners who want to earn money by giving the extra portions of the home for rent. The duplexes and triplexes have a single owner.
Co-operative Housing Schemes:
Co-operative housing schemes work on having multiple properties for multiple families while the ownership title of the property is of the building company.
The cooperative residents own an equal share of the property, cont complete ownership.
In some co-op housing schemes, the residents can sell their share of the unit in the open market, depending on the unit’s current market rates, location, and condition.
They work like an apartment system but are comparatively cheaper.
(If your pockets are saying no to the price, check out our guide to buying a house with low income.)
Down Payments in LA: Do You Have to Pay?
Down payment is undoubtedly the biggest hurdle of the home-buying process. And getting away with it effectively is like getting away with the 90% of the problems that come with home buying.
(Sadly, you have to pay a down payment, but let’s dig into what options you have to kick this dirty little stressor).
Traditionally, 20% of the total home cost is considered a down payment. But, paying this big amount of money one time is quite difficult unless you are a billionaire.
Therefore, many mortgage programs and loan policies allow buyers to pay a lower down payment.
However, any down payment of less than 20% comes with Private Mortgage Insurance fees that you pay monthly.
In addition to the monthly installments until your total amount reaches 20% of the total cost.
This fee is for lenders’ safety, and after this percentage, you can discontinue paying PMI in installments.
Moreover, you have to pay higher interest rates if your down payment is less than 20% and you are taking a loan to buy a home.
So, saving money, especially for paying 20% of the down payment and then thinking of buying a home, is a boss move.
Otherwise, high-interest rates and PMI fees are on their way to causing trouble for you.
Winters or Summers: Can You Buy a Home in LA, Anytime?
Technically yes. As the real estate industry is one of the complicated markets globally, you can estimate the proper season or month of the year for buying a home in Los Angeles.
However, according to the California Association of Realtors, 2023 will be a good year for property buyers as the median home prices all over the state are expected to fall this year.
Although the increasing ratios of property prices are far higher than this decreasing percentage, the buyer can save a few thousand dollars this year compared to the past years.
Additional Expenses: Did You Forgot You Are Buying a Home in LA?
If you think paying the total agreed amount to the sellers will make you relax in your home without any worries, then you are wrong.
Apologies for bursting your bubble, but hundreds of additional expenses will cost half of your home’s total price.
Yes! You read that right! We are talking about those underestimated and unexpected expenses that will fall like a mountain on your head!
Here we have enlisted a few of them. So, let’s move forward and have a thorough look at them!
Before getting the chance to sit on your couch and watch Netflix, you have to pay the closing cost of the home, which is around 1% or more of the total home cost. Also, these are not lender’s fees; you have to pay them separately.
Apart from the fees of legal documentation that fall on the side of home buyers in Los Angeles, the annual property taxes can add thousands of dollars to your budget, and you have to start saving for them from the first day of buying a home.
The property taxes are based on location, so it is best to ask the previous owners to show your paid property taxes paperwork and observe the trend of the property taxes you’ll receive.
Home buying is much more than down payments, installments, paperwork, and lender’s fees.
You have to pay hundreds of additional maintenance costs like paint, HVAC settings, ceilings, tiles work, electric work, and utility maintenance. And collectively, all these services can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars.
FAQs: Your Common LA Real Estate Concerns
Is it cheaper to build or buy a house in Los Angeles?
Generally, buying a house is cheaper than building a house from scratch as it can cost a lot more comparatively. Labor, property, raw material, and permit costs contribute to the expense of building a house in LA. While buying a manufactured home, you are free from all these additional expenses.
How long does it take to build a home in LA?
Los Angeles home construction can take between 7 and 9 months, depending on time, labor, permits, and other factors. Moreover, the type and size of the projects matter the most.
Is buying a property in LA worth your efforts?
If you’re tired of increasing rents and need a permanent solution, then buying a home in LA is definitely a great idea. It will save you from rental headaches as well as problems for homeowners. And in terms of investment, the increased ROIs in the real estate industry is also worth your efforts and money for buying a home in LA.
Let’s Wrap-up with a Big Heart!
Buying a home has never been a piece of cake for anyone. You may face many hurdles, from finding a home whose location, neighborhood, and other facilities suit your needs to paying thousands of dollars annually for property taxes.
Still, consistency and smart steps will lead you to a successful home-buying experience.