HI, I plan to buy a house around March this year. When should be a good time for me to look for houses. I want a 2 bed bath home below 500000

Asked by Andrea, Irvine, CA Mon Jan 13, 2014

With more than 1000 sqft, at-least 2 garages, house not older than 10 years.
When would the prices be at the best deal?

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Kevin and Ju…, Agent, Wildomar, CA
Tue Feb 25, 2014
Start now. Visit with your mortgage lender to get pre-approved and start shopping.
2 votes
Jaleesa Pelu…, Agent, Laguna Beach, CA
Mon Jan 13, 2014
Hi Andrea,

Thanks for posting this question on Trulia. The beginning of the year is the best time to start looking for a new home as most homes will come on the market between January and June. Additionally, right now the affordability is still very good. Meaning it might be easier for you to buy a new home right now then it will be in a few months. Interest rates and home prices are expected to rise this year. So this is a great time!

Would you like me to show you some lovely homes that are currently on the market that meet your criteria?
Would you like me to keep you updated on new homes coming to market?
Call me anytime at 949 395 0960 or send me an email: jaleesa@jaleesapeluso.com.

It would be my pleasure to help you!

Have a wonderful evening,
Jaleesa Peluso
Berkshire Hathaway Laguna Beach
2 votes
Desmond Patao, Agent, Irvine, CA
Mon Jan 13, 2014
The smallest detached homes in Irvine start about $550,000-$600,000 and built in the late 70's or older. These are no easy to find either and will likely be dated. Anything truly turnkey will be starting at $600,000 for detached.

I would recommend a townhouse in the newer developments that will be in your budget that will have quality of living because everything around is newer.

Call me direct to discuss your needs, wants and details of your situation. I'm also certified to test your new home for all health, safety and energy efficiency and I include this with my service for all my clients.

Desmond Patao
Realty One Group
2 votes
Ali Qureshi, Agent, Pleasanton, CA
Mon Feb 24, 2014
In this market honestly as early as possible. Market is very hot and takes time to buy a house. If you start early you will be in a better position by summers.
1 vote
Chris Kwon, Agent, Newport Beach, CA
Mon Feb 24, 2014
Hi Andrea -

To be realistic, what you are looking for a does not exist in Irvine at the moment. Unfortunately, the only available options that would fit would be condominiums/townhouses. As of Feb 24, 2014, there are 7 options that would work. Some of them in the Avenue One Community, several in the Woodbury area and 1 in the Quail Hills area.

To answer your questions, summer is right around the corner. In a normal market, the summer time is when the market really begins to heat up! Families start looking at homes because their kids are out of school and on the flip side, that's when home owners start to sell their homes because they understand this trend. If you start looking now, it's rare that'll you'll find your home on the first showing so trust me, it'll take some time. Find a solid Realtor in the area. Someone who lives in the area so they can offer you the best advice. Also, be pro-active. Look online and find properties that you like so you can send to your agent.

The best deals can really come from the agent that you hire. Based on their knowledge and negotiation skills, they might be able to find you a gem in the rough!

Best of luck!

Chris Kwon
1 vote
UpNest Top R…, Agent, Burlingame, CA
Fri Feb 21, 2014
Hi Andrea, as others have mentioned, you should start looking as soon as possible since March is right around the corner. First thing we always recommend is to find a trusted local agent to help with your search. Hiring a good real estate agent could mean the difference between buying your dream home at a great price within a short time and searching and bidding on homes for months with no success. I suggest that you try out our site - http://www.upnest.com. We are an innovative platform that matches home buyers with top local real estate agents for FREE, and you receive a cash rebate at the same time. We only partner with the best agents in Irvine. Best of luck with your home search!
1 vote
Calvin Mackey, Agent, Mission Viejo, CA
Thu Feb 20, 2014
A good time to start looking is once you've become pre-approved. The mortgage is going to be your biggest challenge and submitting an offer without a solid approval is like asking for your offer to get rejected. In today's tough market you have to look as appealing to sellers as possible. That means packaging your offer right and looking just as good as an all cash buyer. Once that's done then start browsing and getting an feel for exactly what you are looking for. Check out different neighborhoods and narrow it down to 2-3 cities max. In today's market I would say allow at least 6 weeks to find something that meets your needs.

1 vote
Deepak Chauh…, Agent, Irvine, CA
Mon Jan 13, 2014
Hello Andrea,

I have lived and worked in Irvine here for 12 + years, OC resident for 25+ Years. As you get closer to the school admission time the buyers get more desperate and aggressive and that results in multiple offers for almost all ranges of properties.

I understand you are renting in Irvine at present and intend to stay in Irvine as a home owner. Always remember most of the Irvine has HOA … some areas are low some are high. How did you came up with $500K, you must have done some homework to assess your affordability. Your expectations are all real for a condo/town-home in Irvine, not a home (Single Family Residence … SFR) for the said price. So the best bet is to start the project as soon as you get pre-approved. I can recommend you a handful of lenders and you can select anyone you like.

Here are couple of links, any one can sign up for a property search account, no cost no obligations. http://housesinsocal.com/ and http://deepak.listingbook.com/ all information from these sources is always current and trustworthy. I will provide you more resources to get you acquainted with the process and it will help you avail good opportunities in time and help u beat your competition.

Snoop around until you get your pre approval and see what fits your expectations and affordability. I am here to help, all the best!

Deepak Chauhan
Realty ONE Group Inc.
Cell: 949 748-9834
4010 Barranca Pkwy, Ste.120
Irvine CA 92604
CA BRE# 01791487
1 vote
Shadi Kian, Agent, Lake Forest, CA
Mon Jan 13, 2014
Hello Andrea;

I think you have enough advise in respond to your questions. I think another good one will help too. If you want to buy something in March, I would say getting yourself ready by early Feb. I suggest, before you go out and look at any homes, it's best to meet with your loan consultant. The most important and stressful part of Real Estate transactions can be the lending part of it, if its handled wrong. With ever changing lending guidelines, new QM (Qualified Mortgage) & ATR (Ability to repay) rules and regulation, its wiser to start your homework sooner. Your Loan Consultant, can provide you with the most vital information for your home purchase transaction.

1-How much loan truly you and/or your co-borrower (if any) will qualify for, 2- How much your monthly payments for different loan amount and/or different purchase price would be, 3- Review your loan program options etc..
Once you know where you are with your loan approval, you gain confident in this exciting adventure. Now you are ready to meet with your Realtor to start your search by early March.

I can help you in both aspect of your transaction. You can take advantage of our one stop shop. We can prepare a complete home purchase package for you and guide you through this process, step by step. Rest assure that your transaction will be closed fast and stress free. You will be happy you did.

Best of Luck
Shadi Kian
1 vote
Raquel Pasala, Agent, Laguna Hills, CA
Mon Jan 13, 2014
Hello Andrea,

Depending on your needs when you are ready to buy it's best to identify the area you want to live in first that way you narrow down neighborhoods you like and other ammeities like freeeway close or school district needs.

If you need help I am happy to assist you in your search there are some great homes in Orange County in your price range.

Give me a call or email me and I would love to help you.


Raquel Pasala
License #01806253
C: 949.463.1241
1 vote
Bud Zeller, Agent, Folsom, CA
Mon Jan 13, 2014
Contact a couple of local lenders for their thoughts on what you qualify for and the best type of loan for your needs.
1 vote
Claudia Chien, Agent, Irvine, CA
Mon Jan 13, 2014
Hi Andrea,
I have been actively looking for these type of houses for my buyers, and I know exactly what you are looking for. These type of houses are very hot in the market, which means there are many people want the same house you want.
I would suggest you to get pre-qualified and start looking for your new home NOW. The most important is to be prepared to make an offer on the ones you fall in love with. Before I purchased my condo, I made at least 10 offers, and I went to see them as soon as they came on the market. You want to be the first one to see them and make an offer that seller can't refuse and accept right the way. The longer you wait, the more competitions you are in, and also if you have to buy before March, losing one month rent, so be it, because the market is going up. The money you save on buying in Jan or Feb will be much more than one or two month later. I still remember I started looking in the first week of Oct 2012 and I moved in my new home just right after X'mas. Two months after closing the escrow, interest rate went up 0.5% and the house in my neighborhood went up 50k, and right now it has been up for 100k. Everyone thinks I am so lucky buying in the right time. I would said understanding the market and knowing what the sellers are thinking is how I bought in the neighborhood I want to live in within my budget.

It will be great to talk to you about my experience on buying homes. Feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email :-)

Claudia Chien
1 vote
Nicole Fedor…, Agent, Santa Ana, CA
Mon Jan 13, 2014
Since your current lease is up in May, its best to start looking at the beginning of March. It ts best to use this time to get everything ready for a purchase-

1- Check your credit report, and look out for any "surprises". If you have any "surprises", work with your creditor to fix them ASAP, as most items take at least 30 days to clear your credit report.
2- Hold making any major purchases on new credit- car loan, appliance-store credit card, retail credit cards, etc. All inquiries into your credit from potential will show up on your report
3- Get yourself pre-approved in late February. Pre-Approvals are generally valid for 60-90 days, so once you have a chance to review your credit, find a reputable lender and get pre-approved. (I work with a great network of lenders).
4- Drive neighborhoods, check out Open Houses, narrow down your list to "Must-Have" and "Would Be Nice to Have" - if you would like some current, I would be happy to send them to you, as this would give you an idea of what to expect.
5- Find your Realtor! A great Realtor makes all the difference when it comes to a smooth transaction!

Andrea, you will receive a lot of advice on this site, some of it conflicting. Don't overwhelm yourself with information! Take Advice #5, and contact me today! I will guide you through the process, answer all your questions, and find your dream home!!!!

Nicole Fedorchek, Realtor
Tarbell, Realtors
1 vote
Nicole is correct that the best thing to do now when you start thinking about buying a home is to get your credit history in order - and then connect with an experienced mortgage broker or lender to find out what kind of loan you are prequalified to secure.
Flag Mon Jan 13, 2014
Cynthia Wong, Agent, Irvine, CA
Mon Jan 13, 2014
No problem. In the meantime, I will keep my eyes out for a house with your wish list and we can reconnect in March. Please email me your email and/or contact info. I can keep you updated on any properties I may find for you.

Thank you,
Cynthia Wong, Keller Williams Realty
1 vote
Cynthia Wong, Agent, Irvine, CA
Mon Jan 13, 2014
Hi Andrea!

It would be best to start looking now. We have a mortgage lender that can get you pre-approved. Hopefully lock in a lower interest rate than you would get in March. Let's get started and make this a seamless transaction!

I look forward to hearing from you!
Cynthia Wong, Keller Williams Realty
1 vote
Sean Rees, Agent, Irvine, CA
Mon Jan 13, 2014
If you want to own your home by March, this weekend is a good time to start your search- On average you will visit ten homes before you find the right one, and most escrows are 45 days long- If you factor in two weeks of looking, a week of negotiation, and then the 45 escrow...Welcome to March!
1 vote
Joe Homs, Agent, Laguna Hills, CA
Mon Jan 13, 2014

Now! Don't wait until interest rates rise in a few months. Call me right away!

Joe Homs
Web Reference:  http://Thehomsteam.com
1 vote
Dave Dyssega…, Agent, Monarch Beach, CA
Mon Jan 13, 2014
Hello Andrea,

I agree with Cindy on getting you approvals in place first unless, you are paying cash. Then you just need to have proof of funds in order. Do you have an area picked out yet? I would suggest to start now. It sounds like you want a newer home that may be tough depending on were you want to live.

Here is my website that you can search and narrow down some to go and preview.

Please let me know if I can help in anyway.

Dave Dyssegard
Tarbell Realtors
1 vote
Alexander Gr…, Agent, San Jose, CA
Mon Jan 13, 2014
Probably right now. You want to get started before the market heats up in the spring. Do you have a real estate agent? Have you been pre-approved for a loan? These are the first two steps in the home buying process.

Alex Greer
Loan Officer
NMLS #1056079

1 vote
Joe Van Foss…, Agent, Fullerton, CA
Mon Jan 13, 2014
Hi Andrea,

Right now is probably a good time to start looking. As spring approaches more buyers generally enter the market, and with limited housing inventory that could mean more competition.

If you would like some help with your search, I'd be happy to assist you.

Joe Van Fossen
Keller Williams Realty
1 vote
Ann Urias, Agent, tustin, CA
Mon Jan 13, 2014
Usually you get the best price at the beginning of the year. prices usually start going up in spring and summer. The first step would be getting pre-qualified by a lender you trust. I specialize in the Irvine area and there are a lot of good homes on the market right now. Let me know if you need help finding the perfect home, I'll be happy to assist. You may contact me at (714) 588-7676 or go to my website to search the MLS http://www.annurias.com
1 vote
Cindy Davis, Agent, San Diego, CA
Mon Jan 13, 2014
If you've obtained your mortgage approval, then now would be a fine time to start looking. If you haven't gotten your financing organized, then that is absolutely the first step.

Good luck.
1 vote
Brittany Lei…, Agent, San Clemente, CA
Thu May 29, 2014
I would love to help you! Here is some information about me taken from my website http://www.MyRealEstateExecutive.com

Brittany Leighton, Real Estate Professional

Experienced Southern California Realtor

Holds 37 awards in top customer service and top customer satisfaction.

Top 1% customer service in the nation award

President/CEO of Children’s Smiles Non-Profit Organization - http://www.ChildrensSmiles.org

Brittany has a successful and extensive background in practicing Real Estate Law. Brittany has been actively assisting home buyers and sellers in Southern CA for over 10 years.

A commitment to service and extensive Real Estate education is what sets Brittany apart from many other professionals. Brittany’s goal is to provide every single person she meets with extraordinary customer service so that they will be excited to share their experiences by referring their friends, family, and colleagues. This philosophy is the reason why 94% of her business comes from referrals. Brittany has a solid understanding of Real Estate contracts, the home purchasing and home selling process, and efficient contract negotiation.

Brittany understands the importance of clear and direct communication. It is extremely important that as your transaction is occurring and when your transaction is complete, you feel comfortable calling her every day as you need her.

Brittany is an expert negotiator and pays close attention to detail and customer needs. Her clients are always kept well informed during each step of the home buying and selling experience.

Brittany believes that to succeed at your goal you must have the power of focus, the strength of integrity, and the understanding of the journey to achieve that goal.

Orange County Association of Realtors
California Association of Realtors
National Association of Realtors

Thank you,

Brittany Leighton


Top 1% Customer Satisfaction in the NATION



0 votes
Shelli Banko, Agent, Santa Ana, CA
Sun May 4, 2014
Hi Andrea,

I just noticed your post and was wondering if you have found a home yet? If you are still looking, feel free to call me and I would be more than happy to help you find your perfect home!

I look forward to hearing from you if you need any help!


Shelli Banko
Tarbell Realtors
0 votes
Jeanne Solet…, Home Buyer, Phoenix, AZ
Mon Jan 27, 2014
Would like to add a couple of scenarios. (1) TH at $500,000 with 20% down gives PI at $2300 - plus HOA of $700 = $3,000 Monthly plus taxes and insurance. (2) SFH at $600,000 with 20% down gives PI at $2700. You must qualify for either 3000 or 2700 and income SB at least $9000 monthly. What do you do for a living!!?? Hope it's secure.
0 votes
Jeanne Solet…, Home Buyer, Phoenix, AZ
Mon Jan 27, 2014
Allow six weeks to close, four weeks research, then another four to six weeks to get a realtor off his behind and doing his job.
0 votes
Ron Rovtar, Agent, Boulder, CO
Tue Jan 14, 2014
Hi Adrea:

I know May sounds like a long way off right now, but it will take you a couple months just to understand the market in you target area. So would be contacting real estate agents and mortgage brokers right now. Inventory is low in many areas, meaning you may have to move quickly when the right home comes on the market. But you won't feel comfortable with a quick decision if you are not sure that you are paying the right price. Last year was a tough one for buyers in many areas. This year may be a little better, but I would expect it to remain a sellers' market.

Ron Rovtar
Boulder CO
0 votes
Andrea, Home Buyer, Irvine, CA
Mon Jan 13, 2014
I am sorry, actually my lease gets over only in May, so I need a house only for May this year, so I feel it is quite early now to look for.
0 votes
Even if your lease is over in May, you need to be settled in your new home before May. It is more critical to buy the property at a reasonable price and good interest rate than keep worrying about the lease date. We need to sit down and do some math and see what is more critica,l feel free to call or text me @ 949 748-9834 all we need is half an hour to 45 minutes. Have a good night!
Flag Mon Jan 13, 2014
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