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How to buy your dream home in Beverly Hills

beverly-hills

When it comes to luxury real estate, Beverly Hills is certainly in the big leagues. There are only a few places in the world where you can find palatial estates, modern architectural residences, and an intense concentration of high-net-worth individuals at the same time.

There is so much eye candy in Beverly Hills that it is easy to get distracted. It is completely understandable, especially if it is your first time to purchase Beverly Hills real estate. But one of the most important things to remember is that when you acquire a property in Beverly Hills, you are buying into a high-value market and, quite possibly, a piece of Hollywood or Los Angeles history.

Let us get you started in your real estate investment of a lifetime. Read on to learn how to buy your dream home in Beverly Hills.

AT A GLANCE: How to buy your dream home in Beverly Hills

  • Get acquainted with the market
  • Where do you want to buy?
  • Making the perfect offer
  • Special considerations to remember
  • Contact the Valerie Fitzgerald Group

Get acquainted with the market

Beverly Hills only covers 5.71 sq. mi. of land in southwest Los Angeles County. Almost every inch of this city is covered by million-dollar homes, if not luxury retail and dining or green spaces. Currently, the median home sales price in Beverly Hills is around $2.9 million, while the median listing price is at $5.3 million.

The prices of homes for sale in Beverly Hills may be steep, but these properties also tend to retain their value over time compared to other markets in Los Angeles. It is one of the many reasons why Beverly Hills is a darling among experienced real estate investors. Since 2000, the market has appreciated by 147.04% with the annual appreciation rate at around 4.30%.

If you want stable home values and high appreciation rates, Beverly Hills luxury real estate will not disappoint.

Was the market affected by the pandemic?

A testament to Beverly Hills luxury real estate’s stability and longevity is how it fared during the pandemic. Home values in the market kept at $4 million when the COVID-19 pandemic started, rarely dipping below that mark. Even better, home values in Beverly Hills began increasing when 2021 rolled in. Market forecasts predict that this trend will continue until 2022.

Will you have competition?

Yes. As of the third quarter of 2021, the housing supply in Beverly Hills remains tight. There are currently only 95 homes for sale, majority of which are luxury single-family homes. Off-market listings, however, are prevalent in Beverly Hills. Therefore, do not let current market data deter you from the get-go. Seek advice from a Beverly Hills luxury real estate agent— they may be selling off-market listings or know somebody who does.

Furthermore, international buyers are expected to come in droves as travel restrictions continue to loosen around the world. They are in the hunt for so-called “trophy assets,” and what better place to look than Beverly Hills?

That said, these wealthy foreign buyers are usually on the lookout for new construction. If you are eyeing an older or historic property, you might find some wiggle room considering that only 4.6% of homes in Beverly Hills were built within the past 21 years.

Half of the population rents

As of date, Beverly Hills has a total of 14,769 homes and apartments scattered throughout the city. About 58.5% of the local population rents in Beverly Hills, 41.5% are homeowners, and the remaining 15.9% homes are vacant.

If you are on the fence about buying a Beverly Hills home but want to live here, renting might be the ideal compromise. The average market rent in the city is $3,788 per month, although you will likely shell out more for larger homes especially in Beverly Hills Gateway. Beverly Hills is also one of the few cities in Los Angeles County where annual rent increases are controlled.

Even if you are set on becoming the owner of a Beverly Hills home, knowledge of the local renting population can expand your options. Aspiring property investors will be glad to know they will have a steady market of both short-term and long-term tenants looking to live in Beverly Hills.

beverly hills mansions landscape aerial view

Where do you want to buy?

There are two things most outsiders don’t know about Beverly Hills. First is just how close-knit this community is. Second, the city is divided into at least 7 smaller neighborhoods. When purchasing homes for sale in Beverly Hills, it is best to figure out where in the market you want to buy based on your preferences.

The Flats

The Flats is home to Beverly Hills’ iconic palm tree-lined streets that are often featured in Hollywood films. The majority of the city’s 32,700+ residents live in this area.

Located between Beverly Hills Gateway and Santa Monica Boulevard, The Flats is considered a part of Beverly Hills’ “north of the tracks” segment. It is mostly flat, as its name suggests, and features spacious lots and large homes in a variety of architectural styles. Common throughout the neighborhood are Spanish Revivals, perfectly symmetrical Georgians, and Chateauesque properties.

One of the most iconic homes in The Flats is The Witch’s House or Spadena House. It dates back to the 1920s and is one of the best examples of storybook architecture in Los Angeles County.

Beverly Hills Gateway

North of The Flats is an area referred to as Beverly Hills Gateway. It is bordered by Sunset Boulevard to the south, Holmby Hills to the west, The Bird Streets to the east, and Beverly Park to the north. Trousdale Estates is to the northeast.

Beverly Hills Gateway, despite its proximity to Sunset Boulevard, is largely quiet and residential. Here, the landscape changes as well. It is at this point where the hills start. As a result, homes for sale in Beverly Hills Gateway, which are some of the most expensive in the county, usually feature uninterrupted views of Sunset Boulevard and the hillside.

The Greystone Mansion is a legendary property in Beverly Hills Gateway, located just before Trousdale Estates. Like most historic properties in the city, it was built in the 1920s. The Greystone Mansion features Tudor Revival architecture and was once the most expensive home in all of Beverly Hills.

Trousdale Estates

Tucked between The Bird Streets and Beverly Park, Trousdale Estates sits on the highest point in Beverly Hills. The neighborhood is one of the best places in Southern California to search for pristine mid-century homes by notable architects like A. Quincy Jones, Wallace Neff, Cliff May, Lloyd Wright, and Richard Dorman.

Trousdale Estates’ treasured mid-century homes, as well as California Ranches and Hollywood Regency properties, feature single storeys to preserve the unobstructed views of the LA Basin that residents can enjoy throughout the neighborhood. And being so high up the hills, Trousdale Estates is almost covered in lush landscaping and mature trees.

The Golden Triangle

Also known as Downtown Beverly Hills, the Golden Triangle sits on the other side of Santa Monica Boulevard and across The Flats. This is the first neighborhood in Beverly Hills’ “south of the tracks” segment.

The Golden Triangle is the commercial heart of the city where you can find the famous Rodeo Drive, among many other things. Residential real estate options in the neighborhood are few and limited to mid-rise luxury condos, apartments, and townhouses.

Slim pickings in housing aside, The Golden Triangle’s location is hard to beat. You can purchase fresh produce every Sunday morning at Beverly Hills Farmers Market. A dazzling array of 5-star dining options, from sidewalk cafes to glitzy restaurants, are also located throughout the neighborhood. You are also at the intersection of Santa Monica and Wilshire Boulevards, opening more avenues for play and more.

Southwest Doheny

Located south of Wilshire Boulevard, Southwest Doheny is a small neighborhood. Homes for sale in this part of Beverly Hills are considerably more affordable than the ones in The Flats and Beverly Hills Gateway, but are no less attractive or sought-after. These properties are laid out in neat grids, with tree-lined streets offering plenty of shade.

Southwest Doheny is highly recommended if you want close proximity to all of the amenities the Golden Triangle provides without being caught in the rush of Downtown Beverly Hills.

La Cienega Park

La Cienega Park in the southeast corner of Beverly Hills is much more laidback than the rest of the city. The overall vibe is active, with plenty of outdoor workout stations scattered throughout the neighborhood. Wilshire Boulevard runs north of the area.

Real estate in La Cienega Park consists of beautiful luxury properties. Mediterranean-inspired architectural styles are popular in the neighborhood, but there are also Modern homes here and there. Multi-family residences are also found throughout La Cienega Park, offering up to 5,000 sq. ft. in total living space.

Roxbury Park

Located in the southwest portion of Beverly Hills, Roxbury Park borders Century City and Wilshire Boulevard. At its heart is Roxbury Park, an 11-acre green space that is home to several community amenities, including the Roxbury Park Community Center of Beverly Hills. This park is the neighborhood’s main draw apart from its access to Wilshire Boulevard.

Housing options in Roxbury Park are surprisingly diverse than in other Beverly Hills neighborhoods. In this small corner of the city, you can find condos, townhomes, multi-family residences, single-family homes, and older yet well-maintained apartments that exude Southern California charm.

typical palms along the street in beverly hills

Making the perfect offer

The perfect offer has two main factors: the amount should be within your budget and it should entice the seller to accept your offer.

Coming up with the right price

While you can indicate the seller’s exact listing price for the property in your offer, do consider your options. You might get a better deal than anticipated. We look at market conditions and the value of the property to arrive at a reasonable offer price.

Deal sweeteners

The simpler your offer is, the better. Most sellers in Beverly Hills want the transaction to be done fast. As a result, they are attracted to offers that stipulate shorter contingency periods. Another component that catches the eyes of plenty of home sellers is a large deposit. If you can make it, do not hesitate to include it in your offer.

Don’t forget these special considerations

Aiming for long-term success for your real estate investment? Here are a few other things to bear in mind before you shop for homes for sale in Beverly Hills.

Hire a Beverly Hills Realtor

Scouring online real estate websites is a great way to see what is currently available in the market. But if you want to tap into off-market listings as well, you need a Realtor who specializes in Beverly Hills luxury real estate on your team.

The right Realtor will bring more than off-market listings to the table. They can connect you to the right contractors and professionals to further your interests and meet your unique real estate goals in Beverly Hills.

Do not ever skip inspection

Home inspections and surveys are a must in a high-value real estate market like Beverly Hills, where the majority of homes were built between the 1920s and 1990s. Regardless of how pristine a property looks, always call a professional inspector or surveyor to inspect it, especially in the case of older and historic homes.

In case issues are found, do not be deterred. Knowing the true existing condition of the property can help you make the appropriate plans that will make your real estate investment in Beverly Hills worth every penny. It is also common among new homeowners in Beverly Hills to make upgrades or renovations so the home can suit their preferences to a tee.

Additional costs

Your dream home in Beverly Hills’ asking price is not the only thing to consider when budgeting your finances. In the long run, you will need to shoulder maintenance and upkeep costs, staff expenses, and more.

One of the most important things to save up for is the property tax. The rate in Beverly Hills is known to be the highest in Los Angeles County at 1.1% of the fair market value of your home. That can translate to over $25,000 a year. There is no need to worry about large property tax rate increases in the future, however, thanks to Proposition 13.

You should also look into getting home insurance, with the coverage depending on your plans for the property. Most homeowners insurance protects a person’s dwelling, personal property, and loss of use in case of damages caused by the exact perils stated in the policy, but it really depends on the company and the kind of coverage their homeowners insurance provides.

If you are planning on turning your Beverly Hills property into a rental, you may also want to consider getting landlord insurance. This will protect your property from damages and loss of rental income. Furthermore, landlord insurance will ensure you are not liable in case your tenant (or their visitor) suffers an injury caused by a maintenance issue.

overhead mansions in beverly hills aerial view

Natural risks

Beverly Hills real estate may be susceptible to most market changes, ensuring long-term growth and appreciation. But sometimes, life throws lemons and they can come in the form of natural risks. In Los Angeles County, two primary concerns are wildfires and earthquakes.

It is no secret that wildfires are becoming more prevalent in the country due to mismanagement of natural areas and climate change. In 2020 alone, 4.2 million acres of California were razed by 5 of the biggest wildfires recorded in the state’s history. Although Beverly Hills has yet to be affected by these fires, prevention is always better than cure.

Due to recent events, the City of Beverly Hills has released guidelines to reduce wildfires in the area, especially up in the hills where the potential for brush fires is high. Besides these wildfire prevention initiatives, you can add a layer of protection to your Beverly Hills real estate investment by making sure your homeowners insurance has fire coverage.

While major earthquakes are a rare occurrence, they are also unpredictable. It also does not help that the entire Los Angeles County sits on a network of fault lines that criss-cross with each other. Beverly Hills, in particular, is on top of the Santa Monica fault line. It runs directly underneath Rodeo Drive and Downtown Beverly Hills then through Westside.

Unlike fires and other natural disasters, homeowners insurance does not include earthquake coverage, only losses in case a fire happens after an earthquake. For this reason, it would be best to purchase a separate earthquake insurance. In California, residential earthquake insurance is offered by the California Earthquake Authority (CEA) through 25 private companies.

CEA’s residential earthquake insurance covers the dwelling’s structure, emergency repairs, and building code upgrades, not to mention personal property and additional living expenses.

Contact the Valerie Fitzgerald Group to buy your dream Beverly Hills home

I’m Valerie Fitzgerald, and I lead the Valerie Fitzgerald Group. When it comes to navigating a market as sought after as Beverly Hills real estate, experience matters. With my 20+ years of helping buyers and sellers make the right investment decision, you’re in capable hands.

Get in touch with my team today at 310.285.7515 or valerie(at)valeriefitzgerald(dotted)com to learn more about homes for sale in Beverly Hills.

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