5 Things You Should Know Before Buying a Home in California

5 Things You Should Know Before Buying a Home in California

  • Ann Howarth
  • 09/4/22

People from all around the world come to California to live, learn, work and play. California is home to some of the world's leading companies and industries and its incredibly diversified economy. Whether someone is working in technology, entertainment, agriculture, education, or the health sector, there are plenty of great career opportunities here.

In addition, the schools and universities are some of the best in the country, and the state boasts a sublime climate, beautiful scenery, and diverse culture and recreation. It's no wonder people worldwide flock to California to follow their dreams. But because California is such a popular place to live, there are things one should know before buying a home in the Golden State.


The high cost of real estate and life in California reflects the state's strong economy, exceptional climate, and diverse opportunities. California is one of the most expensive states to live in, and the median price for a home is over $500,000. Demand for homes is incredibly high, particularly in major cities and along the coast, and the limited supply of properties means that prices are constantly increasing. In addition, many people are willing to pay a premium for property in California because of the state's wonderful climate and beautiful scenery. This makes the market highly competitive.

When you find the home of your dreams, you should be prepared to make an offer quickly and at 1-3% above the asking price. And remember, nothing beats cash! An all-cash offer can be hard to compete with. Houses in California do not stay on the market for long. A real estate agent such as Ann Howarth, who knows California, can coach you confidently in today's market and who writes nuanced offers that get noticed, will be able to confidently guide you through to closing.

Property taxes

Property taxes in California are high because the state has some of the country's most beautiful and expensive real estate. However, homeownership brings with it several benefits, including stability, community involvement, and tax deductions. While all states offer tax deductions for homeowners, California offers more generous deductions than most, including the mortgage interest deduction and the property tax deduction. These and other deductions can help offset the high cost of property taxes here. Taxpayers can save thousands of dollars each year by taking advantage of these deductions.

Location, terrain, climate

California is a vast state with various climates and landscapes to choose from when purchasing a home in California. Coastal towns like Santa Barbara and Malibu offer beautiful beaches and stunning ocean views, while mountain towns like Mammoth and Big Bear offer cool temperatures, soaring pines, and gorgeous lakes.

If you're looking for a suburban area, the Bay Area, Sacramento, and Orange County all offer great options. And of course, Los Angeles is the largest and most populous city in the state, offering a dizzying array of neighborhoods, cultures, and lifestyles to choose from within the County’s own borders.

But don’t forget to explore further into the lesser-known towns such as misty Los Osos and Baywood on the Central Coast and sunny Oxnard in Southern California. You may find more Oxnard homes for sale than in other nearby areas with more name recognition. These hidden gems offer incredible opportunities to purchase gorgeous luxury homes by the coast, move-in single-family homes, condominiums, and even some fixer uppers waiting to be transformed into the home of your dreams. Be sure to research a variety of locations, terrains, and climates before making your choice.


The towns and cities within these varied locations and climates also carry their unique lifestyles to consider. For example, the ways of life in Encinitas and Santa Barbara are quite different even though they are both along the coast. Encinitas is a small surf town located north of San Diego. It's a relaxed and casual place with a strong surfing culture and a focus on wellness. The people of Encinitas are friendly and laid back, and while the town is known for its excellent health food cafes and wine bars, it's an unpretentious spot.

Santa Barbara is a larger city located further north towards the Central Coast with a more upscale feel, with high-end shopping and manicured beaches. While they both offer great opportunities for outdoor activities and gorgeous beaches and boast a variety of real estate options, they have very different atmospheres. Think about the type of lifestyle you are looking for and the industry you want to be closest to, and see if you can narrow your search.


If you are thinking of moving to California with your family,  it's important to investigate the local school options. California has some of the best public schools in the nation, so if you're looking for a great education for your children, this is a wonderful state to live in. There are also many excellent private schools state-wide to research and consider for your children. We always recommend a boots-on-the-ground approach when it comes to education. Ask your real estate agent to refer you to local families with first-hand knowledge of both the public and private schools, and always take a tour to see the facilities for yourself and meet the principal, teachers, and school community leaders. The California State PTA is a wonderful resource.

While there are many things to love about living in California, some challenges come with it. These challenges can include the competitive seller’s market,  high property taxes, and the sheer variety of places to live. However, with careful research and planning, you can find the perfect place to call home in California.

If you have any questions, or you want to learn more about buying a home in California or are interested in homes for sale in Oxnard, consult with expert real estate agent Ann Howarth.

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