Perhaps you’re considering shopping for an incredible home in Malibu, such as Broad Beach real estate, and you’ve spoken with others to get an idea of what the process might be like. In a market like the one you’ll find in Malibu, for the right property things can get competitive, which can lead to rumors circulating. While they may have good intentions, some people will make claims about Malibu real estate that aren’t true or helpful.
For expert knowledge on the true state of the Malibu market, Mark Gruskin is the Realtor® you can trust. This article will combat some of the myths to give you a clearer picture of what it’s actually like to buy or sell a home in Malibu.
1. It’s impossible to find a home in this market
That said, the market does remain relatively tight in highly sought-after locales like this one, and homes typically command higher prices. However, according to the monthly market report by the California Association of Realtors, as of August 2022, the median price for a single-family home in Malibu was down 18.5% from a year ago. While it is true that finding the right home is competitive because active Malibu listings are also down 16.7% from last year, you can certainly find the perfect new home if you are patient and work with an expert real estate agent. That way, when you finally find a home you love, you’ll work with your agent to come up with the right strategy to stand out above the rest.
Some people will tell you that the market is headed towards a “real estate bubble,” specifically in high-demand areas of the country like the greater Los Angeles area. The concept plays out as houses come into greater demand, which drives up the sales price, but prices plummet as supply comes closer to meeting the demand. Buyers and sellers should remember that there are several other factors, such as the rising cost of living and overall economic landscape, that can impact the sales price of a home.
2. Only billionaires live in Malibu
Certainly, several prominent high net worth individuals call the Malibu area home. However, many people who have never been in a movie or played a concert in front of a packed arena are welcomed into the Malibu community. For starters, many people are unaware that Malibu is also a college town. Pepperdine University sits on 830 acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the Pacific Coast Highway just outside of Malibu. The school has over 3,500 undergraduate students and nearly 400 full-time faculty members. Others find their way to Malibu, looking for a reprieve from the big-city hustle and bustle that is a necessary evil of living in the Los Angeles area.
3. All the homes are on the beach
Many people dream of finding Broad Beach homes for sale and living their daily lives only a few steps from the sands of the Pacific Ocean. And while there are certainly plenty of gorgeous beach homes located in the Malibu area, there are also plenty of single-family homes scattered throughout the Santa Monica Mountains as well. While these homes don’t provide direct beach access like a home near the water might, they often provide the best views of the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding mountain ranges. Furthermore, because some these homes are found in more remote or secluded areas, they allow you to enjoy greater privacy than if you lived right next to the beach.
4. It’s best to rent in a market this competitive
A big question is how long you plan to live in the area. If you’re only going to be in Malibu for a year or so, perhaps renting is the wisest choice to make. However, if you’re interested in making Malibu your home for the foreseeable future, buying a home can be a strong investment. Over the longer haul as the market cycles and appreciates, your home will likely dramatically increase in value, and you could be in line for a big payday later on when you choose to sell. Not to mention you won't have thrown thousands of dollars away in rent.
For those not paying cash, the best way to determine what you can afford is to utilize an online mortgage calculator to estimate what your payments might be. From there, it’s wise to get pre-qualified for a loan before you begin seriously shopping for homes (and certainly before you make an offer on the home). This gives the seller peace of mind that you can afford to buy their property and that they won’t run into any hiccups with your loan during escrow. Typically, sellers prefer the surest bet when it comes to selling their home, and sellers won’t accept a deal if they aren’t fully convinced that the buyer can secure a loan to pay for the home in the first place.
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*Header photo courtesy of Mark Gruskin