California as a whole has experienced a crazy and Hot real estate market over the last 3 years, but Orange County real estate is setting records. But with sky high real estate prices comes the debate about whether it’s better to buy or rent a house in Orange County?
Cities like Newport Beach, HB, Costa Mesa and even inland cities like Irvine and Anaheim have seen prices keep rising.
If you are thinking about moving to the OC, or you already live there, then there are some obvious things you need to consider before deciding if you should buy or rent.
Check out the OC Dream article about buying vs renting.
Do you plan to move again in next 5 years?
This is an important element to think about because if you think you might move within the next 5 years then you definitely are better off renting and not buying a condo or home. Once you factor in all the costs of buying a home escrow, loan fees, etc., moving fees, etc. it can get quite expensive to move.
But more importantly if the housing market in OC goes down or just stays where it is for next few years then when you need to sell you could be in trouble. Selling a house typically requires you pay a realtor 6% to sell a house. That could be well over $20,000 if your property is worth over $400,000.
Are you planning on having kids (or more kids)
If you have a growing family (or are planning on having kids) then it also might be wiser to just rent until you know how much space you need. If you have 2 kids now and you live in a 3 bedroom then you are tempted to buy a 3 bedroom house, but what if you have 2 more kids? Suddenly your 3 bd house look small and you have to move again.
Having a family can definitely change the way you look and buy a house, so plan ahead. A lot of parents think they can just make a new house work for them if they have more kids, but unless you add on another room, there is only so much space to get from a 3 bedroom 2 bath house.
Do you plan to stay at your job for 5 years? Or are you thinking about a career change, etc?
This is another reality that you need to think about. If you were forced to change jobs would you be willing to drive 2 hours to LA from your condo in Huntington Beach – if you had to? Or maybe you are thinking about changing industries, or going back to school to better your career options, etc.
Bottom line is that job changes happen frequently in California, both expected and unexpected so don’t discount the potential for this happening to you and your family – especially military families.
So many factors go into deciding if you should buy or rent a home in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach or any city in OC- so take your time and plan ahead.
Be realistic about what you can afford and what you need
Start saving today for a down payment
Discuss this topic well ahead of time with your spouse.