Like most industries, real estate has had to make some significant adjustments during the last several months. The Coronavirus pandemic has changed everything about our jobs, our families, and our fun. If you were house shopping in March, that likely came to a screeching halt.
But Beverly Hills real estate agent Valerie Fitzgerald and her team never stopped working for home buyers and sellers. With COVID-19 precautions in place, the Valerie Fitzgerald Group has been listing new homes in Los Angeles’s westside neighborhoods like Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Holmby Hills, Pacific Palisades, Venice, Santa Monica, Brentwood, and the Sunset Strip.
And now that restrictions have lifted, we’re taking the precautions needed to show these luxurious properties to interested buyers safely. If you’re thinking of investing in a new home during the pandemic, we’ve put together a few considerations to help you decide if it’s the right time for you to buy in one of LA’s westside neighborhoods.
In late April, Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick reportedly dropped $43.3 million for a large home near the mouth of the East Gate Bel Air neighborhood — well below the $75 million asking price. At that same time, reality TV star Kylie Jenner grabbed her Holmby Hills compound for a mere $36.5 million — a 34% reduction from the original $55 million list price.
For high-end homes in these exclusive neighborhoods, deals abound, and your Beverly Hills Realtor knows them the best! With more than 15 years of experience selling real estate in these select neighborhoods, Valerie Fitzgerald is tuned in to the comings and goings of Hollywood’s elite. She can help you grab the best deals on these beautiful properties.
At the same time, you may also find yourself in the center of a bidding war for your favorite west Los Angeles home. In specific price ranges, supply is extremely limited. Housing inventory has dropped 29% from a year earlier through the week ending June 20, according to Realtor.com. With high demand, some buyers are forced to pay WAY over asking price to secure the home they love. In fact, more than 40% of homeowners who purchased their home during the pandemic so far reported entering into a bidding war on at least one home, according to recent data. According to Redfin, prices of the most affordable homes in the U.S. climbed 5.5% from a year earlier during the 12 weeks ending May 31. Your Beverly Hills real estate agent can navigate these negotiations with ease.
Lenders have tightened their criteria for loan qualification in recent months. That combined with the unemployment rate near 15% — the highest since the Great Depression — makes qualifying for a loan a little more challenging. However, today’s interest rates are super low, so even if you can’t qualify to buy a new home, chances are you could refinance your home at a lower interest rate.
Here are a few useful tips to live by to help keep you ready to invest in real estate, should you desire:
• Reduce credit card or other high-interest debt.
• Maintain a credit score of 740 or higher.
• Have an emergency fund saved too cover vacancies and maintenance on the target property for a year.
Now, more than ever, having an experienced realtor on your team is critical in navigating the crazy coronavirus housing market. You’ll find that finding your Santa Monica or Brentwood dream home is more difficult with the challenges of touring in person every home you think you might like. A great realtor like Valerie Fitzgerald can translate your home needs into a shortlist of homes to visit using virtual tours and online photos to help narrow down the offerings. With an excellent realtor, you can focus precisely on the necessities and amenities you want and make home buying a little more straightforward.
And once you find your perfect home, an experienced Realtor will be able to present a knowledgeable offer — based on the price range of the house and the potential offers coming in — that will help you get the best price, while still winning the property.
In the long run, COVID-19 may have changed how you purchase a home, but buying during the coronavirus is still completely possible — especially with a trained Beverly Hills real estate agent by your side. When you’re ready to check out west Los Angeles homes, contact the experts at Valerie Fitzgerald Group at (310) 285-7515. From the hills of Pacific Palisades to the beaches of Venice and everywhere in between, we’ll hunt down the perfect home for you and negotiate the best price possible. Let’s get started today!