Buying a home in Studio City
If you’re looking for homes for sale in Studio City, you may think that you’re being too picky in your choices and that no house fits your expectations. Relax, it’s a normal feeling among buyers, no matter what the area. Your mind is probably swirling through the grey zone of MLS listings, wasting hours comparing Zillow prices that are being distracted by speculations about fluctuations in the market. The common result of info overload, feeling lost. This is why a guide can help you to figure out what you really want in your “dream home in Studio City” to be. We have up to the minute local Studio City info that is NOT on the web yet. We are actually IN the community not looking at it.
2 golden rules for House Buying in Studio City
A qualified realtor that knows the area intimately can help you to draw a line between necessary and luxury, and more clearly define what your expectations are and how to fulfill that expectation within the current Studio City property market. That’s an important step before going further on your home seeking. One thing that you’ve probably noticed is that this website itself is a comprehensive compendium of properties in the Studio City area, Science tells us (Scientific American study on too much choice) that human beings find too many choices confusing which is why you’re unlikely to make a decision if you’re still looking at the whole universe of homes without the help of a realtor who actually lives and works inside the area.
We know that any web-savvy buyer can browse thousands of homes online and compare prices from different sources, but only a LOCAL specialist can really tell whether a specific property is overpriced or underpriced. This kind of expertise plays a critical role when choosing the Studio City property that fits within your price-range, and having an agent behind you providing all the data on RECENT (unlike Zillow which are wrong by up to 20%, please see video) local home sales. Local expertise proves its worth not only as a time saver but also save you thousands of dollars through deep local knowledge of recent market activity in a particular neighborhood.
Dear Future Homeowner:
A home is a financial asset and more: it’s a place to live and raise children; it’s a plan for the future; it’s an investment in your community. Below we share with you many tips and tricks to help you reach your homeownership goals.
8 Tips to Guide you in Your Home Search
Research before you look
Decide what features you most want to have in a home, what neighborhoods you prefer, and how much you’d be willing to spend each month for housing.
It’s OK to be picky, but don’t be unrealistic with your expectations. There’s no such thing as a perfect home. Use your list of priorities as a guide to evaluate each property.
Get your finances in order
Review your credit report and be sure you have enough money to cover your down payment and closing costs. Then, talk to a lender and get pre-qualified for a mortgage. This will save you the heartache later of falling in love with a house you can’t afford.
Don’t ask too many people for opinions
It will drive you crazy. Select one or two people to turn to if you feel you need a second opinion, but be ready to make the final decision on your own.
Decide your moving timeline
When is your lease up? Are you allowed to sublet? How tight is the rental market in your area? All of these factors will help you determine when you should move.
Think long term
Are you looking for a starter house with plans to move up in a few years, or do you hope to stay in this home for a longer period? This decision may dictate what type of home you’ll buy as well as the type of mortgage terms that will best suit you.
Insist on a home inspection
If possible, get a warranty from the seller to cover defects for one year.
Get help from a REALTOR®
Hire a real estate professional who specializes in buyer representation. Unlike a listing agent, whose first duty is to the seller, a buyer’s representative is working only for you. Buyer’s reps are usually paid out of the seller’s commission payment.
7 Reasons to Own Your Home
The U.S. Tax Code lets you deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage, your property taxes, as well as some of the costs involved in buying your home.
Real estate has long-term, stable growth in value. While year-to-year fluctuations are normal, median existing-home sale prices have increased on average 6.5 percent each year from 1972 through 2005, and increased 88.5 percent over the last decade, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Also, the number of U.S. households is expected to rise 15 percent over the next decade, creating continued high demand for housing.
Money paid for rent is money that you’ll never see again, but mortgage payments let you build equity ownership interest in your home.
Building equity in your home is a ready-made savings plan. And when you sell, you can generally take up to $250,000 ($500,000 for a married couple) as gain without owing any federal income tax.
Unlike rent, your fixed-mortgage payments don’t rise over the years so your housing costs may actually decline as you own the home longer. However, keep in mind that property taxes and insurance costs will increase.
The home is yours. You can decorate any way you want and benefit from your investment for as long as you own the home.
Remaining in one neighborhood for several years gives you a chance to participate in community activities, lets you and your family establish lasting friendships, and offers your children the benefit of institutional continuity.
*** Online resources: To calculate whether buying is the best financial option for you, use the “Buy vs. Rent” calculator at www.GinnieMae.gov.
Take the Stress Out of Home Buying
Buying a home should be fun, not stressful. As you look for your dream home, keep in mind these tips for making the process as peaceful as possible.
Find a real estate agent who you connect with
Home buying is not only a significant financial commitment but also an emotional one. It’s critical that the REALTOR® you chose is both highly skilled and a good fit with your personality.
Remember, there’s no “right” time to buy, just as there’s no perfect time to sell
If you find a home now, don’t try to second-guess interest rates or the housing market by waiting longer — you risk losing out on the home of your dreams. The housing market usually doesn’t change fast enough to make that much difference in price and a good home won’t stay on the market long.
Don’t ask for too many opinions
It’s natural to want reassurance for such a big decision, but too many ideas from too many people will make it much harder to make a decision. Focus on the wants and needs of your immediate family — the people who will be living in the home.
Accept that no house is ever perfect
If it’s in the right location, the yard may be a bit smaller than you had hoped. The kitchen may be perfect, but the roof needs repair. Make a list of your top priorities and focus in on things that are most important to you. Let the minor ones go.
Don’t try to be a killer negotiator
Negotiation is definitely a part of the real estate process, but trying to “win” by getting an extra-low price or by refusing to budge on your offer may cost you the home you love. Negotiation is give and take.
Remember your home doesn’t exist in a vacuum
Don’t get so caught up in the physical aspects of the house itself — room size, kitchen, etc. — that you forget about important issues as noise level, location to amenities, and other aspects that also have a big impact on your quality of life.
Don’t wait until you’ve found a home and made an offer to get approved for a mortgage, investigate home insurance, and consider a schedule for moving. Presenting an offer contingent on a lot of unresolved issues will make your bid much less attractive to sellers.
Factor in maintenance and repair costs in your post-home buying budget
Even if you buy a new home, there will be costs. Don’t leave yourself short and let your home deteriorate.
Accept that a little buyer’s remorse is inevitable and will probably pass
Buying a home, especially for the first time, is a big financial commitment. But it also yields big benefits. Don’t lose sight of why you wanted to buy a home and what made you fall in love with the property you purchased.
Choose a home first because you love it; then think about appreciation
While U.S. homes have appreciated an average of 5.4 percent annually over from 1998 to 2002, a home’s most important role is to serve as a comfortable, safe place to live.
Tips for Buying in a Tight Market
Increase your chances of getting your dream house in a competitive housing market, and lower your chances of losing out to another buyer.
Get pre-qualified for a mortgage
You’ll be able to make a firm commitment to buy and your offer will be more desirable to the seller.
Stay in close contact with your real estate agent to find out about the newest listings
Be ready to see a house as soon as it goes on the market — if it’s a great home, it will go fast.
Scout out new listings yourself
Look at Websites such as REALTOR.com, browse your local newspaper’s real estate section, and drive through the neighborhood to spot For Sale signs. If you see a home you like, write down the address and the name of the listing agent. Your real estate agent will schedule a showing.
Be ready to make a decision
Spend a lot of time in advance deciding what you must have in a home so you won’t be unsure when you have the chance to make an offer.
You may not want to start out offering the absolute highest price you can afford, but don’t go too low to get a deal. In a tight market, you’ll lose out.
Keep contingencies to a minimum
Restrictions such as needing to sell your home before you move or wanting to delay the closing until a certain date can make your offer unappealing. In a tight market, you’ll probably be able to sell your house rapidly. Or talk to your lender about getting a bridge loan to cover both mortgages for a short period.
Don’t get caught in a buying frenzy
Just because there’s competition doesn’t mean you should just buy it. And even though you want to make your offer attractive, don’t neglect inspections that help ensure that your house is sound.
Tips for Finding the Perfect Neighborhood
Your neighborhood has a big impact on your lifestyle. Follow these steps to find the perfect community to call home.
Is it close to your favorite spots?
Make a list of the activities — movies, health club, church, etc. — you engage in regularly and stores you visit frequently. See how far you would have to travel from each neighborhood you’re considering to engage in your most common activities.
Check out the school district
This is especially important if you have children, but it also can affect resale value. The Department of Education in your town can probably provide information on test scores, class size, percentage of students who attend college, and special enrichment programs. If you have school-age children, visit schools in the neighborhoods you’re considering. Also, check out www.schoolmatters.com.
Find out if the neighborhood is safe
Ask the police department for neighborhood crime statistics. Consider not only the number of crimes but also the type — such as burglaries or armed robberies — and the trend of increasing or decreasing crime. Also, is crime centered in only one part of the neighborhood, such as near a retail area?
Determine if the neighborhood is economically stable
Check with your local city economic development office to see if income and property values in the neighborhood are stable or rising. What is the percentage of homes to apartments? Apartments don’t necessarily diminish value, but do mean a more transient population. Do you see vacant businesses or homes that have been for sale for months?
See if you’ll make money
Ask a local REALTOR® or call the local REALTOR® association to get information about price appreciation in the neighborhood. Although past performance is no guarantee of future results, this information may give you a sense of how good of an investment your home will be. A REALTOR® or the government planning agency also may be able to tell you about planned developments or other changes in the neighborhood — like a new school or highway — that might affect value.
Make personal observations
Once you’ve narrowed your focus to two or three neighborhoods, go there and walk around. Are homes tidy and well maintained? Are streets quiet? How does it feel? Pick a warm day if you can and chat with people working or playing outside.
Why You Should Work With a REALTOR®
Not all real estate practitioners are REALTORS®
The term REALTOR® is a registered trademark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. Here are nine reasons why it pays to work with a REALTOR®.
You’ll have an expert to guide you through the process
Buying or selling a home usually requires disclosure forms, inspection reports, mortgage documents, insurance policies, deeds, and multi-page settlement statements. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes.
Get objective information and opinions
REALTORS® can provide local community information on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They’ll also be able to provide objective information about each property. A professional will be able to help you answer these two important questions: Will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?
Find the best property out there
Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your REALTOR® to find all available properties.
Benefit from their negotiating experience
There are many negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession, and inclusion or exclusion of repairs, furnishings, or equipment. In addition, the purchase agreement should provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.
Property marketing power
Real estate doesn’t sell due to advertising alone. In fact, a large share of real estate sales comes as the result of a practitioner’s contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, and family. When a property is marketed with the help of a REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR® will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.
Real estate has its own language
If you don’t know a CMA from a PUD, you can understand why it’s important to work with a professional who is immersed in the industry and knows the real estate language.
REALTORS® have done it before
Most people buy and sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. And even if you’ve done it before, laws and regulations change. REALTORS®, on the other hand, handle hundreds of real estate transactions over the course of their career. Having an expert on your side is critical.
Buying and selling is emotional
A home often symbolizes family, rest, and security — it’s not just four walls and a roof. Because of this, home buying and selling can be an emotional undertaking. And for most people, a home is the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on both the emotional and financial issues most important to you.
Every member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® makes a commitment to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection of the public. As a customer of a REALTOR®, you can expect honest and ethical treatment in all transaction-related matters. It is mandatory for REALTORS® to take the Code of Ethics orientation and they are also required to complete a refresher course every four years.