The Chinese New Year ushered in the Year of the Dragon, but 2012 may well be the Year of Distant Purchases on the real estate calendar. 

After a visit to Palos Verdes, my sister remarked about the variety of languages her ears detected while dining at a local restaurant.  The chatter from behind was Chinese, an Indian family, with grandmother in traditional sari, murmured quietly in the forward booth.  A Japanese family watched as their daughter skated at the adjacent indoor ice skating rink.  Neighboring tables echoed English, Spanish and a bit of “surf speak” laced with dude and other coastal Cali vernacular.  Yes, the Greater Los Angeles area is cacophony of cultures.

Last spring at the graduation ceremony at Ridgecrest Middle School in Rancho Palos Verdes as the graduating 8th graders marched across the stage one might think it was an international ceremony with representation from a multitude of countries and cultures.  And we like it that way.

I’m currently working with several prospective buyers from distant shores.  The technological tools available for today’s distant buyers and local real estate agents have simplified the purchasing process.  During the property selection process a prospective buyer can visit a plethora of real estate sites, including personal websites and blogs of local agents.  There is an abundant supply of information available online regarding the local schools, demographics, news and social events.  The online world of real estate information is plentiful.

If Palos Verdes is your purchase destination of choice, or any other destination, the next step is to contact a local agent and share your wants and needs–price, location, style, amenities–leave nothing to chance.  The exchange of information will allow the agent to do a better job matching properties with clients.  Photos, videos and first-hand information from the agent can eliminate the ill-fitting properties and elevate the most likely candidates to the top of the list.

Once your property choices are narrowed to a few top contenders the agent will provide comparable sales of similar homes in the area and include any other pertinent information she can garner about the property.  An offer may be made “Subject to Inspection” and upon agreement of price and terms, the buyer can arrange to view and inspect the property.

 The California Residential Purchase Agreement allows 17 days for property inspections, and additional days may be requested at the time the contract is written or by mutual agreement of the contractual parties.  Financial documentation should be included with the offer to purchase as it is important the seller knows a buyer is able to perform according to the terms agreed upon. Once the terms and conditions of the purchase are agreed upon, and the contract is fully executed, it is time to open escrow from afar and check on airfare and hotel accommodations.

Yes, I still believe it is wise to view the property before finalizing the purchase, especially if it is a large investment.  However, with e-signatures moving documents between parties is quick and easy.  It is best to work with a trusted financial advisor regarding  rules and regulations for moving funds from one country to another to avoid last-minute surprises and delays.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Palos Verdes lifestyle and owning property in the gorgeous coastal communities of the Palos Verdes Peninsula I can help answer your questions and assist you with purchasing a California coastal home.