Buying vs Renting a House in Orange County California
Last Updated: February 2, 2023

Buying vs Renting a House in Orange County California

Are you trying to decide whether to buy or rent a home in Orange County, CA? You’re not alone! Many people are confused by the recent headlines claiming that renting is smarter than buying. But the truth is, both options have their pros and cons. In this article, we’ll break down the benefits of owning vs renting and offer some insight to help you make the best decision for your situation.


Buying Vs. Renting: What is Best?

Tax Benefits: Many of the costs associated with buying a home, such as property taxes and mortgage interest, are tax deductible. This means you can lower your income tax liability and end up with more money in your pocket at the end of the year.

Appreciation: In the long-term, real estate generally increases in value due to population growth, economic growth, and inflation. Buying a house can be a good investment if you plan to stay in it for a long time.

Opportunity Cost: A common argument against buying is that you could invest the money you save on rent into a higher-returning investment. However, this logic doesn’t take into account the tax benefits and appreciation that come with owning a home.

Benefits of Renting:

Cheaper in the Short-Term: Renting is cheaper than buying in the short-term because rent payments are typically lower than mortgage payments.

Terrible in the Long-Term: However, rent payments will almost certainly increase over time, while a fixed mortgage payment stays the same for 30 years.

In the end, it comes down to your personal circumstances. If you plan to live in Orange County, CA for the long-term, buying a home could be a wise investment.

But if you’re not sure how long you’ll stay or you’re looking for a short-term solution, renting might be the better choice. Ultimately, it’s important to consider your own financial situation, as well as your plans for the future, when making this decision.

Now, let’s look at the cost of buying and renting.

What is the Cost to Rent a House In Orange County California?

The cost to rent a house in Orange County, California can vary depending on factors such as location, size, and amenities of the property. According to Zillow, the median rent for a house in Orange County is currently around $3,500 per month. 

However, prices can range from around $2,000 per month for a small, older home in a less desirable area, to over $10,000 per month for a luxury home in a desirable location. It’s important to note that rental prices can fluctuate frequently and are subject to change, so it’s best to check with a local real estate agent for the most up-to-date information.

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What Cities are Cheapest to Rent or Buy a House In Orange County?

The cheapest cities to rent a house in Orange County, California can vary depending on the size and location of the rental property, as well as the current housing market conditions. However, some cities that are generally considered to be more affordable in Orange County include Santa Ana, Anaheim, and Garden Grove. 

Average Rent Rates

Santa Ana: $1,325 to $2,980

Anaheim: $1,998 to $3,225

Garden Grove: $1,819 to $2,664

You will also find affordable homes to buy in Santa Ana, Anaheim, and Garden Grove. 

For example, in December 2022, the median price of homes in Santa Ana, CA was $720,000, representing a 10.8% increase from the previous year. The average time it took for homes to sell in Santa Ana was 48 days, longer than the 29 days it took in the previous year. However, the number of homes sold in December 2022 decreased to 79, compared to 128 homes sold in December 2021.

Housing Market in Anaheim 

In December 2022, the median price of homes sold in Anaheim decreased by 6.1% compared to the previous year, with a median selling price of $770,000. 

The average time it took to sell a home in Anaheim was 53 days, which is longer than the 34 days it took on average in the previous year. A total of 109 homes were sold in December 2022, a decrease from the 185 homes sold in December of the previous year.

Housing Market in Garden Grove

During December 2022, the median home price in Garden Grove decreased by 6.2% from the previous year, with homes selling for an average of $798,000. 

The average time homes spent on the market in Garden Grove increased from 25 days last year to 39 days in December 2022. Despite this, the number of homes sold decreased from 80 in the previous year to 52 in December 2022.

Additionally, some neighborhoods within more expensive cities such as Newport Beach, Irvine, and Laguna Beach can also have relatively affordable rental options. It’s important to research and compare different options in the areas you are considering, as the cost of rent can vary widely depending on the specific location and property.

How to Prepare to Buy a Home in Orange County?

If you decide to rent now but want to prepare for buying a home within the next year or so it’s best to learn how to buy your home.

Get pre-approved for a mortgage: Before you start looking for a home, it’s important to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will give you a better idea of how much you can afford to spend on a home and make you a more attractive buyer to sellers.

Determine your budget: Once you have a pre-approval, you should create a budget that outlines how much you can spend on a home. Your budget should include the cost of the home, closing costs, and any other expenses related to buying a home.

Research neighborhoods: Orange County has many different neighborhoods and it’s important to research them to find one that best fits your needs. Consider factors such as schools, crime rates, and the overall feel of the area.

Find a real estate agent: A good real estate agent can help you find the right home in the right neighborhood and guide you through the buying process.

Get a home inspection: Before you make an offer on a home, you should get a home inspection. This will help you identify any potential problems with the home and give you leverage to negotiate the price.

Be prepared to move quickly: In Orange County, the real estate market is competitive and homes can go quickly. Be prepared to move quickly if you find a home that you like.

Close the deal: Once you have found the perfect home, you’ll need to close the deal. This typically involves signing a purchase agreement, paying closing costs, and transferring the title of the home to your name.

Why Do People Move to Orange County?

Job opportunities: Orange County is home to many major industries, including technology, healthcare, and tourism, which provide a variety of job opportunities for residents.

Weather: Orange County has a Mediterranean climate, which means it has mild winters and warm summers. This makes it an attractive place to live for people who enjoy outdoor activities and sunshine.

Education: Orange County has a number of excellent schools and universities, which makes it a great place to raise a family.

Beaches and coastal activities: Orange County is home to several popular beaches such as Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, and Laguna Beach. These beaches offer a variety of activities such as swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.

High standard of living: Orange County is known for its high standard of living, with many upscale communities and neighborhoods. This makes it a desirable place to live for people who appreciate luxury and exclusivity.

Entertainment and culture: Orange County has a diverse range of entertainment and cultural options, including museums, theaters, and music venues.

Diversity: Orange County is home to a diverse population, which adds to the cultural richness of the area.

Proximity to Los Angeles: Orange County is located in close proximity to Los Angeles, which provides residents with easy access to all that the city has to offer.

In Conclusion

Whether you’re looking to buy or rent, we understand that every situation is unique. Let us help you weigh the pros and cons and determine what’s best for you and your goals. With our support, you’ll be able to confidently navigate the market and discover just how much you can afford.

photo credit:TraceRouda

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