When my clients follow the 10 steps to buying condos in Long Beach, they have success. Buying a condo or townhome is a daunting tasks without a plan in place.
There are more than 18,000 condos in Long Beach California. Many people who have never owned a condo and are looking to buy their first one may find the process daunting.
But with some preparation and research it can be a straightforward and successful experience that will enrich your life for years to come.
Step 1 – Make sure you want Long Beach condo.
This is the first step in buying a condo. If you are buying the condo as an investment or to rent, then it is not essential that you love the place.
But if this is your primary residence, buying a condo that you will really want to live in for years into the future can make all the difference between whether it is worth buying or not.
Step 2 – Location, Location, Location – Which Long Beach Neighborhood Do You Like?
What area of Long Beach do you want to live in? You can buy a condo anywhere. Some people prefer buying downtown if they need to work there, some like buying in downtown Long Beach while other people like waterfront condos in Marina Pacifica, and some prefer buying out at the beach.
Some people like buying condos in other cities, such as San Pedro or Signal Hill. There is no right or wrong answer. Many people buying their first condo are not sure what they really want and end up buying a place that doesn’t suit them well.
Step 3 – What Amenities do you want in a Condo community?
What amenities do you want? Think hard about the features you will need in your new condo as some buildings have more than others.
For example, some buildings may have nice communal areas to live in, but lack a gym. Likewise, some have great gyms but no pool.
All these things may sound minor, but buying a long-term home in which you spend most of your time is important so make sure you get the right amenities.
- Make a list of amenities that you desire
Step 4 – Size, Size, Size – Square Footage & Bedrooms
This step doesn’t mean buying a condo with more room than you need, but buying a condo that fits your lifestyle. If you are going to own a condo, make sure it is something you’re going to enjoy living in for some time. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? Walk through the condo and envision where your furniture would go.
- I usually give you a Buyer Tour packet of listings with a pen. There is an area under the details to make your notes.
Step 5 – Drive by the Condo Community in the morning and evening
Check out what the neighborhood looks like in the morning around 7 or 8 am if possible and in the evening around 5 or 6 pm.
- Is it busy in the neighborhood?
- Is it hard to find parking?
- Can you see yourself living in this area of Long Beach?
Step 6 – If you are financing this purchase get Pre-Approved for a Loan Not Pre-Qualified
Many times, I’ve had clients wait until the last minute to get this step accomplished. You need to be prepared ahead of time.
Pre-approved means that you have filled out a complete loan application with a reliable bank, mortgage company or mortgage broker. I know plenty of lenders that should be able to help you get financing.
6A – The Offer
When I write up an offer to benefit you in the purchase of a condo in Long Beach or another city, I need to include your “pre-approval” letter from your lender and a copy of your proof of funds. Proof of funds should show where your down payment and closing costs monies are coming from.
That should be a bank statement or investment account statement or a letter from your banking stating that they have reviewed your accounts and you have the funds _______ to purchase.
Step 7 – Upon Acceptance of You Offer What Happens?
After your offer has been accepted and signed off by the seller. You will get a copy of the signed offer and any counter offers that happened during the offer phase.
I will send a copy of the offer to your lender and the escrow company. You will wire transfer your deposit to the escrow company. Double check with the escrow company on the wiring instructions to make sure you have the right numbers for that.
Step 8 – Read and Analyze Disclosures from the Seller
There are required time frames within the purchase contract for you and the seller to get things done. The seller has to provide you with disclosures about their property. They are to disclose everything they know about their property in these documents.
It is your responsibility to review their disclosures and investigate the property.
Visit Long Beach City Hall
Your investigation may include you contacting city hall’s building department and asking them about permits.
Asking code enforcement at city hall if your condo or house is in the Long Beach Parking Impact Zone. (see photo to the left)
If the property is in this zone on the map, the seller is responsible to disclose that and request an inspection of the garage if there is one or get an exemption if there is no garage.
These inspections and disclosures should be made during the escrow time frames in the contract.
If you want to check permits at Long Beach city hall, you need to go there. Realtors are not general contractors and do not go to city hall to ask about permits regarding a property. Buyers and sellers can do that.
Step 9 – Hire a Home Inspector to Inspect the Property
Inspecting the property is your responsibility as a buyer. Most of my clients will contact a home inspector and pay them to inspect the property. They will give you a report of items they found at the property.
From the Home Inspection report and the one I do (Agent Visual Inspection Report), you can ask the seller to repair items at the property. The seller is under no obligation to do so.
- When you buy a property, you are buying it in as-is condition.
- One of the disclosure documents is called the Statewide Buyer and Seller Disclosure. It lists all of the ways that you can inspect the property.
- In my Long Beach Home Buyer’s Guide, I share with you 3 home inspection companies that you can call
Step 10 – After Your Loan Has Been Approved and all Inspections are Complete
It’s time for a final walk through of the property. This happens 5 days before the close of the escrow time. Why? It is a time for you to check to see if any repairs that you and seller agreed to have been completed…and it is a formality of the sale.
Next up, the property closes escrow. The seller moves out and you move in.
Let’s Recap the 10 Steps to Buying Condos in Long Beach California
- Make sure you want to buy a condo or townhome
Decide where you want your Long Beach condo to be located in the city
How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need?
What amenities do you want in the community?
Research the area
Get financing by a reliable lender
Read and analyze disclosures
Do all inspections of the property in the time frames stated in the contracts
Get excited about buying a condo in Long Beach
- Take my 5-minute home buyer questionnaire
Buying a home is one of the most important decisions you will make in your lifetime. It’s also likely to be the biggest purchase you ever make. That’s why it pays to do your research and get all of the right information before making this big commitment.
I am here for you every step of the way throughout your journey toward homeownership, from start to finish. Take my 5-minute home buying questionnaire today!
What are the current trends for Long Beach condos by zip codes?
I created an appreciation chart in 2021 for Long Beach condos and we are updating it in 2022.