We’ll admit that the housing prices in Orange County can be slightly daunting when you first encounter them. Despite the challenge, we remain resolute in our belief that you can find affordable housing options in the area and that the investment of buying a house is key to building wealth long term.
At NeighborWorks Orange County, we help families with lower to moderate incomes navigate the challenge of buying in Southern California.
Defining Your Budget
It’s not uncommon for a bank to approve for a monthly payment that does not make sense for your family. Their algorithm doesn’t always account for your kid’s school costs or the budget to ensure you have food on the table every day. This means that you need to take the lead on defining what makes the most sense for your family.
By working one-on-one with one of our housing coaches, a free service we provide to residents of Orange County and neighboring areas, we can help you establish a strong financial base and understanding of the exact payment amount that sets you up for long-term success. Additionally, we help qualifying families apply for down payment assistance programs. These programs help countless families meet the 3% minimum needed to purchase a home.
Exploring Different Neighborhoods
It’s no secret which neighborhoods reach the peak of the market. Newport Beach, Beverly Hills and Lake Sherwood are some of the regions that continually garner the awe of countless industry news sites for their high prices. Unfortunately, less well known areas are more affordable.
Yes, there are affordable areas in Orange County. We know because we help families on their journey to owning in these regions.
Many of the millennials we work with prefer turnkey properties with an HOA to take care of the exterior of the property. With time-intensive careers in full bloom, they want to focus on work and life, leaving the entire exterior housing maintenance to a property management company. For them, we look at condominiums in the Anaheim area. Near the Disneyland area, you can often find a two-bedroom place between $350,000 and $450,000.
Families look for different properties, typically your single-family residences. According to the MLS, cities in Orange County with the most reasonable single-family homes are Santa Ana, West Anaheim and Stanton neighborhoods. Prices range from $430,000 to $460,000. Additionally, we’ve had a lot of luck with families looking at the Inland Empire, Riverside and Perris regions.
Looking At Different Home Styles
Today, we have countless different options when it comes to housing. There are condominiums, townhomes, single-family residences and more. It’s not uncommon for us to talk to clients about “getting their foot in the door.” When you own in Orange County, you are able to start building wealth faster than when you rent. That means that if you aren’t able to buy your ideal home style today, such as buying a townhome over a single-family residence, later you can “move up.” It starts with building equity into your first home.
Considering Your Lifestyle
Commute time to work matters, particularly in the Orange County region. We want families to thrive in their new home, not resent it every time they set out on the freeway. That’s why it’s important to factor in lifestyle aspects into your home search. Other areas that play into your housing decision include schools in the area, access to services, any special needs of the family such as disability-friendly accommodations and more.
Luckily, we specialize in helping lower-income families on the path to affordable homeownership. Whether you are ready to buy today or are hoping in the future that you will be able to own, we help individuals and families gain financial stability, understand the home buying process, find homes that meet their needs and ultimately purchase their home.
Schedule a free session with one of our housing coaches today. Together, we can get you on the path toward affordable homeownership in Orange County.