I work with a lot of first-time buyers searching in Northeast LA. In discussing options and criteria for their first home; they almost universally want a single family house. This makes sense considering the LA lifestyle you can enjoy in your own home.
But the costs of buying a single family home in LA are keeping a lot of potential buyers from even talking to me. If you think you cannot afford to buy a home in LA you may be right. The median sales price as of March 2017 for a single-family home in the City of Los Angeles is $750,000. But here is some good news if you consider other types of property ownership. The median price for a condominium is over $100,000 less.
Right now, if you do a search for property for sale under $350,000 in LA from Hollywood, east to Lincoln Heights, you come up with 11 Condo listings but only 3 single family houses. As of today (April 19 2017) there is a small but nice condo for sale in El Sereno for $215,000.
If you are currently renting an apartment in a multi-family building, a Condo will make sense to you. A condominium is a lot like renting, but you own the apartment, and you are paying yourself rather than a landlord, building equity and starting your climb on the property ladder.
There are pros and cons to buying a Condo. In addition to affordability, Condos often have amenities like gyms & pools. Many come with balconies, patios, or other outdoor space where you can still get a taste of the LA lifestyle. If security is a concern of yours, condos can offer more controlled access if not on site security guards in the larger complexes. Another benefit to buying a Condo in Los Angeles is you will not have to do any landscape maintenance and you will likely spend less overall on the maintenance & care of your unit.
On the downside, be prepared to pay monthly Home Owner Association (HOA) fees. If you love to party or are a musician, keep in mind you are still likely to have neighbors above, below or next to you. Although most condos provide covered parking, inevitably you will be schlepping groceries (and the rest of your stuff) quite a distance from your car to your unit.
As with all real estate transactions, you need to do your due diligence before you proceed with the purchase; including reviewing the HOA documents for which there may be charges incurred and hire an inspector for a full inspection of the unit. Buying a home is not as easy as renting, for sure, but if you have a good agent on your side helping you navigate the purchase, buying your first condo can be easier than you might think,
Rather than putting off making a purchase of property, it may be better to jump into what you can afford now. As your equity grows (and hopefully your income as well), your opportunity to purchase that single family home you are dreaming of will likely become a reality sooner if you buy what you can afford now.
Contact me at www.LAandymay.com