Getting the Best Mortgage Rates in California

Today’s California Mortgage Rates & Loans for Fair, Good, and Great Credit Scores

Are you in the market to buy a home in California? Or are you looking to refinance an existing California mortgage loan?

Refinancing or buying a home in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, Riverside, Fresno, San Bernardino, Modesto, or any other city in California will be one of the most important purchases you will ever make. Not surprisingly, it also tends to be one of the most expensive.

Taking the time to find the best California home mortgage rates, before you commit to a long-term mortgage loan, is key to saving money in the long-term. As such, conducting a mortgage comparison between mortgage rate providers and lenders in California, before you purchase your home, is critical because today’s California mortgage rates are constantly changing.

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Which California City Are You Located in?

Mortgage loans for California based residents with good, great, and excellent credit scores are based on the city in which they are located, as well as on the amount of their down payment, the total loan amount, location and condition of the house (appraisal), and a wide range of other factors.

Most mortgage lenders in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Long Beach, Sacramento, Riverside, Fresno, San Bernardino, Oakland, and Modesto require a down payment of around 20%. Below is a list of some of the largest cities in California. 

Top California CitiesCalifornia CountiesLand area
Los AngelesLos Angeles468.67 sq mi (1,213.8 km2)
San DiegoSan Diego325.19 sq mi (842.2 km2)
San JoseSanta Clara176.53 sq mi (457.2 km2)
San FranciscoSan Francisco46.87 sq mi (121.4 km2)
FresnoFresno111.96 sq mi (290.0 km2)
SacramentoSacramento97.92 sq mi (253.6 km2)
Long BeachLos Angeles50.29 sq mi (130.3 km2)
OaklandAlameda55.79 sq mi (144.5 km2)
BakersfieldKern142.16 sq mi (368.2 km2)
AnaheimOrange49.84 sq mi (129.1 km2)
Santa AnaOrange27.27 sq mi (70.6 km2)
RiversideRiverside81.14 sq mi (210.2 km2)
StocktonSan Joaquin61.67 sq mi (159.7 km2)
Chula VistaSan Diego49.63 sq mi (128.5 km2)
FremontAlameda77.46 sq mi (200.6 km2)
IrvineOrange66.11 sq mi (171.2 km2)
San BernardinoSan Bernardino59.20 sq mi (153.3 km2)
ModestoStanislaus36.87 sq mi (95.5 km2)
OxnardVentura26.89 sq mi (69.6 km2)
FontanaSan Bernardino42.43 sq mi (109.9 km2)
Moreno ValleyRiverside51.27 sq mi (132.8 km2)
GlendaleLos Angeles30.45 sq mi (78.9 km2)
Huntington BeachOrange26.75 sq mi (69.3 km2)
Santa ClaritaLos Angeles52.72 sq mi (136.5 km2)
Garden GroveOrange17.94 sq mi (46.5 km2)
Santa RosaSonoma41.29 sq mi (106.9 km2)
OceansideSan Diego41.23 sq mi (106.8 km2)
Rancho CucamongaSan Bernardino39.85 sq mi (103.2 km2)
OntarioSan Bernardino49.94 sq mi (129.3 km2)
LancasterLos Angeles94.28 sq mi (244.2 km2)
Elk GroveSacramento42.19 sq mi (109.3 km2)
PalmdaleLos Angeles105.96 sq mi (274.4 km2)
CoronaRiverside38.83 sq mi (100.6 km2)
SalinasMonterey23.18 sq mi (60.0 km2)
PomonaLos Angeles22.95 sq mi (59.4 km2)
TorranceLos Angeles20.48 sq mi (53.0 km2)
HaywardAlameda45.32 sq mi (117.4 km2)
EscondidoSan Diego36.81 sq mi (95.3 km2)
SunnyvaleSanta Clara21.99 sq mi (57.0 km2)
PasadenaLos Angeles22.97 sq mi (59.5 km2)
FullertonOrange22.35 sq mi (57.9 km2)
OrangeOrange24.80 sq mi (64.2 km2)
Thousand OaksVentura55.03 sq mi (142.5 km2)
VisaliaTulare36.25 sq mi (93.9 km2)
Simi ValleyVentura41.48 sq mi (107.4 km2)
ConcordContra Costa30.55 sq mi (79.1 km2)
RosevillePlacer5.16 sq mi (13.4 km2)
Santa ClaraSanta Clara18.41 sq mi (47.7 km2)
VallejoSolano30.67 sq mi (79.4 km2)
VictorvilleSan Bernardino73.18 sq mi (189.5 km2)
El MonteLos Angeles9.56 sq mi (24.8 km2)
BerkeleyAlameda10.47 sq mi (27.1 km2)
DowneyLos Angeles12.41 sq mi (32.1 km2)
Costa MesaOrange15.65 sq mi (40.5 km2)
InglewoodLos Angeles9.07 sq mi (23.5 km2)
VenturaVentura21.65 sq mi (56.1 km2)
West CovinaLos Angeles16.04 sq mi (41.5 km2)
NorwalkLos Angeles9.71 sq mi (25.1 km2)
CarlsbadSan Diego37.72 sq mi (97.7 km2)
FairfieldSolano37.39 sq mi (96.8 km2)
RichmondContra Costa30.07 sq mi (77.9 km2)
MurrietaRiverside33.58 sq mi (87.0 km2)
BurbankLos Angeles17.34 sq mi (44.9 km2)
AntiochContra Costa28.35 sq mi (73.4 km2)
Daly CitySan Mateo7.66 sq mi (19.8 km2)
TemeculaRiverside30.15 sq mi (78.1 km2)
Santa MariaSanta Barbara22.76 sq mi (58.9 km2)
El CajonSan Diego14.43 sq mi (37.4 km2)
RialtoSan Bernardino22.35 sq mi (57.9 km2)
San MateoSan Mateo12.13 sq mi (31.4 km2)
ComptonLos Angeles10.01 sq mi (25.9 km2)
ClovisFresno23.28 sq mi (60.3 km2)
South GateLos Angeles7.24 sq mi (18.8 km2)
VistaSan Diego18.68 sq mi (48.4 km2)
Mission ViejoOrange17.74 sq mi (45.9 km2)
VacavilleSolano28.37 sq mi (73.5 km2)
CarsonLos Angeles18.72 sq mi (48.5 km2)
HesperiaSan Bernardino73.10 sq mi (189.3 km2)

Source: Wikipedia

California Mortgage Loans Above $424,100 May Have Different Home Loan Terms

If you have a good, great, or excellent credit history and you are seeking a California home loan for more than $424,100, some home loan lenders may be able to provide more favorable rates and terms. As such, you should confirm your loan terms with the lender for your requested loan amount.

Taxes and Insurance Excluded from the California Mortgage Terms

Something you should note is that the home loan terms (APR and payment info) often do not include amounts for Californian taxes or required insurance premiums in the state of California.

Your monthly home loan payment amount will be greater when Californian taxes and insurance premiums are included.

Taxes and Insurance Excluded from the California Mortgage Terms

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Key Requirements for Buying a House in California

Before or after you apply for a California mortgage, you’ll want to ensure that you complete the below list of requirements.

  • Get your down payment ready (~20% of the loan amount)
  • Maintain good to excellent credit score
  • Save some extra funds for your closing cost (there might be additional expenses that you’ll need to pay)
  • Maintain a low debt balance
  • Demonstrate sufficient income
  • Gather your financial documents
  • Get a home appraisal

Needed Documents for a Mortgage Loan Application

According to Chase bank, below are the most common California mortgage loan documentation that you should gather together when applying for a mortgage loan in CA.

Needed Documents for a Mortgage Loan Application

Good or Excellent Credit Score

Most home lenders that provide loans in California use a type of credit score known as a FICO score to determine if a California based borrower is creditworthy or not. FICO scores range anywhere from 300 to 850, with the higher numbers being considered the most creditworthy and the lower numbers being considered the biggest financial risk.

The range of FICO scores used by California mortgage lenders generally falls into these categories:

  • 300 – 629 is considered a bad credit score
  • 630 – 689 is considered a fair credit score
  • 690 – 719 is considered a good credit score
  • 720 – 850 is considered an excellent credit score

In case you are wondering what the average credit score is, see the below table from Fico. It shows the average FICO score from 2005 – 2015.

According to CNBC, as of this year, the average score is 700.

Good or Excellent Credit Score

Source: FICO

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Conclusion – Finding a Top Mortgage Loan for a Home in California

Buying a first home is not a quick shopping experience. Average processing (from start of application to closing) in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, Riverside, Fresno, San Bernardino, Modesto, or any other city in California normally takes between 30-45 days.

As such, you need to have a plan set in place for buying your first house to avoid extra expenses and unnecessary delays.

If you are in the market to buy a home, a low down payment can be an option. It is a great way to get into a home and start building equity. If you apply for a fixed-rate California conventional loan (10-year, 15-year, 20-year, or a 30-year mortgage loan), the best home loan lenders in California will often allow you to remove the mortgage insurance. But that’s only if you deposit 20% or more of the home price in the form of a down payment.

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