A Buyer’s Short Guide to Westchester, CA Homes

by Dan Christian in Blog.

Buyers looking to set up home in a Los Angeles neighborhood that has an outstanding school district, low crime rate, short commute to Downtown and that has oodles of amenities need look no further than Westchester, CA. Now is the time to buy, as the Los Angeles real estate market is a healthy landscape for buyers predicted to rise by only half the increase seen in 2013. In other words a forecasted elevation of 6.8 percent is likely in the making, which still makes the market a favorable one for those looking to own one of many Westchester, CA homes for sale.  When searching for the ideal family home it is important to nail down the following: affordability, space and finding the perfect realtor.

Affordability

The last thing you want to do is buy more home than you can afford. Just to get a good idea as to where you stand in the financial arena of home buying you may want to use an online mortgage calculator to give some clarity before meeting with your realtor who will certainly give you a more detailed and in depth report as to what you can afford. Make sure the mortgage calculator considers your gross annual income, down payment amount, monthly debt (student loans, credit card payments), mortgage rate, annual property taxes and annual homeowners insurance. As a general rule of thumb the total debt-to-income ratio should be no more than 36 percent when looking to buy one of many Westchester, CA homes on the market. And what a great market it is! The ‘Los Angeles Times’ reports that the Los Angeles housing market has cooled down thus quelling the fears of another housing bubble and signals a warm return to normality with percentages in synch with historical norms.

Make Sure the Space Works

No matter how large or small the desired square footage is of your new home, you will want to make sure the space fulfills your needs. All too often eager buyers sign on the dotted line only to find themselves in chaotic situations regarding how the home’s space will be used. If you have children determine how many bedrooms you need as well as any additional space such as a play or toy room, or a room that would be used for storage or playing games. If you work from home you will need a room or acceptable space to set up a home office and if you have children you may want to find a floor plan that separates your work space from their play area. If entertaining is a large defining side of your home life make sure you have adequate space in the possible forms of a deck or patio, dining room or open space between the kitchen and living room. If you have plans to open up a wall or add on a room make sure to clear this with your realtor, as knocking down a load-bearing wall can result in unforeseen expenses and room additions must be cleared by the city.

Finding the Perfect Realtor

When searching Westchester, CA homes for sale you will want to ensure you have the best realtor in your corner. A Westchester local expert real estate agent is a must have because he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table that an outside agent won’t have. Begin your search by narrowing down a realtor who has 15 or more proven years of successfully helping buyers and sellers navigate the local market’s landscape. Once you find a few in the running, attend an open house. Pay attention to the agent’s communication skills, knowledge of the local market, energy level, sales skills and friendliness. Remember, your agent will ultimately be negotiating your money and you will want someone who not only has the knowledge but who also has the flare and gift for winning people over. Finally, look at the agent’s website. If he provides his clients with lots of information, has a consistent blog and a strong social media presence (in addition to the previously mentioned criteria) you have found your local expert.

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