Are you considering downgrading, upgrading, or buying an Orange County home for strictly investment purposes?  Well, the time to act is now: Buying a home may never get any cheaper than this. Housing experts in Orange County and around the country are predicting that this year — 2012 — will be the last chance for bargain hunters and savvy buyers to cash in on the best deals of the weak housing market.

With home prices down 34% nationally  since 2006 and mortgage rates at historic lows, homes have never been more affordable — but it won’t stay this way for much longer. In fact, some experts predict home prices to flatten out by the third quarter and start climbing by next year and others point to data that shows that home prices have already started to pick up in early 2012. The point? Start looking for your Orange County home today.

What will help to bolster the still struggling housing market? A number of factors, including a decline in the number of foreclosures and continued job growth. In addition, homebuyers will have better access to mortgages as they get their finances in order and improve their credit scores.

As foreclosures start to fade, it is important to recognize that many of the ‘deals and steals’ you’ve seen around South and Central Orange County will too. The percentage of people with home loans 90 or more days late has dropped 15% year-over-year to 3.1% through the end of 2011, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. And the decline is accelerating: More than 70% of the decline came in the last three months of the year.

As we have discussed in previous posts, and as you have probably experienced firsthand, home buying is often cheaper than home renting these days. Take advantage of the great prices many Orange County homes are selling for and contact Cheryl Marquis to talk about buying a home today.

For more Orange County real estate news and happenings, follow Cheryl on Twitter @CherylSellsOC or check her on Facebook at CherylSellsOrangeCounty.

Cheryl Marquis has been an active and successful real estate agent in South Orange County, California for more than 25 years. As a TOP PRODUCER in her company, Cheryl has received the specific accreditation of a Certified Relocation Specialist (CRS) and Accredited Buyers Agent (ABR) and is a member of the Who’s Who of Luxury Real Estate, a select network of the world’s leading luxury home agents. Cheryl is a member of C.A.R. (California Association of Realtors), N.A.R. (National Association of Realtors) and O.C.A.R. (Orange County Association of Realtors). To talk to Cheryl about buying or selling a home in Orange County, call her at 949.683.1501 or visit her online at