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What does it take to buy a house in Los Angeles?

The sunny weather. The outstanding attractions. The vibrant SoCal lifestyle. The allure and prestige of living in one of the world’s trendiest cities. All these and more make owning a home in Los Angeles something to truly aspire for.

The catch? Everyone else wants a piece of the city too, so you’re up against stiff competition in this real estate market.

So what does it really take to buy a house in Los Angeles? These are the keys to your success:


Million-dollar price tags are not exclusive to Los Angeles Luxury real estate. Because of the great demand, home prices here are lofty by default, and they’re still on the rise.

Simply put, making sure that you can afford an LA home is priority number one.

You should be able to prove it too. If you’re paying cash, you must be able to present a valid proof of funds. If you’re taking out a loan to finance the purchase, you need to secure a mortgage pre-approval from your lender.

Remember to prepare your down payment and earnest deposit, as well. In a high-priced market, showing the ability to put down 10% to 20% of the asking price can give you a crucial advantage over other interested buyers.

You also need to be ready for other expenses like your mortgage pre-approval application and origination fees, gas money for open house visits and home viewings, and professional fees for your real estate agent, home inspectors, appraisers, and other necessary contractors.

A purpose and a plan

Have you thought about the main reasons behind your decision to buy a home? What home features are essential for your everyday needs? Are there features that you can consider optional? What kind of neighborhood would you like to move into?

Understanding what drives your home search is crucial in preparing strategies and plans for the entire homebuying process.

Time and energy

Carve out time in your schedule for open houses and home viewings. In LA’s diverse housing market, you might need to do these a number of times before you can narrow down your options.

These visits can take a lot out of you. While you tour homes for sale, you’re also keeping your eyes sharp and doing a lot of hard thinking as you scrutinize every inch in and around the property.

You can also use these opportunities to drive around and chat up the neighbors to get personal opinions about what it’s like to live in their community.

Recent and local market data

Researching home prices and market trends in your area will help you prepare better for strong, but grounded offers. Popular online resources like Zillow can give you an idea of median home prices and other relevant information, but these usually do not reflect the numbers on the local neighborhood level.

If you want a more targeted review of market information, you need to do a deeper dive. A local real estate specialist will be your ideal partner for that.

A solid offer package

Catch the seller’s attention with a strong offer price – think at least $75,000 above the asking price. But beyond that, keep the seller interested by making your offer more than just about money.

A heartfelt personal letter explaining why you are the perfect next owner of the seller’s home can help you seal the deal. A creative and unconventional presentation can also do the trick, like pitching a marketing deck.

These strategies will depend on your seller’s personality and interests, so you’ll need to do a bit of research. It’s an effort that will pay off if you strike the right connection though.

A backup plan

Some grit and resilience also comes into play when diving into LA real estate.

Sellers get flooded with offers all the time, so manage your expectations for counteroffers. It’s also common to get pulled into a bidding war and losing your preferred home to competing buyers.

Always have a plan B so you can get back into the process without skipping a beat.

The right mindset

With so many variables at play and so many buyers to compete against, your homebuying process can range from a matter of days to several months. Having patience, focus, and determination will see you through every twist and turn along the way.

A real estate agent who has your back

Want to streamline your homebuying experience? Hire a real estate agent with experience in and a deep knowledge of the local market.

With their extensive resources, expert insights, and professional connections, your agent will eliminate a lot of the headaches involved in buying a house in Los Angeles.

Looking for a driven, trustworthy, and dedicated agent to help you buy the home of your dreams in the San Fernando Valley? I’m up for the task. Contact me today at 818.444.7700, arman(at)armangrigoryan(dotted)com, or here so we can get started right away.