Home Shopping? – Finding a Deal is Not as Straightforward as it Sounds

Everyone is looking for really great deals right now. And that makes sense. The media is constantly proclaiming that the housing market has dropped to record lows which leads to buyers inferring you might get a home in Beverly Hills for $600,000 – that is not the case. You see, fortunately for us (or maybe unfortunately for the buyers who are looking for a dirt cheap piece of property) we live in LA, one of the most desirable markets in the United States. This is why our houses are priced so high to begin with.

Maybe you’ve seen the Today show segments where real estate agent, Barbara Corcoran previews what she thinks are great opportunities for buyers throughout the United States. If you’re living in LA, it’s sometimes shocking to see how much $200,000-$300,000 can get you places like Texas, Ohio, Kansas or Illinois.

This is not to say that prices here haven’t dropped, in fact they have at least 30% at this point they probably won’t drop much more significantly.  Of course, I can’t say that for 100% sure, and there are naysayers out there who feel and write differently. But, even so, if you look back to the early 2000s, home prices are still double today what they were then even with the drop. But, really this isn’t even really what my point is here.

I’ve been taking a lot of buyers around and every single one of them wants a deal. But, what I have to say to that is”what does a deal mean to you” and “what is your lifestyle like?” The reason I say that is that most properties that are “ true deals” are so for a reason. There may be severe physical issues or the prior owner may have lived there for 50 years and never done any renovations – at all! Today, I went in to a home built in ‘50s located in the hills of Studio City that had an unbelievable view of the San Fernando valley, but from first look, it was either a tear-down and it was on a steep hill – who knows what kind of issues will arise from this.

So, the reason I’m curious about lifestyle when a buyer says they want a deal is because most often with a deal, you should be prepared to not immediately move in or if you do move in and renovate, prepare to be living there amidst the mess. For some people, this is what they are looking for, fixing up a place is a hobby or they want to customize it just for themselves. But a lot of times for busy professionals or families that situation isn’t plausible. They want a place that is move-in ready and for that, sometimes, it’s worth paying a premium.

So, when you’re thinking about this market, and the fact that all you hear about are the deals that abound, think about this post on what makes the most sense for you and what’s really realistic for you, your family and your life.

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