With housing prices still rising slightly and inventory still behind demand, buyers are always on the lookout for a good deal. So if you’re looking for a property to buy and you come across one with an affordable price, you’re probably inclined to snatch it up right away before someone else does. But wait – not so fast. The price may be low because it’s actually a bad property and not a good deal. What can you do, then, to distinguish a good deal from a bad property? Just keep in mind these 5 signs of a bad property in Los Angeles.
1. Priced Too Low (Or Even Too High)
Sure we all want to buy a house at an affordable price but beware of properties that are priced too low. Great deals do exist, but generally, as the saying goes, if a deal seems too good to be true . . . it probably is.
As the financial pros explain, “prices tend to reflect value oftentimes . . . It could be that there are expensive structural repair issues under the surface, often including roofs or foundations. Or there could be zoning challenges or large past-due property tax bills and association dues that the seller is expecting you to take on.”
And then there’s the other side of that same pricing coin. A price that is too high may also be a sign of a bad property in Los Angeles. If you go into the deal knowing you’re purchasing a fixer-upper, that high price is probably just artificially inflated, making for a bad deal.
2. Big-Ticket Repairs Needed
Another of the big red-flag signs of a bad property in Los Angeles is the need for big, expensive, and time-consuming repairs. Basically, it’s a bad property if you will have to pour tens of thousands of dollars into it for needed repairs. And then if you buy it, you’ll also have to live on a job site for several months.
These big repairs include ameliorating such things as:
- “Foundation cracks and leaks
- Structural damage
- Roof replacements
- Flood and mold damage
- Chinese drywall
- Septic tank leaks
- Rewiring needs
- Plumbing problems”
3. Suspicious Cosmetic Fixes
In addition to keeping an eye out for big repairs when looking for signs of a bad property in Los Angeles, you also need to be on the lookout for suspicious cosmetic fixes. These are usually easy, inexpensive things are done to cover up larger, more severe problems – in order to push through a sale.
One of the worst offenders here is walls painted to cover up water damage and mold. Also, beware of new siding in just a few places. It may be there to cover up water damage beneath, which can also extend to the framing, the bones of the house.
Your agent can be an invaluable asset here. While not an inspector, an agent still knows what to look for. Discover more by calling 562-881-9811.
4. Questionable History
One of the signs of a bad property in Los Angeles that many buyers overlook or never even think to check into is the history of the property. Even if the price is right, the history can turn up problems that make it a bad investment.
Some of the things to look for, according to industry experts, are:
- Shoddy repairs/renovations
- Undocumented repairs/renovations (not included in disclosure packet)
- A crime scene (which can destroy resale value)
- Sitting on the market a long time
- History of high owner turnover
Be sure to have your agent help you investigate the property’s history.
5. Bad Area and/or Neighborhood
Finally, you have to consider the area and the neighborhood. Even when the price is what it should be and no repairs are needed, a bad neighborhood can still be a sign of a bad property in Los Angeles.
Here are a couple of these red flags:
- “Buying a home in a high-risk flood zone can mean a dramatic increase in insurance costs, as well as more difficulty selling the home in the future.”
- “Sometimes it’s not the property itself, but the local area that is a bad investment . . . This includes not just obvious warning signs like high crime rates or many store vacancies and boarded-up buildings, but high unemployment rates, one main employer or industry in the location, and declining populations.”
Best Way to Steer Clear of a Bad Property
These are probably the most important signs of a bad property in Los Angeles, but there are more. That’s why it’s so important to lean on the expertise of your local real estate agent and let her guide you through this economic minefield. A local real estate agent can be a valuable asset because conditions in local markets can vary so widely. Find out how our experienced agents can help you make sure you’re making the right decision. Just contact us today at 562-881-9811.