It’s easy enough to fall in love with Southern California on a visit. There is year-round sunshine and mild weather, miles of beaches, theme parks galore, tons of shopping, and plenty of cultural activities. All these advantages may make you want to move here. But before you do, here are five things you need to know about the local real estate.
It’s Not Always Cheap
Local housing is fairly expensive. The median sale price of a home in Los Angeles County is around $585,000, according to Core Logic, a real estate data tracker. The average income needed to buy a home in the area is $150,000 annually. Compare this to the average price of homes throughout the country, which runs only $210,200.
Interest Rates Are Low
A bright spot in the SoCal real estate market is the relatively low mortgage interest rate, which is just over 4 percent for a fixed-rate version. While the rates have been rising, they are still near the historic lows, which eases monthly payments somewhat.
You’ll Probably Need a Car
Southern California boasts the most extensive freeway system in the world because you need a car to reach the far-flung cities in the region. So whatever home you buy must have enough parking for your private transportation, preferably enclosed to protect your vehicles from the weather and potential burglars who may also need a car.
The light rail system and other parts of Las Angeles transit have exploded in recent years. If you buy property near a light rail station, you’ll be able to move around quickly through heavy traffic, and reduce your family’s transportation needs to just one or no vehicle. Areas that allow extensive use of light rail include Downtown Los Angeles and the area around Union Station, Downtown Long Beach, Culver City, and Pasadena.
You’ll Need an Agent
The real estate market in Southern California is complex enough for locals, let alone visitors who want to make their home here. Do you know where to get the best value for your money, the high crime areas, the best school districts, or the steep sections? A professional real estate agent will know all these things and more. Best of all, they’re free to buyers because sellers pay their commissions.
Now that you have the facts, you’re well equipped to navigate the SoCal real estate market. Happy home hunting!