Loft Lending Problems – Downtown Los Angeles Area Home Financing Issues

While today may be the very best time to buy a home while competing buyers are dormant for the holiday season, there are few issues to be aware of regarding financing.


Most Downtown Los Angeles lofts are industrial or commercial conversions that are special exceptions under the City of Los Angeles Adaptive Re-Use Ordinance. Many residential lenders will completely fail, delay or charge additional points to try to handle loft financing.

More than 25% of currently active DTLA lofts and condos have current or recent litigation that can affect the livability, financing ability and investment potential of the homes.

Out of area lenders, especially out-of-state lenders will have more delays. The paperwork is often processed incorrectly and must be re-done. Just this week, a buyer who wanted to move on a weekend was forced to wait until the following week because her lender and notary in Texas signed a document in a way that was unacceptable in California.

New consumer protection laws are also causing bureaucracy delays.   If a buyer needs to make a change to a signed mortgage agreement, it may now cause an extra 3-day delay for each change to the contract.


Keeping these issues in mind, most real estate and finance experts now agree that interest rates and monthly payments will be going up.  Savvy buyers will take advantage of today’s low interest rates for the lowest monthly payment.

Because of the warm climate, and the fact that most Downtown Los Angeles buyers usually have no children in school, the home buying season starts very early in Downtown. Most prospective home buyers wait until after the holidays, and then there is a mad rush starting January 2. All of these buyers become competition for each other, driving up the price.  The most dedicated home buyers will start in October through December as to take advantage of less competition, allowing the placing of lower initial offers and saving money on the final home price.

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