Perhaps you fear you have missed the best time for buying houses because prices are steadily going back up after the infamous property slump in 2009 – but there are still deals to be had. There are plenty of ‘Best Buys’ all over the US, but if you are seeking to invest in luxury real estate, California can be a fairly safe bet as it offers the ideal combination of location, lifestyle, local jobs economy and the high caliber of properties.
Reports have shown that California cities have always come out on top for million-dollar-home sales in the recent years. Undeniably, properties in San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Jose are significantly more expensive on average than other states – but that would reflect on the desirability of living in the Golden State. Here’s why:
Anybody who grew up in California can attest to the fact that it has some of the best weather in the world. Despite the extremes in some parts, much of California along the coast has a Mediterranean-like climate with warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters. It is fairly stable and predictable, with temperatures between 24°C to 29°C in Los Angeles during the summer months, and slightly cooler at 17°C to 21°C in San Francisco. The weather is hard to beat, and that’s why people pay the price to be here.
Some of the most exciting and best paid work lies in California, from Silicon Valley tech companies to Hollywood studios. And if you’re not in the hope of making the big time, there are vast employment opportunities to choose from such as restaurants, retail and healthcare. The LA Times reported that in January 2015 alone California added 67,300 new jobs, signaling a healthy recovery that far outpaced the rest of the US. With the strong growth so far California remains the world’s 8th largest economy. We have high hope that the Golden State will keep the strong momentum going for the rest of this year and coming on to the next – and guess what? All the statistics have been on our side.
California is famously known for its alternative lifestyles and liberal attitudes. But of course, the one aspect that attracts people is the academic and cultural richness. It’s is the most populated state in the US (37 million) and is extensively diverse, with one of the largest Asian and Hispanic populations in the country. Those who head to California are those with an adventurous spirit wanting to be in a state that still feels young.
Californians are particularly proud of their coastal outdoor sports like surfing and beach volleyball. Cycling, skating and jogging are also a part of Californian lifestyle that the population here embraces. But that’s not all, hospitals and other healthcare facilities in California are among the best in the world. So, if the climate and landscape isn’t attractive enough for you, the cosmopolitan crowd here surely is.
Types of property
There is a little bit of everything for everybody – more often than not, a normal home in California is a single family home with ample outside space and a wide range of architectural styles available. But if you’re looking for condominium in high-rise properties, or 100 year-old townhouse, or a contemporary apartment of fabulous modern architecture: these properties exist too. Besides the most expensive neighborhoods like Bel Air, Beverly Hills and Malibu, most upcoming area are pretty safe and affluent.
Property Tax Limits
Now, for those who care about tax advantage, this is a good news for you. Proposition 13 limits the tax to 1% – standard statewide property tax – plus a 2% increase per year based on the original purchase price. In most states, the taxes go up each year corresponding to increases in property values. So, if your value goes up, it will arrive hand-in-hand with a higher tax bills. But this is not the case in California. Prop 13 has saved homeowners in California thousands of dollars in property tax payments, and this is a big plus for homeowners here.
Those are the fundamentals. Factoring all the merits, it is not hard to realize the growth potential in the Golden State. The property prices here will be likely to swell and it can be substantial. Either you’re buying a home to live in or investing to rent out, California is a fairly low-risk option to park your long-term dollars.