Today’s California Mortgage Rates: What to Know Before Making a California Home Purchase

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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

Loan TypeRate
30-year Fixed3.590%
15-year Fixed2.880%
5/1 ARM2.380%
30-Year Refi3.580%

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

CountySingle-family Property
Alameda$970,800
Alpine$647,200
Amador$647,200
Butte$647,200
Calaveras$647,200
Colusa$647,200
Contra Costa$970,800
Del Norte$647,200
El Dorado$675,050
Fresno$647,200
Glenn$647,200
Humboldt$647,200
Imperial$647,200
Inyo$647,200
Kern$647,200
Kings$647,200
Lake$647,200
Lassen$647,200
Los Angeles$970,800
Madera$647,200
Marin$970,800
Mariposa$647,200
Mendocino$647,200
Merced$647,200
Modoc$647,200
Mono$647,200
Monterey$854,450
Napa$897,000
Nevada$647,200
Orange$970,800
Placer$675,050
Plumas$647,200
Riverside$647,200
Sacramento$675,050
San Benito$970,800
San Bernardino$647,200
San Diego$879,750
San Francisco$970,800
San Joaquin$647,200
San Luis Obispo$805,000
San Mateo$970,800
Santa Barbara$783,150
Santa Clara$970,800
Santa Cruz$970,800
Shasta$647,200
Sierra$647,200
Siskiyou$647,200
Solano$647,200
Sonoma$764,750
Stanislaus$647,200
Sutter$647,200
Tehama$647,200
Trinity$647,200
Tulare$647,200
Tuolumne$647,200
Ventura$851,000
Yolo$675,050
Yuba$647,200

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

CountySingle-family Property
Alameda$970,800
Alpine$463,450
Amador$420,680
Butte$420,680
Calaveras$420,680
Colusa$420,680
Contra Costa$970,800
Del Norte$420,680
El Dorado$675,050
Fresno$420,680
Glenn$420,680
Humboldt$420,680
Imperial$420,680
Inyo$431,250
Kern$420,680
Kings$420,680
Lake$420,680
Lassen$420,680
Los Angeles$970,800
Madera$420,680
Marin$970,800
Mariposa$420,680
Mendocino$506,000
Merced$420,680
Modoc$420,680
Mono$563,500
Monterey$854,450
Napa$897,000
Nevada$609,500
Orange$970,800
Placer$675,050
Plumas$420,680
Riverside$562,350
Sacramento$675,050
San Benito$970,800
San Bernardino$562,350
San Diego$879,750
San Francisco$970,800
San Joaquin$563,500
San Luis Obispo$805,000
San Mateo$970,800
Santa Barbara$783,150
Santa Clara$970,800
Santa Cruz$970,800
Shasta$420,680
Sierra$420,680
Siskiyou$420,680
Solano$614,100
Sonoma$765,750
Stanislaus$460,000
Sutter$420,900
Tehama$420,680
Trinity$420,680
Tulare$420,680
Tuolumne$420,680
Ventura$851,000
Yolo$675,050
Yuba$420,900