There are many great reasons to live in California. From world-class entertainment and delicious food, to beautiful weather and stunning beaches, the state has it all. So what does this mean for homeowners? Well, if you’re thinking about buying a new home in California, here are some things that you should consider!
Property taxes can be expensive.
Well, owning a home in California is expensive. And obviously, property taxes are a major expense too. Your property tax bill is based on the value of your home and the amount of your property assessment — which, if you’re buying in California, will be higher than it would be in many other parts of the country.
If you live in a high-cost area like San Francisco or Los Angeles, your property tax bill might be more than $10,000 per year — and that doesn’t include the cost of utilities or maintenance fees paid separately to local government agencies.
Most new homeowners find that their monthly payment includes principal, interest and taxes (PIT) — so they can expect to pay about 1% of their home’s value each year in PIT alone.
Even if you don’t have a mortgage yet, you’ll need to pay PIT every year on your home because it’s considered an asset (like stocks) rather than debt (like student loans).
School districts matter if you have children
In some areas, moving to a better school district can be the difference between a thriving or struggling family. It’s important that new homeowners in California know about the different school districts in their area and plan accordingly.
The first step is to get acquainted with your local school district. You can start by checking out your local school board website. Most states have a searchable database of school districts for each county.
Next, make sure you’re aware of any nearby charter schools, private schools and other options that might be available to you. Some parents choose to send their children to private schools while others opt for homeschooling or public education. Each family has its own needs, so it’s important that you understand what’s available before making any decisions about where you want to live and how your children will be educated.
Finally, if you do decide on a particular neighborhood because of its great public schools but later realize that they aren’t up to par, don’t despair — there are plenty of ways for parents to advocate for improvements at their child’s school without moving away from their home base!
Homeowner’s or renters insurance is required
Homeowner’s or renters insurance is required by law in California and it’s a must for every homeowner. This type of insurance protects your home, your possessions and any liability you might have for injuries on your property.
Homeowners insurance protects against losses due to fire, wind and theft, as well as damage from floods and earthquakes. It also pays for damage to cars or other vehicles that are parked in your garage. If someone gets hurt on your property, the policy will cover their medical bills and lost wages if they sue you.
But what about renters insurance? How is it different? What does renters insurance cover in California?
Well, renters’ insurance covers similar things but it doesn’t include loss of use because the apartment is uninhabitable while repairs are made. Renters’ insurance also doesn’t cover some risks (such as flood damage) that homeowners’ policies do cover.
The cost of homeowner’s insurance varies based on factors like how much coverage you want, how much money you have invested in your home, and whether you live in an area with high crime rates or severe weather events.
Your homes are vulnerable to Wildfires
If you’re living in California, Wildfires are one of the biggest dangers to your home. They can destroy everything in their path and spread quickly. You may not be able to stop a wildfire, but you can prepare for it.
Here are some tips to help keep your home safe from wildfires:
Get a fire insurance policy that covers wildfires. Most homeowners insurance policies don’t cover fires caused by lightning or arson, but they will cover fires caused by other means, such as embers blown by the wind or hot ash falling off a roof onto a flammable surface.
Build an emergency plan with your family members. Include how to evacuate if needed and how to reunite if separated during an evacuation.
Install smoke detectors on every level of your home, including basements and attics. Test them monthly and replace batteries twice a year — once when daylight saving time ends in autumn and again when it begins again in the springtime.
Keep at least 100 feet of cleared space around the house perimeter (at least 10 feet from each side). This will allow firefighters easier access if needed, as well as provide room for emergency vehicles and equipment when evacuating your neighborhood due to fire danger conditions in the area.
If you’re new to a part of California, be it the Bay Area, Los Angeles, or Sacramento, it can be difficult to know where to begin in terms of educating yourself on all that is local. Naturally, you will have plenty of questions as a new homeowner; and it’s always good to be aware of some of the important stuff before you make the significant move you desire—hope this blog helps you with that.