The Median Price at the End of December was $509K
However, the median varies greatly for different counties.
Highest in the State is Marin at $942K followed by San Mateo at $895K. The highest in Southern California is Orange County at $661K, while the lowest in So. Cal. is San Bernardino at $192K.
So if the middle price is $192K there, you should be able to find a nice, below average-priced home a lot cheaper.
Now, we know that many cities have median prices over $1M. There are many in Marin, and in Orange County, there are Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Villa Park, etc.
Where can we get a small home and still be in our beloved California?
Let’s find a job where we can work from home and move.
First, I looked at one of the lowest median priced counties. Beautiful Del Norte. Found a nice home on 161 Redwood Blvd with 1586 square feet, 3 Bedrooms, 2 Baths, etc. for $145,000. Not bad looking and not a bad price. However, it is in the city of Klamath (955 citizens) on the ocean. But it is 955 miles from my grandchildren, little freeway. Deal breaker.
Then, I looked at 1113 Lakeview, Clear Lake in Lake County. $163,880 with 1440 square feet (who needs 1586) with 2 Bedrooms and 2 Baths, and not bad looking. This is a little closer to spots I know, as it is 44.1 miles to St. Helena where I can drink wine and eat fine food. Airport in Sacto.
Let’s Do a Little Arithmetic
Put 20% down, so there are no mortgage insurance and lower payments. Loan around $130K and interest at 4% would be $5,200 per year or $433 a month (not putting in principal for now as we want a Portfolio, Interest-only loan) plus taxes by Prop 13 would be 1% of price or $1,638 per year or $137 per month. Insurance would not be too much, so let’s add $100 a month. $670 a month. No car, we will use local Uber or Lyft. Medical, medicare. Food, we will be on old folk’s diets and have a garden and hunt deer. Wine, $2.50-Chuck so about $75.00 a month for a bottle a day, and free wine tasting in St. Helena.
And the house looks really nice. Our grand grandchildren are all old enough to drive, and it is only 531 miles of all freeway. Sounds like a deal to me, now to convince DJ to leave Coto de Caza.