Whether you have been mulling over the idea of buying your first home in California or fifteenth home, it may be a very wise financial decision to finally pull the trigger on buying a new home in California this year.
Here are five reasons why:
1. Having a mortgage loan can be less expensive than paying rent. Rental rates have been climbing and the latest numbers show a 6.1 percent year-over-year increase. In many areas, the average monthly rent is higher than the average monthly mortgage. Or, look at it this way: Making a mortgage payment is an investment into your equity, whereas making a rental payment is not.
2. California Home prices are still reasonable in most areas. As we mentioned, home prices are rising in many areas, but not as fast as they were two years ago or even last year, when prices rose slightly above 4.0 percent nationally. Although all real estate markets are different, prices in many cities and markets are significantly lower than they were at the peak of the housing boom back in 2006.
3. Interest rates are low for all types of mortgages. Whether you’re looking for a 30-year fixed-rate, a 15-year fixed-rate, a jumbo loan, or an adjustable rate mortgage, the interest rates are definitely in your favor right now. Currently, the rates are at the lowest levels they’ve been since May of 2013. Along with home prices, this is an area in which you can save quite a bit of money.
4. Getting a mortgage loan with a down payment of 3 percent just got easier.Although there are some restrictions, you can now get a mortgage backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac that has a down payment requirement as low as 3.0 percent (Fannie began backing such loans in December and Freddie will begin on March 23). You now have two more options to go along with the other low down payment loans.
5. Buying a California home is a good investment—especially as a long-term investment.Real estate is one of the best investments. Yes, the housing market is cyclical and there are plenty of ups and downs, but right now we’re seeing an upswing in many markets and this is a good time to be a buyer. In the long term, real estate is an especially good investment—as long as you’re willing to ride out any declines in prices and values.
It’s important to remember that real estate is always in flux and market conditions can change very quickly—especially home prices and interest rates—so don’t wait to buy if you’re ready.