Take Two®

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by A Martínez

Wondering how to afford a home in SoCal? We've got some advice

by Take Two®

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U.S. home prices jumped 12.2 percent in May compared with a year ago, the biggest yearly gain since March 2006. The increase shows the housing recovery is strengthening. (Photo: A home for sale in Central Los Angeles.) Christopher Okula/KPCC

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News flash: it's getting more and more expensive to live here in Southern California.

Many of you probably knew that already, but to give you a concrete idea, here's a new statistic from the California Association of Realtors: less than a third of households in L.A. County can afford a home at the median price of $485,000.

It's a stark change from just five years ago when a median-priced home was within reach of more than half of L.A. households.

What if you want to buy a home in this environment?

We've got some advice from financial planner Delia Fernandez.

You're in your 20s

The younger generations are really known for loving to eat out and for spending their money on travel rather than necessarily homes.

But if they do want to buy a home, they probably should spend more time cooking at home and some time saving.

They need to organize their budgets so that they can afford to pay that mortgage and property taxes and insurance. 

You're in your 30s

They need to educated about the home buying process, itself, and what they could actually qualify for in terms of a loan.

They're often more serious about getting started with a family, so they can go to their local bank or loan officer about how much they might quality for.

There are tools on sites like BankRate and Zillow that are free and are educational tools about how to buy a house and what you can afford. 

You're in your 40s or older

If you have a steady income, it really might be to your benefit to buy a house with a fixed mortgage.

One of the things I worry about is when clients retire, the rent keeps going up but your retirement income does not necessarily keep up with that.

So I worry that my clients are going to be in a rental they love and the increase in rent is going to outstrip their Social Security and other income.

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