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An Expert Guide to Buying Property in Santa Monica

Going through a home-buying experience can be a truly stressful process, especially if you are a first-time buyer. After all, given the size of the investment you're about to make and other factors at stake, it's only natural that you want to be sure you're making the right choice. However, buying property in Santa Monica doesn't have to be as stressful and overwhelming if you prepare well. So to help you have a smooth experience and come out of it with keys to your Santa Monica dream property, we've prepared a thorough guide. Now let's get to work.

A step-by-step guide to buying property in Santa Monica

Santa Monica, California, is a coastal community on the Pacific Ocean between Los Angeles and Malibu that spans 16 square miles. It's a year-round tourist mecca with a population of about 90,000. Many well-known worldwide businesses, such as Fatburger, the Hulu streaming platform, Xbox Entertainment Studios, and a number of renowned international film studios, have their headquarters in Santa Monica.

Santa Monica offers an ideal fusion of beach town chill and city life. This makes it one of the best suburbs of Los Angeles. On top of that, it's trendy and affluent and has excellent vistas to boot. However, like many other neighborhoods in the Los Angeles area, it is home to both wealthy homeowners and a sizeable homeless population.

There's much more to this thriving city on the outskirts of Los Angeles than its well-known tourist attractions. For instance, a strong housing market, easy access to the LA Metro, and major freeways. Not to mention excellent educational opportunities, a wide variety of cultural pursuits, commitment to sustainability, and the list goes on. So if you're ready to start looking for your Santa Monica home, here is our detailed guide to help you get started.

Research home prices and set a realistic budget

Regardless of where you plan to buy your home, you should first set a realistic budget. Properties in Santa Monica, as well as the rest of LA, are costly. So in order to know what type of home you should be looking for, you first need to know how much you can afford. Also, you need to make sure you qualify for financing (unless you're a cash buyer, of course).

So even before you reach out to your experienced LA real estate agent, research property prices and get a rough idea of what's waiting for you out there. In Southern California, you can find some of the most expensive homes in the US, and it's not uncommon to see homes for sale with asking prices in the hundreds of thousands, some even over a million. Given these considerations, it's critical to research Santa Monica home prices to locate a suitable property within your financial means.

Make a list of wants and needs

Figuring out what you're looking for when buying property in Santa Monica is the next step in the search process. A large home with lots of rooms and facilities may be appealing. However, taking stock of what you really need before making any significant decisions is crucial. Perhaps a condo is a better choice for you than a single-family home.

Looking for your new Santa Monica property will be much easier when you know what you need. However, keep in mind that it's highly unlikely you'll find a property that ticks all of your boxes. That's why it's important to prioritize your list and know what you're willing to give up and what not.

Hire an experienced local real estate agent

Going property hunting in Santa Monica on your own is not a good idea. Think of it this way – you probably wouldn't even think about moving to California without hiring moving services and having an experienced team you can rely on. The same is true when it comes to house hunting. In theory, you can do it on your own. However, the process may last longer and cost you more. And not to mention, it will be more difficult and stressful.

An excellent real estate agent will understand your wants and needs and, based on them, choose only homes that fit to show to you. Or, if you're being unrealistic in your demands, for example, your real estate agent will be right by your side to bring you back to reality and help you understand how far you can go.

On top of that, your real estate agent will have knowledge and understanding of the local market that you would need years to learn. They will be able to tell you exactly what's going on at the moment. For instance, at a median price of $1,780,000, Santa Monica real estate is currently selling at a record high. It's a seller's market in Santa Monica since more people are looking for a home there than homes for sale.

Choose the right Santa Monica neighborhood

Another vital thing to consider before starting your home search is what type of neighborhood you want to live in. Knowing this will also make your search a whole lot easier and less stressful. For instance, if you're a young, single professional, a condo in Downtown or Mid-city could be a perfect option. On the other hand, if you're looking for a place for your family, consider Wilshire-Montana or Palisades Beach Road.

Therefore, research the culture, vibe, and characteristics of different areas before settling on a specific one. Look into the local school system, healthcare facilities, safety, and the job market. Or, if you already have a job, proximity to it should play an important role in your decision. There's no better way to find out if a community is good for you than by thoroughly evaluating different Santa Monica neighborhoods.

Final thoughts

We hope our guide to buying property in Santa Monica helped you prepare for your upcoming real estate adventure. However, always keep in mind that the key to a successful home-buying process is to reach out to LA's finest real estate agent and ensure you have an experienced helping hand to guide you through the process. They'll listen to your wants and needs and won't stop until they find a Santa Monica property you truly wish for and deserve.

Written by Mary Aspen Richardson

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