Los Angeles Housing Options for Relocating Employees: Part 2, Single Family Homes

In part 2 of our series on Los Angeles Housing Options for relocating employees, we focus on single family homes. For transferees moving to Los Angeles, there are many advantages to buying a single family home as opposed to renting. While there are many housing options including condominiums and apartments, those who buy single family homes often enjoy significant benefits compared to renting.

Advantages to Buying Single Family Homes in Los Angeles

Rents in some markets exceed the cost of home ownership, so buyers can save money each month if they buy instead of rent. Also, mortgages are similar to savings plans and investments, and buyers often gain equity in the home. Buying single family homes may help transferees move up to larger homes at a later date. Transferees looking at buying single family homes will gain the most compared to renting if they plan to live in the home more than seven years. The ability to claim home mortgage interest as a deduction is a major benefit to owning single family homes with a mortgage less than a million dollars.  Employees should consult their tax advisor.

Companies should encourage transferees to buy instead of rent, in order to help them establish roots in their community. Relocating employees will be more likely to view their opportunity as a career if they commit to their new location. Companies that offer home purchase benefits are more likely to be seen as committed to the transferee. They can also save money with the Buyer Value Option Program to avoid paying tax gross-ups on commissions and closing costs.

Los Angeles Single Family Homes

Highlights of Los Angeles Neighborhoods with Single Family Homes

Los Angeles has hundreds of neighborhoods and districts. Choosing where to buy single family homes can be a daunting task. Many helpful resources are available to help home buyers learn about the history and features of locations in and around the city. If a home buyer has a few general ideas of what they are seeking, chances are they will be able to find it in Los Angeles.

Comparison of five different neighborhoods:

Santa Monica and Venice Beach: Close to the beach, thriving restaurant scene, weather about 10 degrees cooler than in the city, and the funky Venice Beach Boardwalk with street performers and public art.

Hollywood: One of the most famous neighborhoods in the world, with iconic locations like TCL Chinese Theatre, star-studded Walk of Fame, the capital of the entertainment industry, and the huge Hollywood sign on the hills above so you always know where you are.

Elysian Valley, also known as Frogtown: An up-and-coming spot along the Los Angeles River and its Bike Path, home to artists, manufacturers, several warehouses, and innovative entrepreneurs.

Beverly Hills: Featuring legendary Rodeo Drive shopping, ultra-luxury glamour, exemplary of the Los Angeles dream of making it big in the entertainment industry.

Silver Lake: East-side trendy spot with green spaces, the Silver Lake Reservoir and Dog Park for recreation, hipster-friendly lifestyle, and famous Sunset Boulevard.

What You Should Know About Buying Single Family Homes in Los Angeles

Los Angeles neighborhoods have much to offer residents and visitors. Transferees looking to buy single family homes should work with a Realtor®. A qualified local Realtor® will have knowledge of the city and the market for single family homes.

GMS spoke with Erik R. Brown of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, Realtor®, TV host, speaker, and author of “One in a Million: Everything You Need to Know to Find the Best Realtor®.” Erik agreed to share his industry knowledge and market expertise on Los Angeles housing options for relocating employees.

Erik notes that Los Angeles is enjoying a strong seller’s market right now, so what is a potential buyer to do? In part 2 of a 3 part series, Erik shares his 9 tips and ideas for buying single family homes in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Housing Options: Single Family Homes

9 Tips and Ideas for Buying Single Family Homes in Los Angeles

1. Know What You Want

Know what you want before you start looking. What you want (and where you want to live) will play a huge role in the cost as well. Beyond the type of home, decide on what features you want, from the home style to the neighborhood. If you have non-negotiables, identify those from the beginning.

2. Be Realistic

Related to the tip above, you do need to be realistic. Tons of square footage, updated fixtures, and a pool might not be realistic in your budget. Or, you might need to broaden where you are looking to find single family homes that fit into your budget. The first home you purchase in Los Angeles might not be your dream home, but buying any home in Los Angeles is a big deal, given the high cost and competitive market.

3. Obtain Pre-Approval for a Mortgage

Before you even go look at a house, get your finances in order. Decide on your budget, how much you can put down, and obtain pre-approval for a mortgage. A pre-approval doesn’t guarantee that you will get the mortgage. However, it does mean that the bank determines that you are a good borrower. As a result, they will make a commitment to finance your home once you find one. In a market as competitive as Los Angeles, there is a good chance that sellers won’t even consider an offer if a buyer can’t provide a pre-approval letter from their lender.

4. Offer Cash

If you want to sweeten your offer, you should make a cash offer. A cash offer is more attractive to a seller because they don’t have to worry about dealing with your mortgage lender or appraisals. Cash offers can usually close quicker as well, making it much more likely that a seller will choose a cash offer over one where the buyer is financing the home purchase.

5. Shop Around and Have Options

Because the market is so competitive, single family homes aren’t on the market very long. As a result, you have to be ready to put in a bid right away. You will also want to make sure you have backup choices. Bidding wars are becoming more and more common, so you can’t assume that you are going to get the house. Make sure you have other single family homes that you like in the event that your bid is not selected.

6. Personal Enjoyment versus Investment

A buyer may also consider an area that fits their lifestyle versus an area that is gentrifying or improving. Gentrifying areas can be on the rise, but may not have all the established amenities of a more established neighborhood or area. However, this is often reflected in the price of the homes.

7. Consider a Fixer-Upper

If you are really tied to a certain location but can’t find an updated home with everything you want, consider buying a fixer-upper and put in the work to get it to what you want. This is a great way to get a home in a pricier neighborhood and give you a home that has what you want by building or renovating. Envision what a dated or non-updated home could look like with your updates, rather than focusing on what they look like currently.

8. Compromise on the Area

If you want a home less than $1 million in Los Angeles, you might have to look outside of the more upscale neighborhoods. You can explore outside of the greater Los Angeles area, but still stay in Los Angeles County, and find single family homes for much less money. The median home price in Los Angeles County is around $600,000, making it more affordable for you if you are willing to be flexible. Outlying communities still give you a close proximity to the city, but at a much lower cost.

9. The Bottom Line

Buying single family homes in Los Angeles requires you to do some work ahead of time. You need to get your finances in order. You will also need patience, and the ability to move quickly if you find a home that you like. With the right Realtor® helping you navigate the real estate market, you can make it out of the process with your sanity intact.

What Should Employers do?

Employers should share helpful information about single family homes in Los Angeles with their relocating employees. This will help transferees and their family members learn about the housing market in the city. As a result, relocating employees will have valuable information to help them easily find single family homes that meet their requirements.

Employers should also provide as much information about the new location as possible. They should work with a qualified and experienced Relocation Management Company (RMC) that can provide many useful resources to assist relocating employees and their family members. Destination spotlights that highlight many aspects of a location are helpful reference materials to share with transferees during their pre-decision process. Video destination spotlights are a great resource to visually show employees and their family members their new location in Los Angeles.


Global Mobility Solutions’ team of corporate relocation experts has helped thousands of our clients understand how to identify and share valuable real estate and neighborhood information with transferees. Our team can help your company share helpful information on single family homes in Los Angeles that will give transferees peace of mind as they go through their relocation process.

GMS was the first relocation company to register as a .com. The company also created the first online interactive tools and calculators, and revolutionized the entire relocation industry. GMS continues to set the industry pace as the pioneer in innovation and technology solutions with its proprietary MyRelocation™ technology platform.

Global Mobility Solutions is proud to be named and ranked #1 Overall, and #1 in Quality of Service by HRO Today’s 2019 Baker’s Dozen Customer Satisfaction Survey.

Learn best practices from Global Mobility Solutions, the relocation industry and technology experts. GMS is dedicated to keeping you informed and connected. Contact our experts online to discuss your company’s need for information about single family homes in Los Angeles to share with your transferees, or give us a call at 800.617.1904 or 480.922.0700 today.

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