6 Top Misconceptions When Buying in Manhattan Beach

6 Top Misconceptions When Buying in Manhattan Beach

  • Diane Stone
  • 03/12/23

Manhattan Beach is a beautiful beachside city in Los Angeles county that is known for its stunning views, idyllic beaches, perfect weather, and affluent lifestyle. If you’re looking for Manhattan Beach real estate, there are several misconceptions about purchasing a home that you should be aware of before you begin the search. Read on to learn what they are. 

Myth #1: Down payment of 20% is required

For conventional loans, it used to be true that a 20% down payment was needed. But today, there are plenty of low-down-payment and even no-down-payment loan options available.

While it's true that having a 20% down payment gives you some advantages — like not having to pay for private mortgage insurance — it's not necessary to purchase a home. There are many loan programs available that allow you to buy a home with as little as 0%, 3%, or 5% down. Do your research and talk to a lender to see what program best suits your situation.

Myth #2: Your credit score needs to be perfect

You do not need a perfect credit score to qualify for a mortgage on Manhattan Beach property. While it's true that having good credit will give you more options and potentially entitle you to a lower interest rate, you don't need perfect credit to buy a home. Yes, your credit score is important but it’s just one of many factors that lenders use when deciding whether you qualify for a loan. As long as your credit score is within an acceptable range, you should be able to qualify for financing. Work with your financial planner and lender about the options that are available to you.

It’s also worth speaking to a lender at a traditional bank or credit union to learn about your options there. 

Myth #3: All real estate agents are the same

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
Not all real estate agents are created equal! It’s important that you find an agent who really understands your needs and who you feel comfortable working with throughout the lengthy process. Look for an agent who has extensive experience handling real estate and a stellar track record. A great agent is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to finding and buying your perfect home.

You also need to find a good lender, an experienced home inspector, and potentially a contractor — just to name a few key players on your team. When working with a top Realtor®, they have a list of vetted contacts in each of these areas. Overall, make sure everyone involved in helping you purchase your home is someone you trust and feel comfortable working with.

Myth #4: Wait to buy until prices drop

Nobody can accurately predict the future, so waiting for prices to fall has its risks. If you wait too long, you may miss out on your dream home as someone else snatches it up. If you see a property that you love and it meets your needs, don't hesitate to make an offer.
One of the best things about owning a home is that it can help inflation-proof your investment portfolio. Over time, the price of your home will likely increase, which means that your investment will grow along with it.

As long as you keep the home well-maintained, it should continue to appreciate in value, even if the rate of inflation increases. From the time of purchase, you are building equity in your home. Eventually, you can use this equity to help finance major purchases, like a new car or a second home.

Myth #5:  It’s okay to waive the home inspection

Photo courtesy of Compass
Home inspections are key to uncovering potential problems with a home before you buy. Inspections are an objective examination of the physical structure and systems of a home, from the roof to the foundation. Home inspectors look for any items that are not up to code or that could be potential safety hazards. While most homes will have at least some minor issues, some defects can be expensive to fix.

Unfortunately, some buyers waive their right to a home inspection to save money or speed up the buying process. But without an inspection, you could be buying a home that has serious, unseen problems. And that means you could end up paying much more in the long run.

Myth #6:  Getting pre-approved for a loan isn’t necessary

There are several advantages of getting pre-approved for a mortgage before shopping for a home.
First, it gives you an idea of how much you can afford so that you can narrow down your search to homes within the right price range.

Secondly, having a pre-approval letter in hand makes you a more attractive buyer to sellers since they know that you're serious about the purchase and you have the financing to back up your offer.
Finally, being pre-approved can help expedite the closing process once you've found a home since many of the necessary steps will already have been taken care of.

Ready to begin your search for Manhattan Beach houses for sale? Or are you looking at Redondo Beach real estate? Contact an experienced Realtor® like Diane Stone. She has the expertise to find your dream home and will ensure a smooth and successful real estate journey.

*Header photo courtesy of Compass

Work With Diane

​​Diane is a multi-year award winning Five Star Real Estate Agent, acknowledged in Los Angeles Magazine, Forbes and Fortune. Inducted into the Hall of Fame at a previous broker, she is proud to now be part of nationally acknowledged broker, Compass.

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