Secrets to Buying a Home in Los Feliz Right Now

Nestled in the foothill of the Santa Monica Mountains, Los Feliz is an exclusive neighborhood offering spectacular views and easy access to a wide range of amenities. It is home to iconic attractions such as the Los Angeles Zoo and Griffith Park, one of the most remarkable urban parks in the country. Its proximity to downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood makes it ideal for work, entertainment, and cultural activities.

The area has a remarkable sense of tranquility and community. A simple stroll through the lush tree-lined streets will lead you into its compact business district, which features thriving restaurants, cafes, and bars. Downtown Los Feliz boasts an eclectic mix of boutique shops and specialty stores, further enhancing the neighborhood's unique character.

Charming homes offer a mix of architectural styles, such as Spanish Colonial, Mediterranean Revival, Craftsman, and mid-century modern. The Los Feliz housing market is one of the most active and competitive markets in the US, and real estate professionals and potential buyers keep a close watch on it. The competition for high-end homes here makes it crucial for homebuyers to adequately prepare themselves before embarking on a home-buying journey.

Is now a good time to buy a home in Los Feliz?

If Los Feliz sounds like your dream destination, it is natural to ask whether today is a good time to buy a home in the neighborhood. The short answer to this question is yes; now could be an ideal time to purchase.

In May 2023, Los Angeles home prices were down 11.9% compared to the previous year, with many homes selling for a median price of $1,700,000. Homes in the area typically sell after only 39 to 40 days, underscoring the area's potential as an investment destination. Generally, Los Angeles homebuyers should expect the best price in April and the lowest mortgage rates in December. Since Los Feliz is a highly competitive market, there are no guarantees prices will fall further. With this in mind, consider looking at the Los Feliz housing inventory, mortgage rates, and market trends, which vary monthly.

Tips for buying a home in Los Feliz

Buying a home in Los Feliz can be a truly daunting task. With prices soaring each day, there is a lot for you to consider before making a purchase decision, including down payments, obtaining a mortgage, and where to start your search. To help you navigate through the highly competitive Los Feliz housing market, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Get prepared

As you embark on your house purchase journey, carefully assess your unique needs and the distinct features and amenities that align with your preferences. Consider engaging an experienced real estate professional to guide you in finding the perfect home that embodies your unique vision.

Begin the home search

Once you are satisfied everything is in order, start your home search. House hunting can be a strenuous exercise in Los Feliz. Here are a few steps to help you find an ideal home:

  • Choose your neighborhood: Identify the ideal location, atmosphere, and community. Consider proximity to attractions and amenities, such as shops, eaters, and parks.

  • Compare home prices: Ensure you visit multiple homes before deciding which one to buy. Make a list of your top properties, and compare features.

Hire local

An experienced licensed agent at RSR Real Estate can quickly help you find your dream home. They will leverage their local area knowledge to help refine your search using comparative estimates. They will guide you through the entire negotiation from contract to closing, saving you time and money.

Check for down payments and closing costs

Your down payment is a significant one-time cost. The standard down payment in Los Angeles is 20%. You can put down less, but you will have years of large monthly payments. Paying more money upfront will reduce the size of your monthly payment. Moreover, you should put aside some money for closing costs: the general rule is to budget 3% to 6% of the home's value.

Choose the mortgage

Another crucial step before submitting any application is determining the most favorable loan you are eligible for. Most mortgages in Los Angeles are conventional loans. You can qualify for these with a down payment as small as 3%. Other options include the FHA loans, which require a down payment of 3.5%, and USDA loans, which require no down payment.

Get pre-approval

The only way to accurately determine your budget is to get pre-approval for your mortgage. The lender has the details of your finances, so a mortgage pre-approval offers an accurate assessment. It will also confirm you are a genuine buyer.

Make an offer

If you have located your potential home, now is the time to make an offer. Your offer letter should include details about yourself, your lender, the purchase price, and your down payment. It should also capture the home inspection, appraisal, and final mortgage approval. Your real estate agent will be a great asset here, providing details on similar sales in the neighborhood and information about the seller. They will also assist in handling the ensuing negotiations.

Get a home inspection

Once you have come to an agreement with the seller, arrange for a home inspection. It will give you insight into the structural issues that may be present in the property. Depending on its results, you may ask the seller to make repairs or walk away from the sale. Remember, you have about 14 days to complete a home inspection before signing a purchase agreement.

Get a home appraisal

Before obtaining a mortgage loan to buy a house, it is crucial to get an appraisal. Lenders typically require one to assess the fair value of a property. It will also protect you from overpaying for the home. Your agent can help you understand the ins and outs of home appraisals in Los Feliz, including the average fees.

Conduct a final assessment

You want to have a thorough assessment before closing. It allows you to verify whether the seller has done the requested repairs and has everything in order. Once you are happy, you can move to close the deal.

Close the deal

Three working days before closing, your lender should provide a Closing Disclosure revealing the loan details and payment. Review the Closing Disclosure and ensure the numbers are as close to your loan estimate as possible. Once you are satisfied, it is time to attend your closing meeting. Bring your ID, a copy of the Closing Disclosure, and the requisite proof of funds for your closing costs. Your agent or attorney will guide you through the closing process, which includes:

  • Signing a settlement statement listing all costs related to the sale.
  • Paying the down payment and closing costs.
  • Signing a mortgage note that guarantees you will repay the loan.
  • Signing a mortgage or deed of trust to secure the mortgage.
Once the closing is complete, you officially become the new homeowner. Congratulations on your achievement!

Be part of the thriving Los Feliz neighborhood today

There is no doubt Los Feliz is one of the hottest property markets in Los Angeles. Its desirable location, favorable weather, stunning attractions, and community amenities lend the neighborhood its long-term investment potential. The Los Feliz home market is constantly changing, so it can be quite challenging to track current home buying trends.

That is where RSR Real Estate comes in. We are a reputable real estate company helping homeowners like you navigate the home market. We leverage our experience, skills, and knowledge of the local area to help you find your dream home in Los Feliz. Reach out to us today to get started!

*Header photo courtesy of RSR Real Estate

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