As much as the so-called experts would like to paint the housing market with a broad brush, the reality is quite different, as a West Los Angeles buyer told L.A. Land's Peter Viles. This buyer is no slouch - he was able to put 35 percent down on a $385,000 purchase. For youngins' unfamiliar with the term, that would be a downpayment, where you actually have to write out a check to cover a substantial part of the purchase price, often at least 20 percent. He says there are sellers out there willing to deal, but that the picture is mixed. Here's a snippet from his email:
I feel like I got a good deal on my place, but in many of my bids the seller was unwilling to negotiate much lower than their listing price. "I'll give you an example. I put in a bid on a condo in West LA that was small -- only 800 feet, a one bedroom unit with a loft. I was attracted to the building because it had many amenities, gym, pool, etc. I noticed that other units recently sold for approximately $385,000 to $410,000. So I began the bidding process at $385,000. The seller was listing this unit for $499,000. They countered back at $495,000. Of course I stopped the bidding process and moved on.
In my own Westside neighborhood, there just aren't many properties for sale. In the absence of supply, new listings have been getting lots of interest. Again, so much of this depends on where you live, so be careful about macro-generalizations.