Why should you buy a condo versus a single-family detached home in Orange County using a VA loan? There are several factors to consider when buying a home, some more important depending on the county, city, or neighborhood where you want to live. And some being more important depending on your “stage of life” and plans and goals. Regarding the VA loan program, there are also things you should learn about and understand before getting too deep into your home search.
What Makes Orange County Unique?
Real estate in Orange County, CA is highly sought after. Many factors make so many people want to live in Orange County. The beaches, clean cities, weather, family-centric activities, Disneyland, Knots Berry Farm, beaches, waves at the beaches, proximity to the mountains and desert, and beaches. Personally for me, I like the beaches. All of these things contribute to creating a high demand for homes. At the same time, there is a limited amount of land to build on, resulting in a limited supply of homes for sale. Short supply has been a problem for much of the country, but in Orange County, it is worse. And this supply shortage leads to Orange County having very high prices. The median sales price of a home in October 2023 in Orange County was $1,075,000. Detached homes bring up that median price. The Median List Price for active listings for Detached homes as of October 26, 2023, was $1,900,000. The average list price for Attached Homes, which tend to be condos, was $825,000. *Orange County Reports on Housing. The lower price of typical condos are more affordable than detached single-family homes.
Is Orange County the Right Choice for You?
Many homebuyers will find that they can buy a single-family detached home in Riverside or San Bernardino County for the price of a condo. That may be a better choice for a growing family needing a bigger house. But it’s also important to consider where your friends live. Where your extended family lives. And where your job is. Commuting on the freeway to work for several hours daily can quickly wear down on you and take the excitement out of buying a bigger home outside Orange County. If a home buyer is facing a potential commute, I recommend spending at least a couple of days in a hotel near where the new home will be and trying out the morning commute. Make sure you can deal with it. I have had clients who thought they could do it but realized in the first week of their new commute that it would cause too much stress. If you’re commuting, make sure you can handle the commute before buying your home.
Are you an Entry Level Buyer? Or a Down Sizing Buyer?
Condo purchases are quite often considered to be for first-time buyers or for someone downsizing as they head into retirement years. There are some affordable condos in beautiful neighborhoods for someone downsizing but wanting to stay in Orange County to be near friends, family, grandkids, etc. Aliso Viejo has many VA-approved condo projects with prices ranging from $488,000 to $1,400,000. A 1 bedroom 1 bath condo located at 33 Bridle Lane, Aliso Viejo is currently listed for $488,000. For something in central Orange County, 120 S Cross Creek Rd, Orange, CA is currently listed for $460,000. And, of course, the easiest way to find condos for sale that are eligible for a VA loan since they are in a VA-approved condo complex is to use www.OrangeCountyVeteransHomes.com.
Condos have Less Maintenance.
A condo is a great option if you don’t want to mow the lawn or worry about your home’s exterior paint, roof, etc.. The Home Owners Association is responsible for the exterior of the property. That is partly what the monthly Homeowners Association Dues go towards. The trees are trimmed, the lawn is mowed, leaves are raked, etc, and all by someone else. If you buy a detached home, then either you’re doing it, or you’re going to pay someone else to do it. It starts making those HOA dues not look so bad.
Condos have Amenities
Many condo projects have nice amenities. It is common to have a pool, gym, green belts, tennis courts, etc. You may even find an affordable condo on a golf course.
Authored by Tim Storm, an Orange County VA Loan Officer specializing in the VA Loan program. MLO 223456. – Please contact my office at Arbor Financial Group. My direct line is 949-829-1846. www.OrangeCountyVALoans.com. I will prepare custom VA loan scenarios that match your financial goals, both long and short-term. I also prepare a Video Explanation of your scenarios so that you can fully understand the numbers BEFORE starting the loan process.