Broker's Tips for Hollywood Hills Buyers

April 09, 2012 | Pursuits

The Hollywood Hills is one of the most sought-after areas to buy real estate, and rightly so. But as beautiful as that area is, it can be complex to navigate when buying a home.

When you finally identify the house you want to buy, the first order of business is deciding on a price, which includes many variables to take into account. Determining the value of a property there can be challenging due to the diversity of views, infrastructure, usable flat land, and access.

Hilton & Hylands Susan Andrews

Once you're in escrow, investigating the condition of the property is critical. Consider a geological inspection for hillside stability, a drainage inspection to control hillside erosion, and a boundary survey to clarify property lines. The shapes of Hills lots are often irregular, causing neighbors to unknowingly encroach on each other's properties, which can lead to costly litigation—and worse, living next door to your enemy! I currently represent the buyers of a Sunset Strip-area house where the previous sellers were forced to rescind the home in a down market and ordered to pay almost $1 million in damages due to an encroachment on a neighboring property they failed to disclose.

To make sure my clients weren't buying a house next to a litigious neighbor, I decided to knock on the door, introduce myself, and get the whole story. The neighbors couldn't have been lovelier, and my clients got along swimmingly with them. Surprisingly, that was the least of our problems.

After performing our own boundary survey, we found two more encroachments with the neighbor on the other side of the property. Even though a seller provides you with reports, it is always wise to conduct your own inspections. Using a knowledgeable Hollywood Hills agent is essential to protecting your most valuable asset—your sanity!

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