Buying a home in California is no easy task. Given the current housing market trends, the state has some of the highest housing prices in the country.
The Golden State flaunts sunny weather, beautiful beaches, and great food. In addition to being an excellent place to visit, California is also a great place to live, and it offers residents plenty of opportunities for employment, entertainment, and recreation.
If you want to buy your dream home in California, this article offers insights into the current real estate market trends and steps to buy your next home.
Buying A House In California? Market Trends You Should Know
- According to a 2022 housing market forecast by the California Association of Realtors (CAR), existing single-family house sales would drop 5.2% next year, to 416,800 units, down from the expected 439,800 units in 2021. Compared to the pace of 411,900 homes sold in 2020, the 2021 total is 6.8% higher.
- CAR says the rising global economic fears will ensure the average for 30-year fixed mortgage interest rates remains at 3.5% in 2022.
- According to Zillow, California’s home market remains the most valued in the country, with a total value of $9.24 trillion last December, accounting for more than a fifth of the national total— 21.3%.
However, considering the tremendous increase observed in other states, California’s overall value growth of $1.38 trillion in 2021 represents “only” 20.1% of the whole national growth of $6.9 trillion— considerably disappointing by around -5.5% compared to its total value.
- Following a predicted 20.3% increase to $793,100 in 2021 from $659,400 in 2020, the median house price in California is expected to grow 5.2% to $834,400 in 2022.
- Prices will continue to rise due to a demand-supply imbalance, but increased interest rates and a partial adjustment of the sales mix will likely slow the pace of increase.
- Furthermore, if the flexible working schedule persists, changing housing demands to more inexpensive places will help slow things down to prevent the median price from climbing too quickly in 2022.
How to Buy A House in California: Step by Step Guide
If you’re looking to buy a home in the golden state, here are some proven steps you can take for buying a house in the hot California market:
Examine Your Finances
It’s one thing to sign on the dotted line, but it’s essential to understand all the numbers involved before buying a home. Take the time to calculate your income as accurately as possible and review your debts, including credit card balances and student loans.
Keep track of your spending habits by writing down everything you put towards a purchase, then examine your receipts. Finally, sit down with your spouse or partner or a financial expert to discuss your finances so they can help you identify any hidden red flags.
Team Up With A Professional
If you want to navigate the market like a pro, you should hire a realtor with experience. You will need someone who understands the process and can help guide you through each step. Many Realtors specialize in one area, but not all agents do.
We recommend finding an agent specializing in representing buyers rather than sellers only. If possible, avoid agents that focus more heavily on selling houses rather than helping people get into homes.
Before visiting prospective properties, ask your realtor about acquiring pre-approval letters or loans. This will give you a ballpark figure of what your monthly payment could look like and gives you a foot up above the competition.
Cash buyers and people who have a pre-approval status are gold when there is more than one offer on a property. Most sellers prefer an easy and quick closing.
Choose The Right Neighborhood In California
Choosing a favorable location for your neighborhood in California can be difficult because some schools and communities are overpriced while others suffer due to crime and poor upkeep.
Some neighborhoods offer a variety of amenities such as parks, restaurants, shopping centers, public transportation lines, nearby jobs, etc.
In contrast, other places have fewer opportunities. Try to choose a site that balances ease of living and a high-quality lifestyle.
Once you have found a few homes you like, compare them before buying. Don’t rely solely on the seller’s representation, as it could be misleading.
Partner with an agent to check the property’s past sales data and history to confirm the information is true that the seller is providing. You’ll also want to make sure you get an inspection of the exterior and interior of the home from a certified professional.
You can ask friends and family for recommendations, and also speak with some neighbors to see how long they have lived there and what they think of the community.
Look At Properties Locally
The amount of time you spend searching for a new home may seem long, but don’t underestimate the value of getting out there and seeing homes in person.
Being familiar with the area you plan to move to helps narrow down the choices and gives you a better feel for the neighborhood and culture.
Pick A Home
After getting pre-qualified, it is important to narrow down your prospective home. There are many factors to consider, including schools, commute times, proximity to amenities and jobs, etc.
Be prepared to spend at least three months renovating your home after purchase, including hiring plumbers, electricians, painters, and landscapers. You might also find yourself doing construction projects along with your contractor.
Remember to keep in mind what type of neighborhood you prefer. Communities differ drastically depending on whether you’re shopping for a starter or luxury home. Luxury homes come with larger yards, better security systems, newer appliances, and more interior space.
Starter homes, however, tend to be smaller, cheaper, and possibly located farther from work and public transit lines. Keep in mind that most cities do not allow trailers, recreational vehicles, and even some oversized trucks in the city limits unless specifically permitted.
Many people underestimate the closing costs and do not have this amount figured into their budget. Make sure you get all the numbers before the closing date so that you can be prepared when the time comes to get the keys to your new home.
Buying a home in California can be very rewarding and profitable down the road. Make sure you work with an expert realtor to get the advice and facts needed when looking for a house that meets all your needs and expectations.
Contact us today if you need assistance finding and buying a house in the Sacramento area. We can answer all of your questions and walk you through the process.