Think you can’t afford a Rancho Santa Fe home? You might be surprised.

Don’t think you can afford a home in San Diego County’s Rancho Santa Fe region? Think again. The real estate slowdown, along with a sluggish local and national economy, have combined to lower prices in this desirable market.

And this means that you might be able to find your dream home in Rancho Santa Fe at a price that you can afford.

Rancho Santa Fe remains a highly desirable community. The natural beauty, eclectic mix of restaurants and shops, plentiful green spaces and, of course, the amazing weather make this a place that people want to call home. Because of the demand, homes for sale in Rancho Santa Fe have traditionally fetched high price tags. It’s still not unusual, even with the changing local real estate market, to see homes with asking prices of $12 million or more in this coveted swath of San Diego County.

Of course, when a home comes with that high of a price tag, it also comes with plenty of amenities. In Rancho Santa Fe, this usually means land and lots of it. The mansions in the Rancho Santa Fe area also come with plenty of inside space. Buyers will find that the highest-priced homes in this region come with five or more bedrooms, indoor swimming pools, on-site fitness centers, media rooms and home theaters that resemble the most luxurious of commercial cinemas.

It’s not surprising, then, that many athletes and celebrities call this region home. The homes here offer them the amenities that their impressive salaries can command.

This doesn’t mean, though, that you can’t afford a home in Rancho Santa Fe. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t bother with homes for sale in Rancho Santa Fe.

The silver lining of the residential real estate slowdown is that housing prices have stopped rising and, in many parts of the country, have been falling for years. This is the case in much of Southern California, a region in which housing prices skyrocketed during the housing boom. Once the boom turned into a crash, though, prices in Southern California have fallen, dramatically in some cases.

This is good news for buyers. And not only have prices fallen, but homeowners have become more amenable to making deals. This means that savvy buyers, even in the country’s most desirable markets, have been able to slash thousands of dollars off owners’ asking prices during the negotiation period.

The slower market also means that there are more homes on the market for buyers to choose from. This, again, works in favor of smart buyers. When more houses are offered for sale at any one time, the prices of these homes naturally fall. It’s the old law of supply and demand. When supply is high, prices are lower. When supply is tighter, it creates more demand and prices rise. Today, sellers can’t command the same sky-high prices for homes in Rancho Santa Fe that they once could.

If you, then, are interested in making this prime San Diego County region your home, you’ve picked a great time to buy. Prices today are lower than they have been since the early 2000s. With a smart real estate agent at your side, you should be able to find quality homes in the Rancho Santa Fe region at solid prices.

And once you do find that ideal home, you’ll have to spend less money to finance it. That’s because mortgage interest rates are at historic lows. As of late spring 2012, the average mortgage interest rate on the popular fixed-rate 30-year mortgage stood under 3.5 percent. That’s amazing. And it means that borrowers will have to pay far less in interest when taking out mortgage loans. Those buyers who take out a shorter-term 15-year fixed-rate mortgage loan will save even more money on interest. The average rate on this kind of loan was under 3.4 percent as of late spring.




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