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12 min read Jul 21, 2023

Best Time to Buy a House in California

Best Time to Buy a House in California

When buying a home, there are numerous questions in a person’s mind. What size home can I afford? Will I be interested in applying for a mortgage? Fortunately, this blog will answer all your questions. 

You want to buy a house in California, but when is the best time to buy a house? The answer, however, depends on more than a simple yes or no. Buying a home depends on many factors, some of which are entirely up to you.

Should I Buy a Home in California?

It depends. Buying a home is entirely a personal decision. It is true that real estate is very regional and can vary considerably from one market to the next. 

For instance, there is no sign of a slowdown in the Los Angeles housing market, and the San Diego housing market is an exact mirror image of it. Whereas Fresno metropolitan area, along with Bakersfield, is one of the most affordable markets in the state.

Compared to previous years, California home prices have risen, and mortgage rates have reached 14-year highs, making it difficult for potential buyers to answer this question. 

Take a close look at the current industry trends before investing your money. Purchase according to your requirements and budget. A property you adore in your preferred area is likely within your price range.

When is the Best Time to Buy a House in California?

While you may discover your perfect home at any time of year, going house-looking during certain months can save you a lot of money. 

Nationally, the best days to buy a home are Christmas Day and Easter Sunday. These days, however, do not apply in the state of California. 

Here, the thumb rule is that buying early in the year is the safest bet. From April through June, California has the majority of properties for sale.

The best way to go about the process would be to hire a realtor familiar with the California real estate market update. Economic conditions may shift fast, and a qualified realtor can advise you where and when to buy.

Best Time to Buy a House in California

California’s most active months are April, May, and June. During these months, more homes are on the market, making it easier to negotiate a price. You can obtain a discount on the sales price and avoid competing with other purchasing bargains. 

It makes no difference if you are new to the state or are familiar with the region; an expert real estate agent in California will advise you on the best time to buy a property.

If you’re not in a hurry or can’t discover the ideal house in California during the spring, you could have a better chance to find a home in winter. If you are wondering why winter is a season when usually most homes for sale by owner in California are listed on the market. 

Homeowners that advertise their houses in the winter tend to do so because they need to sell quickly, so you’re more likely to discover a fair price. However, these properties may require more work due to fewer repairs and improvements.

While these are basic guidelines, remember that pricing trends can differ from city to city — and there may even be anomalies within specific communities. 

Connecting with a local realtor is the best approach to discovering a property in your chosen market. They will assist you in navigating the intricacies of your market and determining the best time to buy a house in California.

California Housing Market

The home prices in November fell 2.4% year-over-year, from a median price of $757,000 in 2021 to $738,900 in 2022. Simultaneously, the number of homes sold dropped by 44.3%, with 19,687 properties sold this November, compared to 35,327 last year.

Monthly Data (2022)Medium Sale Price ($)Growth % (YoY)
July $779,900+2.8%
October $752,900+0.3%

Things to Know Before Buying a House in California 

We provide five crucial pieces of advice for buying a house in California, covering California mortgage rates, credit scores, and more.

1. California Mortgage Rates

Going with the best mortgage lenders in California enables you to purchase real estate over several years without paying up front. Mortgage rates have risen dramatically in 2022 after reaching historic lows in 2021. 

As mortgage interest rates have steadily increased in the past twenty years, home affordability is already a significant concern for California’s high-priced real estate market. Getting preapproved for a mortgage is crucial in buying a property, so always research first. 

2. Your Credit Score

When you apply for a mortgage, your credit score will play a crucial role in determining what interest rate you can get. Your credit score depends on your credit history, which includes your overall debt and whether you pay your dues on time.

Lenders use credit scores to determine whether you qualify for a mortgage and what conditions you must meet. Lenders will be more confident in making timely payments with a higher credit score. 

It may potentially minimize the amount of down payment necessary. Credit scores can vary from 300 to 850, with 300 being the lowest. 

In general, lenders consider credit scores of 670 and higher to be good.

Improving your credit score can save you thousands of dollars in interest payments over the life of a home loan.

👉 How to Buy a House in California with Bad CreditAre you having problems with your credit score? Read on to find out how to deal with bad credit in California.

3. Know Your Affordability

Your mortgage lender may estimate a different amount. Some lenders indicate that you may make mortgage payments totaling around a third of your gross income. 

Credit score plays a vital role in determining what interest rate you qualify for when applying for a mortgage. In addition to your overall debt, your credit history also determines your credit score.

Besides your anticipated income and interest rates, other factors like mortgage type, market conditions, and interest rates are also important.

Request assistance from California mortgage brokers in understanding what is at stake.

4. Home Buying Services

When you seek expert help, buying a house in California can be a delightful process. There are numerous ways to search for your perfect home in California. 

1. Use FSBO Websites

Make sure you look at several houses before choosing one. Make a list of your top priorities based on the sort of California house you want. 

The internet is a valuable resource for finding properties for sale in the locations and price ranges that appeal to you. 

It’s an excellent approach to evaluating properties in the neighborhood of your choice. Your real estate agent can search the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and browse major real estate websites California

Houzeo is America’s #1 For Sale By Owner and California MLS Flat Fee listing resource, with For Sale By Owner Homes for sale. As a result, buyers can find houses that suit their needs.

2. Hire a Real Estate Agent

The best real estate agents in California can assist you in finding your ideal house. They can bargain for you with the seller, saving you time and money. 

Before selecting a real estate agent, ensure that he has a strong track record and understanding of the community where you wish to reside. 

Overbooked people are not who you want. In addition to California home inspectors, agents can recommend contractors, appraisers, and title insurance companies.

👉 Title Insurance PolicyTitle insurance is the shield between your new home. Learn more here!

5. Down Payments and Closing Costs

Your down payment is a substantial, one-time investment toward the cost of purchasing a home. Even though 20% down payments were formerly the norm, many homeowners now choose for less. 

This sum is unattainable for first-time house owners. A lower down payment, on the other hand, means you’ll have to pay mortgage insurance, increasing your monthly mortgage cost. 

The required minimum down payment varies based on the kind of mortgage. A higher down payment typically implies more mortgage alternatives. 

It also typically means a reduced monthly payment and a lower interest rate. You’ll also need to set aside money for closing charges. 

Although numerous circumstances will influence your California real estate closing costs, it’s a good idea to allocate 3% to 6% of the home’s worth. 

Depending on the kind of loan, the lender, and where you reside the typical closing costs for buyer in California will vary.  Generally, homeowners are responsible for paying for services like title insurance and home assessments. 

👉 How Much is Title Insurance in CaliforniaCalifornians spend millions annually on title insurance. Learn how many title insurance costs are there in California.

Best Cities in California to Buy a House

When purchasing a property, you should research the cities where you want to live. Here are five of the best places in California to buy a property.

  • Oxnard: If you want to live on the beach at a reasonable price, consider purchasing a property in Oxnard. It’s an ideal place for any buyer because it has a median price of low $300,000.
  • Irvine: The city has a quality of life that is 45% higher than the national average. Low unemployment and a thriving economy make California buyers happy.
  • Sacramento: Despite its proximity to San Francisco, this city boasts inexpensive housing. Because many households are renters, you may want to consider renting your home if you plan to stay for an extended period.
  • Ventura: Ventura provides a coastal lifestyle at a lesser cost than other areas. It is home to five colleges, making it an excellent choice for parents of high school or college children.
  • Oakland: The city of Oakland is a good option for people looking to live near San Francisco but without paying as much money. In recent years, the city has seen a decrease in unemployment, indicating a thriving economy.

Some Other Cities for You to Check in California

Timeline for Buying a House in California

The time frame for searching for a home varies from buyer to buyer. Closing usually takes 30 to 45 days once you’re under contract. Your timeline may be affected by several factors, such as financing needs, market conditions, and inventory levels.

Is Now the Best Time to Buy a House in California?

It depends. As mortgage rates rise, existing homeowners have difficulty selling their homes and buying new ones. Since homeowners currently hold mortgages, they may benefit from lower interest rates than those now available. After acquiring a new home, their monthly costs may skyrocket.

In other words, if you don’t have a precise date for when you want to buy a new house, you may be better off waiting till it happens. Every prospective buyer’s best time to purchase a home is unique, and the ideal time to buy a home is not the same for everyone.

Consider hiring a real estate agent or go with For Sale By Owner websites like Houzeo to buy your ideal home in California. The process is simplified when you work with an experienced real estate agent. Understand how purchasing may affect your monthly bottom line and assess your financial status. With diligent study and persistence, you may have the keys to your ideal house.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is California Home Buying Worth it?

The answer depends on your finances. A California home is an excellent investment, provided you can afford the payment without adding financial strain.

How Difficult is it to Buy a Home in California?

A California home purchase will require you to save money. It's the state with the highest median home value, and many homes sell for much more than expected.

Which month is the cheapest for buying a house?

The best time to buy a home is usually during the winter. Your advantage comes from motivated sellers. Holidays are times when most people suspend their listings since they assume buyers will be hard to come by.

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