Orange County Housing Report: Payment Not Price

When it comes to housing, everybody puts way too much emphasis on the price of a home when they should really be taking a closer look at the monthly payment.

Focus on the Payment: Just a year ago mortgage rates were at 4.75% and rising, substantially higher than today’s 3.5% rate.

Everyone has done it. When it is time to look for a brand-new car, narrowing down the car of choice is the first step. After isolating the perfect car, the next step is to sit down and negotiate. Once the initial paperwork and credit application are complete, the salesperson leaves the negotiating table and visits privately with the manager. Upon their return, they then go over the payment for the car. After going back and forth to lower the monthly obligation by $20, it is not uncommon to get up and start calling around other dealers to see if a better payment is out there. After all, it will be the same monthly amount that will come out of the checking account for five-years! In purchasing a home, buyers tend to focus a bit too much on the price of a home and do not consider enough the monthly payment. After settling on a home and closing, the price no longer matters, it is the payment that is withdrawn from the checking account every single month for 30-years. It happens 360 times for a home loan versus 60 for a car. As a society, why is so much time devoted to the monthly payment for a car and not a home? Everybody is focusing on how high values are today. For detached homes they are up 60% in Orange County since bottoming in 2011. Homes appreciated significantly from 2012 through 2017. In June of 2017, values eclipsed the record peak reached prior to the Great Recession in June 2007. Since breaking the record, values have only increased slightly. Homes are not appreciating much at all in 2019. Many believe that home values are unaffordable and have reached a peak. That is what a lot of buyers are hoping for. That is simply not correct, home values have not yet peaked. Many buyers are sitting on the sidelines and waiting… and waiting. They are trying to time the market. Yet, economists and prognosticators will attest that timing markets is next to impossible. As a result, many capable buyers have been permanently sitting on the sidelines rather than cashing in on an excellent opportunity. Housing is in a very good spot right now and it has everything to do with interest rates. In November of last year, the 30- year mortgage climbed all the way to 5%. Consequently, housing slowed to a crawl. But, since then rates have plummeted to 3.5%, that is down 30%. For a $700,000 loan, that is a $614 per month savings, or $7,373 per year. That is a HUGE savings!

About the Author

The real estate industry continues to evolve, and I pride myself on being on the cutting edge, finding new ways to work with clients to achieve their real estate goals.

My real estate experience coupled with insight of industry trends ensures that I stay one step ahead of other realtors. I enjoy making sense of the complex real estate market in Southern California, and look forward to teaming with you and exceeding your expectations.

My passion for winning stretches back to my time playing professional baseball, and I know that hard work pays off-let me hit a home run for you! I’m committed to delivering your dream home or selling your current property at a winning price.

Affiliations: California association of Realtors, National Association of Realtors, Relocation Specialists.