House prices in Northern California – a guide for homebuyers

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Northern California, also known as NorCal, is the area from San Luis Obispo County to Oregon. It consists of 48 northernmost counties. The area is known for its fertile land, vineyards, fruits, and vegetable production. It also has a dramatic Pacific coastline and redwood forests. San Hose is also located there. As well as the famous technology hub – Silicon Valley. The most famous, however, is the San Francisco metropolis, with its iconic Golden Gate Bridge and historic cable cars. The Napa, and Sonoma valleys are famous for vineyards set on the rolling hills. So, there are many attractive places where you could move. However, although the moving costs San Francisco are not high, the house prices in Northern California are. Thus, before deciding to move, check the NorCal real estate.

House prices in counties and major cities in Northern California

The San Francisco Bay Area is the largest metropolitan area in Northern California. It consists of 9 counties. The median house prices in them are:

  • Alameda –  $1,302,201
  • Contra Costa –  $746,390
  • Marin – $1.710,000
  • Napa –  $860,741
  • San Francisco – $1,731,716
  • San Mateo – $1,677,720
  • Santa Clara –  $1,558,647
  • Solano –  $570,000
  • Sonoma – $958,981

    House prices in Northern California - aged residential houses and contemporary skyscrapers of SF megapolis.
    San Francisco Bay Area has the highest house prices in Northern California.

The major cities in the Bay Area are San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland. To buy a house in San Jose, you would need about $1,332,518. For buying a house in Oakland, you will need about $947,458. In November 2021, the median home price in Palo Alto went over $ 3M. 

House prices in other places of Northern California

In general, living in Northern California is expensive, So are the median house prices. However, there are also areas in NorCal where house prices are affordable. Such places and the median home price in them are:

  • Sacramento –  $327,300
  • Clearlake – $151,300
  • Bakersfield – $242,800
  • Fresno – $247,600
  • Stockton – $297,300

When you are buying a house in Northern California, consider several factors

As a homebuyer, you will have to consider various factors. The house price is just one of them. You will have to define what is your purpose for buying a home in NorCal. You could be moving there for a job. In that case, you can count on Zapt Movers. Their professional teams know the best ways to safely relocate you. And that is very important. Most people know about the infamous traffic jams in SF Bay Area. You may be coming to join a family. Or you simply look for a fresh start. However, whatever is your reason, learn about the house buying regulations in CA. Also, you should know that in CA you will be spending 35.2% of your income on housing. The USA national average is 19.4%.

A lot of people are sitting outside around the tables, talking, drinking, and eating.
Wine festivity in Napa Valley, CA.

To buy a house in CA you must meet certain requirements

Firstly, there is a difference between all-cash buyers and those who need a mortgage loan. The truth is that most of the homebuyers in California need a mortgage. If you are one of them you will need:

  • Down payment – is expected when you buy a home in California (it range from 3 percent to 20 percent of the purchase price)
  • Credit scores – one more of the key factors for purchasing a house in California
  • Debt load – will for sure influence your ability to get mortgage financing
  • Financial documents – they are a standard prerequisite for purchasing a house (like your income check, your other properties, history of borrowing, current bank statement, tax return, etc.)
  • Home appraisal – it is one of the prerequisites to obtain a bank mortgage

Once you complete the process and buy a house in Northern California, you can hire packing services San Francisco to help you with the move preparations.

With housing market dynamics we can expect higher home prices in 2022?

The general opinion of the real estate market experts is that house prices in 2022 will increase. So, our advice is to contact the real estate agencies in North California and check the available real estate. Buying a house in NorCal as soon as possible could be a good investment. In case you have to move again, you can always hire the reliable moving companies Palo Alto. They know how to find the best routes from your present to your new home.

When buying a home, make an offer and don’t forget to negotiate

In most parts of Northern California, homes are expensive. However, you can always try to negotiate. Hiring a skilled real estate agent can help. They know how to talk to sellers. And in most cases, they are able to lower the asking price.

Also, if you don’t need to buy a house in a certain area, you may consider some of the cheaper places. They are smaller places, with relaxed lifestyles. However, they have many appealing amenities. In most of them, you will enjoy the farmer’s market, fresh food, and numerous outdoor sport’s possibilities. And most of them are known for their art hubs. Also, don’t forget that furniture movers San Francisco have very affordable prices.

Before buying a house, check its conditions

Those who were buying before, already know this. However, first-time homebuyers should know it as well. Before you cut a deal for home buying, check the house conditions. In Bay Area such inspections are optional. They may cost between $350 and $500. However, after the inspection, you will be sure that you are doing a good investment. In case of some damages, you can ask the owners to repair them. Or the house price has to be lowered for the price of needed repair.

The house is surrounded by greenery and lawn, and with a chimney overgrown with moss.
Make sure to get a valid legal change of ownership record.

What are the property taxes in Northern California?

In Northern California, the annual property taxes are between 0.73% and 1% of the purchase price. This is still lower than the USA national average of 1.07%. Also, don’t forget to transfer your new real estate. You must conclude the transaction document with the seller. And the only valid legal change of ownership record is the one concluded at the county recorder’s office.

Some more interesting things you should know when moving to Northern California

Here are several shocking facts you should be aware of when moving to Northern California. We already saw that House prices in Northern California depend on the area. They range from very expensive to quite modest amounts. And this is depending mostly on the area. The other interesting things you should know are:

  • Traffic – be ready for numerous traffic jams
  • Water – water supplies are quite expensive
  • Year-Round Legislation – many legal documents are changing annually, so you should follow the changes
  • Plastic Grocery Bags – either you have to pay for it in a shop or bring yours
  • Immunization is not a choice – it is obligatory by the law
  • Unemployment – lots of Northern California counties are feeling the weight of businesses leaving the state – businesses are moving to other states which are offering them better taxes and conditions.

There is for sure much more that you will learn once you move to North California. However, we hope we could give you a good starting overview.