What Are Today’s Mortgage Rates in California?
For Wednesday, January 19, 2022, here are the current mortgage rates in California. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is 3.590%. The average 30-year fixed mortgage refinance rate is 3.580%. Today, the average 15-year fixed mortgage rate is 2.880%.
Looking at variable rate loans, the average 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) rate is 2.380%.
This information is from Bankrate’s latest survey of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders.
Current Mortgage Rates in California
First-Time Homebuyer Programs in California
California has first-time homebuyer programs that are available statewide, in addition to many more that serve specific localities.
The California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) has a variety of loan programs for purchasing a home in California, so if you’re taking out a mortgage through one of these programs and are a first-time home buyer (or haven’t owned a home in the last three years) then you can also qualify for down payment assistance through the MyHome Assistance Program.
If you meet the requirements for the MyHome Assistance Program, then you’re eligible for a deferred loan for the down payment or closing costs which doesn’t need to be repaid until you sell the home. The maximum benefits amount varies depending on the type of CalHFA mortgage you get:
- CalHFA FHA or CalPLUS FHA loan – The lesser of: $11,000 or 3.5% of the sale price or appraised value, whichever is less
- CalHFA Conventional, CalPLUS Conventional or CalHFA USDA loan – The lesser of: $11,000 or 3% of the sale price or appraised value, whichever is less
- CalHFA VA loan – 3% of the sale price or appraised value, whichever is less
Most borrowers who qualify for this program can receive a maximum benefit of $11,000. However, school employees and fire department employees are not subject to the $11,000 cap.
California Mortgage Taxes
California may have higher state income taxes, but property tax rates are reasonable with the average effective property tax rate for owner-occupied homes in California being 0.70%, according to the Tax Foundation. California also has rules restricting how much the assessed value of your home can increase, to only 2% annually.
You may be able to deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from your federal and state income taxes in California. But this applies to you only if you itemize your deductions instead of taking the standard deduction. There are also other restrictions to consider. Federal law limits the mortgage interest deduction to loans of up to $750,000 and for California the loan limit for mortgage interest deductions is $1,000,000.
California Mortgage Refinancing
Now’s an ideal time to refinance because refinance rates are exceptionally low. And refinancing a mortgage in California works the same as in other states, so the considerations are the same.
Every lender will quote you with a different interest rate and charge varying fees. Getting offers from a few different lenders will allow you to compare and ensure you’re getting the best deal you can qualify for. A general rule of thumb is to refinance your mortgage when you can reduce the interest rate by 1% or more. But the decision is more complex because you need to pay attention to other factors, such as the length of your loan, which impacts your rate and your monthly payment. And a low refinance rate may not be a good deal if you are paying excessive upfront fees.
Conforming and FHA Loan Limits by County
In order for a home loan to be classified as “conforming” it needs to meet the guidelines set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Housing in certain areas of California is much more expensive than the national average. In these counties, the conforming loan limits are higher to account for the increased home prices.
Here are the conforming loan limits for each California county as outlined by the FHFA:
CALIFORNIA 2022 CONFORMING LOAN LIMITS BY COUNTY
|San Luis Obispo||$805,000|
Other types of mortgages follow different sets of rules. For loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the maximum loan size can be different than what it is for conforming loans.
Here are the FHA loan limits for each county in California:
CALIFORNIA 2022 FHA LOAN LIMITS BY COUNTY
|San Luis Obispo||$805,000|