New Homes: River of Tears – Three Mistakes to Avoid Before Buying a Condo by the Water

New Construction Houses and Condos For Sale in Los Angeles

Bright, shiny, new, clean, modern and up-to-date  —  these are the happy things that lure us to new construction homes. Because developers create a glut when they build dozens at a time, they can even make for a better deal than a resale home sometimes. But what dangers do a shiny new object distract us from?


There are three areas of thought that can help prevent disasters before a prospective new home buyer considers a walk into a new homes sales office:

#1 Leaving the checkbook at home will not protect.  —  Just browsing? Better plan ahead; and here’s why:  As soon as someone steps into the sales office of a new home development, they are asked to sign in.  That signing in seems innocent and safe enough, but it is often the first and biggest mistake in the process.  Most who stroll in to see new fox-in-hen-househomes instinctively know that they will probably not purchase a home there, but they are rightfully curious. The first problem is that the buyer has unknowingly signed away their right to get free help from a licensed real estate professional. Unless they are accompanied by an agent or broker on the very first visit, the buyer has actually agreed to give away their free protections given to them by the laws of the great state of California.  The innocent visitor has waived rights to free representation by a local real estate professional.  Should they fall in love with the new condo or house, the buyer now has but two choices: buy the home directly from the developer’s sales team without the assistance of a knowledgeable professional — or do not buy a new home at that new development.  The visitor has inadvertently hired the fox to guard the hen house. The first step of the buying process has begun, and possibly on the wrong foot.

#2 Today’s home buyers in Los Angeles have high standards, which might not
be met.  
Home shoppers want a clean, quiet home with open space, high ceilings, lots of
train-noise-vibration-jpgbig windows and light, a pretty view of some kind, architectural character, neighborhood safety, convenient parking and walkable to coffee, shops, entertainment and public transportation.   Some of the shiny homes in today’s new construction market suffer instead from excessive freeway noise or train noise, gnat swarms, boxy architecture, small windows, freeway view or no view, inconvenient tandem parking spaces, dangerous raceway bike path and prowling coyotes. Some new homes for sale do not yet have final approval from the City of Los Angeles, and in-house lenders sometimes experience big delays, so the sales could potentially be delayed many months.

Some new park-side houses under construction near the river have a land lease so that the owner does not really own all of the property.  This limits the long-term value of the property because the land lease impact snowballs to a greater and greater negative factor over time.

#3 The Los Angeles River will flood – The area around the river is a flood plain.  The city los-angeles-flood-02has prepared for a major flood to happen about every 100 years. It could happen in a thousand years, or it could happen next winter. While the new homes may not technically be inside the official flood zone, the concrete LA River has nearly overflowed its banks before, and, sooner or later, it will flood neighboring homes and businesses, especially underground parking, ground level, first floor and possibly even flood 2nd-floor units.

Homebuyer Protection Programs

When the buyer does find the right home, they must face competition from the seller and from other buyers. In today’s real estate market, there are a relatively large number of buyers, and few sellers. Most buyers are unpleasantly surprised that they are usually outbid by other buyers or sometimes virtually ignored by the seller. To have a good chance of success in the current home buying environment, buyers can take advantage of strategies that help them to beat out other buyers to the best deals by getting priority access to all of the properties. This includes getting access to the largest number of pocket listings, off-market, unlisted and unadvertised bargains. Buyers are more satisfied with their home purchase when they get access to the pros and cons, including the negative information on properties such as lawsuits and litigation, along with undesirable construction and defects that sellers sometimes try to ignore or even hide.  Buyers want to understand the neighborhood and know what is going on and coming up in the neighborhood.  Like a fly-by-night used car lot, new home sales offices typically pack up and leave town after they reach their sales goals. Rather than relying on a sales office agent, or a friend/relative who happens to be an out-of-area agent from another neighborhood, smart home buyers take advantage property-dtla-value-heat-map-2of specialized neighborhood knowledge combined with the latest real estate technology such as a neighborhood heat map. Buyers get the best home purchase terms, incentives, loan rates and fees when they have access to compare several local lenders who know the building.  Buyers avoid expensive mistakes when they get help scheduling a local inspection company who specializes in that type of building in that area.

The most serious and astute of home buyers consider all of the costs and possibilities to save as much money as possible on their home purchase.  A local neighborhood specialist
often knows what the bottom line is for the seller, allowing the home buyer to place the home-warranty-guaranteelowest offer rather than offering tens of thousands of dollars too much on a desirable new home.  A  savings guarantee can ensure that the new home buyer can negotiate down $10,000 from the asking price or the agent pays $1,000 toward the buyer’s closing costs – visit  A Free Home Warranty could cost the buyer $575.00, but some agents will offer to pay for this if the seller won’t pay for it.  Usually, nothing is guaranteed in real estate.  It is all too common for buyers to buy a new home, then find out they don’t love it as much as they thought.  There is a solution: The Love Your Home Guarantee. Get the details at

love-your-homeThe take-away.  Always bring a local neighborhood specialist real estate professional before browsing any new construction condominiums or houses.  It’s free, and the right Home Buyer Protection Program can prevent numerous problems while giving many surprising benefits at no cost to the buyer.

Get as much free information as possible by getting on the new homes interest list.  Fill out the online form:


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Copyright © 2016 This free information provided courtesy L.A. Loft Blog and with information provided by Corey Chambers, Realty Source Inc, BRE#01889449 We are not associated with the homeowner’s association, seller or developer. For more information, contact (213) 880-9910 or visit  Licensed in California. All information provided is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. Properties subject to prior sale or rental. This is not a solicitation if buyer or seller is already under contract with another broker.

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