Los Angeles is a vibrant and diverse place to live. But finding a home can be a long and sometimes frustrating process. However, knowing when to buy is half the battle. Here’s a guide to the best time to buy in Los Angeles.
Buying a house is a stressful and emotional process. You'll likely have to spend weeks touring properties, fill out hundreds of forms, and invest a large chunk of your savings to secure the right house.
One way to make buying a house easier is starting the process at the right time. In Los Angeles, housing inventory, mortgage rates, and market trends vary from month to month.
For example, this year listing prices for homes in California were lowest in April. On average, homes were $158,882 less expensive. While in November — the month with the highest prices — the listing prices were $165,094 more than the annual average.
In truth, the best time to buy a house really depends on your priorities and situation. Read on to find out which time of year will give you the most options and the biggest savings when buying a house in Los Angeles.
Best Month For
11.5% lower than average
13.2% more homes to choose from
2.88% interest for 30-year mortgage
Realtor.com data (October 2020)
Bankrate data (December 2020)
If you're interested in buying a home, the first step in the home buying journey is getting preapproved by a licensed lender. Even if you’re already pre-approved, shopping around for lower rates can pay dividends over the life of the loan.
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Best Time of Year to Buy in Los Angeles
On the whole, autumn and winter are the best seasons to find a home in Los Angeles. During the holidays, most people are busy, so you have a lot less competition in the marketplace. Current market trends through 2020 are also promising, even though certain factors make it a bit challenging, as well.
Though mortgages in Los Angeles are currently the nation’s third least affordable, prices are falling, too. More sellers than buyers make up the current marketplace now that the millennial rent-to-buy transition is largely over. That means it’s a buyer’s market.
Los Angeles inventory is up 26.4% from last year, too, putting it at the fourth largest increase in annual inventory. If you have the cash, now’s the time to buy. If you’re looking for a deal, you should see prices fall a bit more over the next few months.
Best Places to Find a Home in Los Angeles
Los Angeles is its own city, but it’s hard to define. A multitude of areas can be referred to as “LA,” and most people who are searching for a home in the area aren’t looking to buy right in downtown. So where should you look?
There are so many beautiful and unique suburbs and neighborhoods that make up what’s known as the “Los Angeles area” that finding a home in Los Angeles usually means finding a home near Los Angeles.
With that in mind, here are five of the best neighborhoods and towns in the Los Angeles area to buy a home.
Wrigley Heights is a charming suburb close enough to LA for it to be accessible but far enough away to give you a break from the traffic and congestion. It’s an extremely diverse neighborhood that’s sprinkled with cafés and restaurants to enjoy.
It’s close to several A-rated schools, and it’s popular among young professionals and families.
There are only 1,035 people in Wrigley Heights itself, but it’s nestled in the larger Long Beach area so you won’t feel isolated. The median home value in this area is $400,800, and 89% of people here own their homes.
Where Wrigley Heights has a distinctively suburban feel, Orangecrest is a more urban area. It also boasts a wonderfully diverse population and is close to many A-rated schools. One such school is the esteemed Riverside STEM Academy.
The population here is 33,051 and the median home value is $427,393. It’s popular with young professionals and families, as well, and 86% of residents own their homes.
If you prefer a suburban area that’s a bit more populated than Wrigley Heights, Mission Grove is a perfect choice. It’s a lively area that’s also close to Riverside STEM Academy and is popular among young professionals, families, and those who enjoy an active lifestyle.
Its population is 17,247, the median home value is $434,781, and 74% of residents own their home.
This lovely neighborhood has a suburban feel but is close to city life. There are many parks and cafés, and it’s popular among young professionals and retirees alike. A number of top-ranking schools are within its district, making it a great choice for families with small children.
The population of Hawarden Hills is 6,750, the median home value is $646,526, and 89% of residents own their homes.
Arlington Heights is another area with a suburban feel that’s in reach of downtown Los Angeles. While you can easily reach the city, you’re nestled in a more peaceful area with a great selection of parks, restaurants, and family activities.
This area tends to be popular among young professionals and families and is close to several top-rated schools.
The population of Arlington Heights is 12,635, the median home value is $467,380, and 95% of residents own their homes.
4 Ways to Get a Great Deal on a Home in Los Angeles
While knowing the right time to buy is a pivotal factor in obtaining a great deal, there are a few other things you can do, too. With a little strategy, you can find a good deal on the Los Angeles home of your dreams.
Find a Great Los Angeles Real Estate Agent
Working with an experienced local buyer’s agent who has in-depth knowledge about your specific market is a critical part of obtaining the best deal. An agent can be your advocate throughout the entire home buying process. They can also personalize your search and make sure you find a deal that meets your needs and helps you achieve your goals.
Assess Your Needs and Lay Out Your Goals
Knowing what to look for when buying a home makes all the difference. Working with a real estate agent to determine what you need in a property can help you narrow your vision and create a plan for success. Your agent can help you figure out the appropriate budget, help you determine your must-haves, and help you start your search.
Find a Lender and Secure Financing
Unless you plan to buy your home with cash, you'll need to apply for a mortgage. For most home buyers in Los Angeles, interest rates are among the biggest factors when choosing a lender. Doing a little upfront research and comparing options to find the best rates could save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.
For example, in California a typical house is worth $599,000. Assuming a 20% down payment, if you took out a 30-year mortgage for 3.5%, your monthly payment would be $2,137. But if you shopped around and found a 3% mortgage, your monthly payment would drop to about $2,020.
Getting a mortgage is a big decision – and it pays to shop around! Keep shopping until you find a lender with competitive rates who also understands your goals. Don’t get pressured into taking on a bigger loan than you’re comfortable with – work with a lender who explains what you’re really signing up for.
It’s easy to start your home buying journey – answer a few questions to get instantly matched with a lender who works in your area.
Negotiate for the Best Possible Price
Once you’ve chosen the Los Angeles home of your dreams, it’s time to talk price. Your real estate agent can help you formulate an offer that is realistic and within your reach. They can also help you with post-inspection negotiations so you can obtain the best possible deal.
Whether you’re buying your first home or your tenth, working with an agent is invaluable.
To find an experienced real estate agent in your market, fill out our online form. A Clever representative will be in touch to answer your questions and connect you with a local Partner Agent.
Clever Partner Agents are top performers in their markets, and they’ll offer you a no-obligation consultation. Contact Clever today to make sure you get the best deal possible on your Los Angeles dream home.