Orange County Homes

By: Andy Willoughby

Despite the fact "big dog" newspapers such as the OCRegister and the L.A. Times seem to be reporting real estate going downhill fast, the actual numbers in a historic perspective say otherwise. As I see it from the numbers, the Orange County real estate market is simply adjusting to a moderate market after 200% gains in the last 6 years. I have seen these incredible gains have only been offset by about 5%-8% price decreases in an 8 month time span and in my opinion that is hardly prices "plummeting" as the newspapers put it. I think everyone know it's the newspapers job to sell papers and dramatic headlines make for good sales.

So, how about employment? The last time real estate dropped significantly in value Orange County had double the unemployment rate, much higher interest rates, and the aerospace industry moved along with many jobs. Is the decrease in real estate activity going to slow the economy here in Orange County? Well, I don't have a crystal ball but I do know the Kiplinger California Letter reports on the impact of $43 billion in bonds. According to the report, "A public works construction boom over the next 10 years, benefiting builders, designers and construction materials firms. Not since the 1960s has there been so much work undertaken on the state's infrastructure." The article further states an expected 140,000 new jobs over 10 years, in excess of those to be gone in the current home-building downturn. These jobs will assist strengthen the employment for more population entering California as well as the trickle down and trickle up economics associated with that number jobs.

Is now a good time to buy? All I have to say is can you afford to purchase an investment which historically appreciates over time and offers huge tax write-offs benefits. Across the street from my home in Serrano Heights I saw a home listed for sale in April for what at the time was "priced right." By October one persistent home buyer purchased it for $130,000 less than the original asking price and saved over $700 per month on the mortgage and another $125 per month on taxes after the reduction. see details There are more deals out there for the buyer who seeks out the most motivated sellers. Sellers, who have already purchased another home, are moving out of state, own there home "free and clear", or are in financial distress. You can find a list of these properties at . and see more details on the above mentioned purchase.

Here is the breakdown for those contemplating purchasing real estate in Orange County. If you own a home and are moving to a larger home now is a great time to purchase a "move-up" property and it makes absolute financial sense to do so assuming you don't need a negative amortization loan to afford your payment. However if you can't afford a "move-up" property now then it is highly unlikely you will be able to afford one when the market shifts into an upswing. If you are a first time home buyer and again can afford to purchase an Orange County homes without over extending yourself in regards to financing then now is a great time to purchase as well. You will also start taking advantage of tax benefits by doing so and inevitably build equity.

A reason NOT to move in Orange County's real estate market. O.K., here is a scenario where I would recommend holding on to the property if at all possible ( another 3-5 years). If you own an Orange County home and are looking to stay in Orange County but downsize to a smaller less expensive home don't do it yet! It just makes financial sense to wait.

So if you are looking to "move-up" or are a first time home buyer seek out some of those motivated sellers and best buys I mentioned earlier in this article. Here are links where you can find a list of motivated sellers, price reduced homes, and best buys.

This article can be freely published on a website as long as it is not modified in any way including author bylines, plus the hyperlink must be made active just like below.

Andrew Thomas Willoughby is the editor of " Orange County Homes & Real Estate - To Buy Or Not To Buy? That is the Question ."

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