A First-Time Homebuyer’s Guide to Los Angeles

You’re ready to dive into the realm of homeownership — and in Los Angeles, you’re certainly not alone. With a median home price of $487,716, Los Angeles has the fifth-highest price out of the 100 largest metro areas in the U.S. And like many other parts of the country, the housing market in the City of Angels is tough for buyers, as a low inventory of houses on the market leads to multiple offers, bidding wars and escalated prices.

If you’re hoping to purchase a single-family detached house, the Los Angeles area has more than its fair share. As the second-largest city in the U.S. and the most populous on the West Coast, the sprawling metro area has a wide-ranging mix of single-family homes, garden-style apartments, and condos, townhomes and high-rises.

If you’re searching in this Southern California hot spot, the process of finding the right home for you may be more complicated than you expect. You’ll need to put together a well-thought-out list of features you consider must-haves, including the location, number of beds and baths and how much living space you’ll need for everyone to be comfortable.

[Read: 5 Things to Ask Your Real Estate Agent Before Buying a Home in Los Angeles.]

To help you find the right house or condo for you, reach out to a few real estate agents to discuss what you’re looking for. After speaking with a several agents, select the one who you feel most confident will work with your best interests in mind.

If you’re a fur-parent, you’ll likely want to consider pet friendliness as a priority when deciding where you move next. For dog owners in particular, some neighborhoods and parts of the city are better than others when it comes to walkable areas and dog parks, and homeowners associations may restrict certain breeds. Wherever you look, keep your pet as part of the conversation with your real estate agent to make sure nothing is overlooked.

[Read: 5 Tips for Dog Owners Looking to Buy a Home in Los Angeles.]

In the current market with few houses available for sale, many Realtors and other agents are encouraging their clients to keep an open mind about the type of home to consider. In many cases, an older home that could use a little TLC is the best bet for buying in the neighborhood you want at a price you can afford.

[Read: 5 Things to Consider Before Buying an Older Home in Los Angeles.]

Love the idea of owning your home but don’t like the idea of taking on a major project or an overwhelming amount of square footage? Tiny homes are a growing trend in cities throughout the U.S. — and they’re particularly popular in Los Angeles. EcoBuilding Pulse, a publication from the American Institute of Architects, ranked California the No. 1 state for tiny homes in 2015 due to the number of tiny home builders and permitting and zoning laws that allow for more tiny home construction than other states. With a much smaller property footprint, a tiny house is often mobile and can be relocated when and where you’d like. Keep in mind, of course,…

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