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Leaping forward

By carducci22   2012 Oct 1, 2:36am   13,193 views   79 comments   watch (2)   quote      

I am looking to buy in LA.
I have a young family, I want a good school district.
I have $400K + cash on hand.

I need advise.

Which area? Is culver city out of question?
Is it a good time to buy in LA?
What's your overall suggestions?

I appreciate any good comment.

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40   carducci22   2012 Nov 3, 3:51am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

@patrick, thanks for priceless information.
I found all this online listing sites pretty useless.
All the reasonabley priced properties are shown as sold. What is the deal?
It is illegal to give false information, isn't it?

41   someone else   2012 Nov 3, 3:54am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

carducci22 says

I found all this online listing sites pretty useless.
All the reasonabley priced properties are shown as sold. What is the deal?
It is illegal to give false information, isn't it?

Listing sites are just sales tools.

Showing property as sold is just an ad for the agent, as in "See how great I am? I sold this!"

I don't think there is any law against lying on those sites. Buyer beware.

42   carducci22   2012 Nov 3, 4:01am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

@patrick, is there any other tips.
If record office doesn't yield anything, is there plan B?

43   someone else   2012 Nov 3, 4:04am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

You can try to call the banks directly and ask to talk to their "REO" department about property they are trying to get rid of. Might work, but they are big bureaucracies.

BTW, no need to put @ anymore for comments on this thread. I'm watching all the comments on it by email now (using that checkbox below).

44   carducci22   2012 Nov 3, 4:38am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Wow! There is no reasonable way out.
If the record office is successful, how do you approach the owners?

45   someone else   2012 Nov 3, 4:45am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Go to the owners directly. Call, write a letter, or just show up.

46   carducci22   2012 Nov 3, 5:08am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Ok, I hope I don't get armed response.

47   Fucking White Male   2012 Nov 3, 5:29am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    


Why don't you use Redfin and do a search of homes available in the areas you like? Theres lots of homes in your price range.

BTW, if your job is in Downtown LA, I do not recommend living in South Bay. IMO you would eventually hate the commute.

But FWIW, Torrance is just fine. I have no idea why people are saying its a bad neighborhood. I assume they are confusing it with Hawthorne or something.

Also, is there some particular reason you are obsessed with foreclosures? I assume that you are looking into buying a house for quality of live issues, not as an investment vehicle.

48   carducci22   2012 Nov 3, 5:38am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

I have been looking on Redfin for a while. found Redfin a bit troubling. The reasonable prices are shown as sold. How could it be?
I am not obsessed with foreclosure, but I only see a reasonable price as foreclosure.
Pls enlighten me about the commute.

49   Fucking White Male   2012 Nov 3, 5:56am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

carducci22 says

I have been looking on Redfin for a while. found Redfin a bit troubling. The reasonable prices are shown as sold. How could it be?

I am not obsessed with foreclosure, but I only see a reasonable price as foreclosure.

Pls enlighten me about the commute.

I don't understand what you mean by reasonable prices. You have yet to list a price range you are looking for.

As far as commute.....Torrance, Redondo, etc to Downtown LA is a harsh commute at rush hour. Do a check on your GPS at the times you would be commuting during the week. I believe you'd be looking at a 60 minute commute that gets worse the further away you are from the 405.

50   carducci22   2012 Nov 3, 8:55am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

@Dodgerfanjohn, The places I am looking for is some where from 350-450PSF on Redfin.
It is too much. I don' mind to pay around 300PSF.

By the way, Redfin shows around 250PSF in the area I am looking for, unfortunately, it all shows as sold. I don't know whether it is a marketing trick or not.

Do you have any personal experience with listing web site?

As far as commute is concerned, you are accurate.

51   carducci22   2012 Nov 3, 9:02am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

@gulpher, can you drop some wisdom on the issue.
You are a brilliant guy.

52   Fucking White Male   2012 Nov 3, 10:02am     ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote    


I agree that current purchase prices in parts of Los Angeles I want to live in are too expensive.

I can probably afford up to $450k, but I'm simply not paying that much to live in a tiny house in marginal(though improving) neighborhoods.

I'm pretty sure those $450k cracker boxes are too expensive by around $130-180k at the moment.

53   gulpher   2012 Nov 3, 11:43am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

carducci22, the two web addresses should work. First, find the house address, enter it at the ResidentSchoolIdentifier to get the zoned schools (elem. secondary and high school). Then entering the schools info. to the other web to get the rating. Remember, only LA unified Schools (zoned) we are talking about although you can get the rating for any schools.

Torrance has five zip codes. I would only look at zip code 505, part of 503. Generally, anything east of Hawthorne Blvd is no go for me. 505 is great, 501 is no no IMHO.

Market is getting tougher now? It might be very hard to find a decent place in the neighborhoods we are talking about at $300 S/F.

54   carducci22   2012 Nov 3, 11:54am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

@Gulpher, What is the best tool to find the property?
Redfin and zillow are useless. A decent place is over a million dollar. Is it for real?
Any idea?

55   gulpher   2012 Nov 3, 1:53pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

carducci22, We were using Redfin and Ziprealty while shopping our home. Honestly, I don't know if there is 'best' tool. More or less, they are all similar. You are right that 'a decent place is over a million' in these neighborhoods. This afternoon I received a mail of report of the 3rd quarter sales from Prud**tial. It says the lowest sale price of the west Manhattan Beach is 700k while the highest is 6.2millions.

I used to live in Patrick's neighborhood, the bay areas for many years. So the price in LA is not going to make me jump. It's what it is.

56   carducci22   2012 Nov 3, 7:40pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

@gulpher, is there any dos and don'ts when you give offer?
How less do I give offer %? Does it make difference if I pay cash?
What is your overall advise?

57   gulpher   2012 Nov 4, 3:57am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

carducci22, Cash offer will make yours more attractive since there is no loan contingency. Do expect multiple offers if the property is listed at its fair market value in these neighborhoods. I got outbid four times before landed mine. The four houses were all sold at and above the listing. One would have to know the market well to come up with an offer.

I would seek professional help preparing an offer.

58   carducci22   2012 Nov 10, 2:32am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

@patrick, do you have any experience with a house via auction?
I got a good place but afraid to commit.
Pls share me any knowledge.
Your kind help is vey much appreciateed.

59   JAWS   2012 Nov 10, 10:09am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Call a title company, ask for a title rep.
Ask the rep to look up the property and advise you of any liens on the property. The liens are yours.
The title rep may accompany you to the auction.
They might already be at the auction.
They're free and will always do your legwork.

60   carducci22   2012 Nov 11, 2:17am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

@jaws, where is the place to look auction listings?
Any do's and don't and do's?
Pls advise me in detail.

61   JAWS   2012 Nov 11, 12:07pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Carducci22 - sorry, guess I messed up my reply.
What county do you want?
I can lead you to the county's website and a title co. (I'm in Las Vegas and we have a killer auction website put together by a title co) - don't know where you are. Don't read every comment.
Do not bid without knowing the liens, some don't matter, some you will be the sitting duck of the auction.
Walk the property yourself, snoop. Go to some auctions before you actually bid. Get the lay of the land, some tough bidders, some newbies and boy do they get taken. Just hang around and talk to the vendors.
Talk to a title rep - you can ask a million questions for free.

62   E-man   2012 Nov 11, 1:41pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

JAWS says

Call a title company, ask for a title rep.

Ask the rep to look up the property and advise you of any liens on the property. The liens are yours.

The title rep may accompany you to the auction.

They might already be at the auction.

They're free and will always do your legwork.


Which title company and which title rep do you work with? Can I get a referral? Sounds awesome especially when they are willing to work for free.

63   carducci22   2012 Nov 11, 8:15pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

@Jaws, I want LA county(los angeles) and Clark county(LV).
Pls load me with as many information as possible.

Your kind help is very much appreciated.

64   JAWS   2012 Nov 12, 8:24am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

carducci22 and E-man for Las Vegas, use
Follow the sign-up instructions. You can put in whatever dates you want. Comments from Ticor Title are on the right side. Linda Avila 702-525-4250 is the title rep and she's always at the auction which is held weekdays at Nevada Legal News, 930 S 4th St. Call her b/4 you go to the auction, ask her to look up any properties you like and email you property profiles. Auction starts 9:30, bring a chair, they have bathrooms. Just go and learn. Can't recall if they want whole amount @ time of bid, or they give you time to get it all in. Most bidders have loads of cashier's checks.
For CA, They have all counties and show the list of upcoming auctions. They take cashier's checks for full amount @ time of bid. Bring lots of cashier's checks. is a CA online auction site but I've never found anything but garbage. You register and send a deposit, then bid. They refund your money ASAP if you don't bid/win.

Sorry for this lengthy link, just copy and paste. Once on, go to left legend, 8th subject down, "property auctions." This is Orange County.

For LA County title companies, I really don't have a relationship, however, my past experience is that Chicago Title, North American Title, Ticor Title are all good. I've left messages for two of my realtor friends in Long Beach but it's a holiday and they're probably with kids - they will advise a good title rep and I'll give you the info, their names also so you can use as a reference.

65   E-man   2012 Nov 12, 11:52am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Thanks Jaw. I'll give those websites a spin. :)

66   David9   2012 Nov 12, 12:52pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

So this is what the Real Estate Market has come too? Cash only Trustee Sales?

I myself have been dabbling on

In fact, I have seen 'liens' 'for sale' that had been on the MLS market previously. Translated, previously viewable properties on Redfin that are 'sold' but, somehow, you can buy them for cash, at auction dot com lol, It truly is laughable.

Anyway, I haven't had time to reseach a trustee sale fully enough to be an expert. From the bit I have read, I'm basically buying the loan from the bank and assuming all liabilities, examples are mechanic liens, possible vandalism, 'removal of occupant' (their term go there yourself),
and possibly even a second lien.

They are honest about it, high risk, high reward, and do spell out the possible pitfalls.

67   JAWS   2012 Nov 12, 1:57pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

OMG, David9 and Professor, you are making so much out of nothing. No, you're not buying the loan from the bank. Really, can you buy a loan from a bank? Stroll into any bank and ask to buy one of their loans. In CA, you are not assuming all liabilities, in CA the liens from a bank are wiped out at an auction. It's the liens from Aunt Bessie in TX than I'm warning of. No removal of occupant, they're long gone. Stop acting like 2-yr olds.
Investors are not pissing off the poor - please, define the poor. The poor I'm aware of live in the LV stormdrains. Their kitchens are better stocked than restaurants on the Strip. They have cash and come and go as they please.
There is no plot to steal the remaining money.....huh.....there's more money in the world now than there ever has been. Take a class on money, currency, flow, geezzzz, I just chuckle at reading comments from people that obviously don't know what currency is, how it grows, makes it's tour around the world while y'all are still fretting about the impending doom. A market crash is an opportunity, if it happens, jump in and make a bundle.
Really, I don't know what some of you are afraid of. But I am cracking up.

68   carducci22   2012 Nov 12, 11:16pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

JAWS, the web site does not work

69   David9   2012 Nov 13, 12:48am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

The Professor says

The oligarchy likes class warfare, any warfare. It makes them richer and more powerful. In the end the market will crash and the investors will be swept away by "management".

Right on. And we are not talking CEO's or Movie Stars, we are talking centuries old money. They do not even mingle with us peasants, much less mate with us.

JAWS says

A market crash is an opportunity, if it happens, jump in and make a bundle.

Agree, that is what 'should' have happenned in CA.

70   David9   2012 Nov 13, 1:48am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

JAWS says

LV stormdrains.

Wow. You are not kidding. There are people living in the Las Vegas storm drains.

Maybe this is why 1 bedroom condos are back up to 250k here in Los Angeles.

71   carducci22   2012 Nov 13, 1:57am     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Hey, look everybody! We either sit on our hand and moan about the supper rich or try to use the crises for our own advantage.
The priceless asset is not money, it is information. All of us know something the other person doesn't know.
We are all in this site because we think ~ alike.
The missing link is tolerance. We are all in it together.
Let the information flow begin!!!

72   JAWS   2012 Nov 13, 11:00am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Carducci22 - Which website doesn't work? The link is the only one I question. Guys, this happened in the 70's, 80's, 90's and it'll happen again. If you let yourself get caught up in your fabulous knowledge, you'll miss the real boat which is your life experience. Find something you really want and go full speed ahead. I'll bet it's not really a house. If it is, then buy one. Money's cheap, don't use a bank, use a mortgage co that uses their own money. Easier to qualify and a better deal.

Stay away from auctions unless you have cash. The flippers that buy at auctions are down to 10 pct return and have to do 2/mo to make that. LV had about 2400 rentals in Feb, now it's just under 7000. Nothing rents for asking price. There are over 11,000 properties in Contingent status which means they're awaiting a bank approval, most contracted between Oct '11 and May '12. LV is stuck in Contingent-hell. All these people just sitting and waiting. The MSM reports these as Sold but they're not, just stuck.

73   carducci22   2012 Nov 14, 1:20am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

@JAWS, I am trying to buy in LA county. Open market is inflated so I am turning to auction. I can pay cash. What is your advise? Can you hook me up with someone helpful? Pls save me from RE agents.

74   JAWS   2012 Nov 14, 2:12am     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Carducci22. Patrick gave you sound advice, to go to your county records ofc, the one I know is in Norwalk, way smaller than LA. Take baby steps. If it was me, with a family, just wanting a family home and hating realtors, well, it was me in 1997, I felt our local realtors were undereducated, illiterate, couldn't figure numbers on a napkin, only used half an ear, directed me into their interests, so I got my own CA RE license, lockbox key, MLS membership and did my own legwork, got rid of my loser properties, bought using my brain and have never looked back. After I identify a property on my own, I give the deal to a realtor and ask for a referral fee which comes off the top of the commission, is not subject to franchise fees, brokerage split or insurance... I wind up almost with what I'd get with the whole commission and the realtor does all the work.

You're asking for help but you would be better off taking control and learning. I so admire some of the young guys I see in the brokerages. Just looking for a way to create their own business vs. working in a traditional job. And,very successful. RE is a fabulous way to be your own boss without ever coming close to a client. Most of us just do our own thing.

If you insist on being led by the nose, Google your way into local auctions. The Aztectrustee website is a good one because you can go everyday, see heir list of properties online and get educated.

You seem like a genuinely nice person but you'll be taken for a ride if you don't do your own work.

75   ttsmyf   2012 Nov 14, 2:16am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

76   carducci22   2012 Nov 14, 3:02am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

JAWS, what do you think of Vegas RE market? Does it have hope?
How about buy to let? Is the price going up or down?
Is the rental market strong? If it is yes, is it long term trend or just a flash?
What is your over all analysis?

77   David9   2012 Nov 14, 4:45am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

carducci22 says

Open market is inflated

I'm glad someone else thinks so.

robertoaribas says

AND, today, there isn't any significant discount at the auctions...

Glad someone noticed that too.

Both, couldn't resist the Dr. Obvious agreements.

78   JAWS   2012 Nov 15, 12:18am     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Carducci22. LV is a gaming town in the desert; it's always been a place with hope for those on the edge. There are 3x the available rentals now than there were at the start of the year. Rental mkt is weakening, competing prices. Too late. It peaked in Feb, now there are too many Johnny-come-lately's and many of them will lose, remember it's a gaming town.

My overall opinion is that it's too late to buy to rent. Too late to buy to flip. And, LV is not a nice place to call home. Lots of people do love it but they came from a fly-over state, not a nice one like Cali. If you can tolerate a desert town, go to Phx. Either place, you'll rent to strippers, pole dancers and go-go girls. They're the only ones making a lot of money. Don't rent to a plumber, the stripper can always get the plumber's money. This is a gaming town.

79   carducci22   2012 Nov 15, 1:00am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

JAWS, I got the picture. I would rather stick to Cali.
Thanks a million! You are a truly smashing guy.

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