Issues to Consider Before Making a Home Purchase

By Michael Edlen
Special to the Palisades News

Home buyers are often in a hurry to have their offer presented as quickly as possible. Sometimes their agents encourage quick action in an effort to avoid getting involved in a bidding situation. However, making an offer without first investigating various aspects of the home can result in disappointment upon moving in.

Over the years, I have observed prospective buyers give particular attention to various practical issues or features, but at the same time they overlook other things that might ultimately be even more important.

For example, the apparent shortage of storage space can often be readily solved by a couple of easy interior or exterior modifications. However, a major remodel job to create a larger kitchen would require more thought, planning, permitting and a much bigger budget than may have been anticipated.

Here are several questions a buyer might find beneficial to consider before presenting an offer:

  • Is the home satisfactory as it is, or would it require major changes?
  • Would major changes in that particular location be a wise investment?
  • What does the immediate neighborhood feel like at different times of the day? Are you willing to take a few hours to find out?
  • Is the home near a heavily-trafficked street that may present a noise issue? And, if so, can the sound be sufficiently mitigated by adding a large fountain or waterfall, or installing outdoor speakers for music?
  • How congested is the street and is parking relatively easy to find?
  • Is the micro-climate aligned with your general preference? Do you prefer a warmer or cooler temperature? For example, the Highlands tends to have a sunnier/warmer climate throughout the year than other parts of the Palisades.
  • Is the neighborhood, and this particular property, view-protected? Are there limitations that may prevent you from making desired changes? For example, do CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions) dictate where you could expand the house if it would be in the line of view from a neighbor’s home?
  • How close is it to a wilderness area and is the presence of wildlife an issue for you? For example, do you have small dogs that might be at risk from coyotes, especially at night?
  • Are most of the homes nearby expanded or remodeled already, or is it likely that future construction projects will be done on several of them?
  • On a scale of 1-10, does the home you are interested in feel like an 8 or better? Or are the compromises too significant, and you would rate it a 5 or lower?

Michael Edlen has sold 1,300 homes, representing over $1.5 billion in transactions, and his team has more than 100 years combined experience in real estate. He can be reached at (310) 230-7373 or

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