For over 16 years my team and I have offered low rates, fast closings, and exceptional customer service. From the initial quote to the funding of your loan you’ll work directly with one person – Loan Officer Kevin O’Connor. Most mortgage companies pass you from one department to the next which slows down the process.
At JB Mortgage Capital, Inc. you’ll have a better experience and a more efficient loan process.
Table of Contents
- Today’s Mortgage Rates In California
- Choosing Which Mortgage Rate Is Best For You
- The Basics – Mortgage Rates In California
- Mortgage Payment Examples
- Online Mortgage Calculator
- Conforming And FHA Loans In California
- How Do I Get Pre-Approved For A Mortgage?
- Compare Mortgage Rates Online
- Consumer Protection In The Mortgage Industry
Today’s Mortgage Rates In California
|*As of 05/07/21||Assumptions|
Reasons To Work With Loan Officer Kevin O’Connor
My team and I have spent over 16 years helping homeowners achieve their dreams.
- A+ Rating With The Better Business Bureau
- Five Star rating on Zillow
- Five Star rating on Yelp
- Five Star Rating on Google
- AAA rating with the Business Consumers Alliance
- One-on-one service from application to closing
We offer mortgages throughout California including San Diego, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, San Jose, San Francisco, Sacramento, Chico, Fresno, and Redding. For the most up-to-date current quote for your specific loan scenario please contact me today at 1-800-550-5528 or send a request for a quote through our website.
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Northern California is home to San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, Stockton, Redding and so much more. Homeowners and homebuyers will agree, Northern California is a great place to live.
Mortgage options for northern California are plentiful and residents have access to Conventional, FHA, and other government-backed loans along with jumbo mortgage products.
Fixed mortgage rates in Northern California tend to be the most popular loan option when buying a home and refinancing a current mortgage. Fixed-rate mortgage loans offer certainty and stability. You know from the beginning to the end what your rate will be and how much you need to pay each month.
Open spaces and beautiful scenery best describe central California. The great cities of Central California include Bakersfield, Fresno, Merced, Modesto, Salinas, and more. With the virtually untouched coastline and an endless number of wineries, central California is a great place to call home.
Whether you are buying a primary home or a vacation home in one of the small Oceanside communities, mortgage rates in Central California have been low for decades. 30-year fixed mortgage rates and 15-year fixed mortgage rates are two of the most popular mortgage rate terms in Central California.
Cash-out refinance programs, home renovation programs and more are available to homeowners throughout Central California.
San Diego, Anaheim, Long Beach, Los Angeles; Southern California is home to some of the biggest and most unique cities in California. Low mortgage rates in Southern California have played a big role in the increase in home values over the last twenty-plus years.
Homeowners and homebuyers have access to low mortgage rates in Southern California via the thousands of mortgage companies that are based here. 30 year fixed mortgage rates tend to be one of the most popular and they can be structured in many different ways. From paying points to no points to no points and no closing costs; the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage in Southern California is in high demand.
Choosing Which Mortgage Rate Is Best For You
Here are the three most popular mortgage rates in California:
- 30-year fixed mortgage rate
- 20-year fixed mortgage rate
- 15-year fixed mortgage rate
A “mortgage rate” is the cost of borrowing money to own a home. Each mortgage rate has its own set of benefits. Whichever option you chose be sure it matches your short, medium, and long term financial goals. Reviewing your mortgage rate options can save you thousands of dollars. Choosing which mortgage rate is best for you is a simple as answering the following three questions.
- Do you want a low payment? Then go with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.
- Are you looking to pay off your home quickly? Then a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is your best option.
- Want a balance between low payment and faster payoff? Then you should go with a 20-year fixed-rate mortgage.
Answering these questions will help you make this important decision. Mortgage rates in California can change daily so make sure you discuss your locking options with the Loan Officer.
Comparing Online Mortgage Rates
When comparing online mortgage rates between different websites it’s important to know that each website has rates listed that are based on different loan scenarios. And some websites have dozens of lenders listed which means each one of those lenders has its own loan scenario.
Online mortgage rates in California are basically a snapshot of today’s mortgage rates for a very specific loan scenario. Our website clearly displays an “assumption” link so that it’s easy to learn what loan scenario our rates are based on.
Locking A Mortgage Rate In California
An important step during the mortgage loan process is locking in the mortgage rate you were quoted.
What does it mean to lock in a mortgage rate?
It simply means that if the market moves up or down your locked-in mortgage rate will not change. If it’s not locked in then your rate can adjust with the market.
When you apply are you required to lock in your rate?
No, at least not with us.
Some mortgage companies do require you to lock in your rate at the time of application and others won’t let you lock in your rate until closing (or after the underwriter approves the application).
We do things a bit differently at JB Mortgage Capital, Inc. – we let the client decide when to lock the rate. If you want to lock in at the time of application, great! If you want to wait to see how the market performs, great!
Either way, you have options. And in some cases you have the option of doing a “float down”.
The Float Down Option
In some circumstances, we can offer a client a “float down” option when locking in their rate. A mortgage rate float down is when the market improves enough after you lock, that the lender decides to offer you better terms.
It’s a great option to have however not all programs come with a float down option. Be sure to ask about it when getting a quote.
Fixed-Rate Mortgage vs Adjustable-Rate Mortgage
A fixed-rate mortgage is where your rate and your payment never change.
An adjustable-rate mortgage is when your mortgage rate and your monthly payment can adjust. Typically the rate and payment stay the same for a short period of time (such as 5, 7, or 10 years) and then the rate and payment adjust every year after that.
The benefit of a fixed-rate mortgage is certainty and stability. You always know exactly what your mortgage rate and monthly payment amount are since they never change.
The benefit of an adjustable-rate mortgage is a potential lower mortgage rate and monthly payment.
Mortgage Rates And Loan Programs
The three most common loan programs in California are Conventional (Conforming), FHA, and Jumbo loans. Under these three are various different types of loan options we offer our clients. Each loan option has its own set of mortgage rates.
- Low down payment purchase loan programs
- Excellent credit which provides for lower mortgage rates
- Special mortgage rates for loan programs for those with less than perfect credit
- Home remodel/repair mortgages
- Debt consolidation mortgage (low rate options available)
- Mortgage loans for rental and multi-unit properties
Each week we update our fixed mortgage rates (sometimes more than once in a given week). The most popular mortgage rates are the 30-year fixed mortgage rate and the 15-year fixed mortgage rate.
Along with those options we have 10-year, 20-year, and 25-year fixed mortgage rate options. As far as Adjustable Rate Mortgage options; we offer a 5/1, 7/1, and 10/1 loan term on most of our adjustable loan programs.
- Streamlined loan process
- Appraisal waiver eligible
- Fixed or Adjustable mortgage rate options
- Fast closings available; as little as two weeks
- Appraisal waivers are possible; just not as frequent as refinances
- Fixed and Adjustable mortgage rate options
Low rates, fast closings, and personal one-on-one service. 1-800-550-5538 or use one of our online request forms.
Mortgage Rates And The Mortgage-Backed Securities Market
Mortgage rates in California originate in the Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS) market which is impacted by daily economic events, the Treasury market, and the Fed. The Fed does not set mortgage rates; they only influence the market that determines these rates.
Something to keep in mind: If you were to compare bond market sell-offs to bond market rallies you would see that the selloffs are much greater than the rallies (general speaking).
This means that rates in California tend to move higher much faster than when they move lower (all things being equal). So when it comes time to lock in your rate be sure to take advantage of market conditions rather than waiting too long.
The Basics – Mortgage Rates In California
As a top-rated mortgage broker in California, we believe in educating our clients about everything there is to know about the mortgage industry. Below are some brief definitions of topics associated with doing a mortgage and what’s need for a low mortgage rate in California.
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask!
Your Credit Report
Review your credit history before you apply for a mortgage loan. The key to getting a low mortgage rate in California is a high credit score!
Understanding what is on your credit report will provide you with vital information you need to shop for a new loan. If there are any errors, be sure to correct them especially if the errors are causing your interest rate to go up.
If you have credit card balances above 35% of your credit limit, try to pay them down 60-90 days prior to applying for a home loan. Once you go above a 35% ratio, it starts to negatively affect your credit.
It’s important you work with a solid California mortgage company to make sure you have the best information. And having a top-rated broker in your corner makes all the difference in the world when it comes to improving your credit.
The big question is, can you afford the monthly mortgage payment?
Mortgage rates in California fluctuate daily. If you want to qualify for the lowest possible rate then your income should be stable and predictable. Review your income and try to evaluate if you’re able to afford the monthly mortgage payment (don’t forget to factor in property taxes and property insurance).
Before you get started know your income and know your monthly debt obligations. This will give you a better understanding of how much of a monthly payment you can afford.
What Is An APR?
When looking for the best California mortgage rates, don’t get entangled in the initial “APR. Trap”! Not all Loan Officers calculate the APR the right way, as some don’t even know how to provide an accurate APR. To get your best reading of the cost of the loan just obtain all the fees and costs in writing.
And if you want a low APR you not only need a low mortgage rate but also low closing costs.
Closing Cost Lender Credit
In some cases, a lender in California will issue a closing cost credit at closing. This credit will help reduce your closing costs (lender fees, title and escrow fees etc.). Not every loan is eligible for this; be sure to discuss with your Loan Officer your options when it comes to obtaining a closing cost credit from your lender.
Many of the top-rated mortgage brokers in California provide credits at closing on certain transactions.
Daily Interest You Owe At Closing
Another important tip to remember when you complete your transaction, be aware that you will pay daily interest to your new lender. This interest is charged on all new first-lien mortgages and starts the day the loan is funded.
Ask ahead of time what the Loan Officer expects the daily interest charges to be. Since a specific closing date has not been set the daily interest estimate will most likely chance when you close your mortgage.
Always make sure you receive a full disclosure package from your mortgage broker when you first move forward with your loan application. It’s required by law and also provides you with the details of the loan and your rights as a borrower in the state of California.
Discount Points and Origination Fees
Mortgage rates in California can come with Discount points and/or Loan Origination fees.
These costs/fees are based on a percentage of the loan amount. So if you have a $300,000 mortgage and are paying 1 origination (or 1 discount) you are paying $3,000 is costs to obtain the quoted rate. 2 points equals $6,000 in costs.
A mortgage lender in California might or might not charge points and/or Origination fees.
All top-rated mortgage brokers and lenders in California provide a breakdown of costs/fees for every loan they provide. If you have questions be sure to ask your Loan Officer.
The Loan Estimate and Locking Your Interest Rate
The Loan Estimate is a document that is provided by your broker and it spells out your interest rate, term if you have impounds, and your costs/fees. It also has information about your APR and if the loan can be serviced by another lender.
Sometimes people think that if they receive a Loan Estimate then their rate and terms are “locked-in”. That is not the case unless the “YES” box is checked at the top of page one of the Loan Estimate next to “RATE LOCK”.
If you think your rate and terms are locked then double-check the “YES” box is checked!
Mortgage Payment Examples
Here is a quick reference guide to the payments associated with various mortgage rates and loan amounts. These are not quotes, they are just generic examples of mortgage payments. See our disclosure below.
Important Disclosure For Our Mortgage Rate Tables: The above is not a mortgage rate quote; nor is it an offer to lend. It’s only a generic example of various mortgage rates, loan amounts, and payments. Our mortgage rate chart is meant to educate and inform our readers. The current market may be higher or lower than the examples listed in these mortgage rate charts. Also; mortgage rates can and often do adjust multiple times a day.
Online Mortgage Calculator
Here is our simple to use mortgage calculator to help you determine what you can afford. With our online mortgage calculator, you can also factor in your property tax amount along with your annual homeowner’s insurance amount with your monthly mortgage payment.
If you have any questions or want to discuss some specific rate/loan amount/payment options please be sure to contact us at 1-800-550-5538 or use one of our online forms.
Conforming And FHA Loans In California
There are two main types of home mortgages in California; Conforming and FHA.
California Conforming Loans
The California conforming loan limits have been raised again in 2021 and now sit at an all-time high. And the good news doesn’t stop there. Conforming mortgage rates in California are some of the lowest mortgage rates in the country.
Now homeowners and homebuyers have greater access to conforming loan products such as a conforming 30-year fixed mortgage or the 15-year fixed mortgage loan program. If you’re curious to see if your loan amount qualifies for a conforming loan you can visit our California conforming loan limits page to see the limits for each county in California.
One Unit Property: The general limit for a non-high balance county for a one-unit property is $548,2500.00. This is for both fixed-rate mortgages and adjustable-rate mortgages.
Two Unit Property: The general limit for a non-high balance county for a two-unit property is $702,000.00. This is for both fixed-rate mortgages and adjustable-rate mortgages.
Three Unit Property: The general limit for a non-high balance county for a three-unit property is $848,500.00. This is for both fixed-rate mortgages and adjustable-rate mortgages.
Four Unit Property: The general limit for a non-high balance county for a four-unit property is $1,054,500.00. This is for both fixed-rate mortgages and adjustable-rate mortgages.
California conforming high balance:
The counties that are designated “high balance” have limits that go higher than the regular conforming loan limit.
Conforming Loan Qualifications – 2021
Conforming loans are good for people with credit scores above 700, and in some instances above 680. What is a Conforming loan? A Conforming loan simply means the loan “conforms” to the underwriting standards of either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not make loans directly to consumers; their main purpose is to establish underwriting guidelines for mortgage lenders that lend money to consumers.
They also do have an impact on mortgage rates in California in the form of Loan Level Price Adjusters (LLPA). Here are the general requirements for getting qualified under the Conforming loan program.
As mentioned; if you have above a 700 credit score (in some cases a 680) then a Conforming loan is something you should consider. If you have a credit score below these levels you’ll probably want to look at the FHA home loan program.
It provides for better opportunities for those with less than perfect credit. FYI: all home lenders use your mid-credit score when qualifying (the middle of the three main credit bureau scores). Mortgage rates in California are directly impacted by your credit score.
A Conforming loan can be used to purchase a Single Family Residence, Condominium, Townhome, or 2-4 unit property. It cannot be used to purchase commercial, industrial or vacant land properties. The same rules apply to refinance transactions.
The property can be a primary residence, a vacation/second home, or a rental property.
You can use Conforming loans for both cash-out transactions and rate-term transactions (these are when you lower your interest rate and/or shorten the length of your term. ie from a 30 year fixed to a 15 year fixed).
Ideally, you want your debt-to-income ratio level to be below 45%; and in some cases below 40%. However, the Conforming loan program does allow debt-to-income ratios as high as 50% (case by case basis).
Private Mortgage Insurance:
If you have 20% equity or you are putting 20% down you do not need Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) attached to your payment. What is PMI? It’s an insurance policy you pay that protects the lender in case you default on your mortgage.
If you are considering a refinance or the purchase of a home a Conforming loan might be a good fit for you; especially if you meet the above criteria. If you have any questions about Conforming loans and it’s requirements please be sure to ask.
FHA Home Loans
FHA home loans are good for people with credit scores below 680 – 700. What is an FHA loan? An FHA home loan is a loan that is backed by the Federal government in the event the borrower defaults on their mortgage. Similar to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; FHA does not lend directly to consumers. The loan program has specific underwriting guidelines that lenders (who lend directly to consumers) must follow.
Here are the general requirements for getting qualified under the FHA home loan program:
If you have a credit score below 680-700 then you might want to consider an FHA loan.
Similar to Conforming loans; an FHA loan can be used to purchase a Single Family Residence, Condominium, Townhome, or 2-4 unit property. It cannot be used to purchase commercial, industrial or vacant land properties. The same rules apply to refinance transactions.
FHA loans differ from Conforming loans when it comes to ownership: the property can only be a primary residence. Vacation/second homes and/or rental properties are not allowed.
Like Conforming loans, you can use FHA loans for cash-out transactions and rate-term transactions. You can also use the FHA loan program to repair/renovate a home. Under the program, the lender will provide additional money to make these repairs/renovations. The total amount you can borrow under the repair/renovation program can be greater than the value of the property.
FHA is a bit more strict on Debt-To-Income (DTI) ratios. Ideally, you’ll want a debt-to-income ratio below 43% if you are applying for an FHA loan. In some cases, you can go above that but obtaining an approval above 43% can be somewhat difficult. Your ability to get a low mortgage rate in California is very much tied to your DTI.
FHA loans come with Mortgage Insurance (MI). For more details about this please be sure to check our FHA home loan page; one of the best guides on the internet for understanding the basics of FHA loans. Basically, MI is an insurance policy (similar to PMI) you pay each month (it’s added to your monthly mortgage payment) that protects the lender from possible default by the borrower. MI is for FHA loans and on the Conforming side, it’s PMI.
How Do I Get Pre-Approved For A Mortgage?
How do I get a pre-approval for a mortgage is one of the most common questions potential homeowners have. And we have the complete breakdown of the process.
Before you do anything I suggest you first evaluate your current financial position. When it comes to getting a mortgage you generally want the mortgage payment and (not including property taxes, property insurance, and HOA dues) to be below 40% of your gross monthly income (for a W2 employee).
If you are self-employed you’ll want to go with 40% or lower of your net income. And if you are retired then 40% or lower of your retirement income.
If you are considering a property with HOA dues and/or you have additional debts like car loans and credit cards, you may want to put that limit at 30% – 35%. By knowing these limits it will make the process of getting a pre-approval for a mortgage a bit easier.
How do I figure out a mortgage payment?
Great question! I suggest you use our online mortgage calculator. Just enter a loan amount, rate and the number of years (30, 20, 15 etc) the mortgage will be based on and that will give you a mortgage payment.
The next step to getting your pre-approval is to gather your documentation. Check out our detailed information on what documents you need to buy a home.
Once you have gathered your documents your next step is getting 2-3 quotes from reputable mortgage companies and an experienced Loan Officer. Check out companies on the Better Business Bureau website, Zillow and others.
You can also read reviews of Loan Officers and the key thing is to find Loan Officers that are experienced. The more the better.
When you’ve located one or two companies you want to work with then you’ll want to complete an application.
Most mortgage companies offer an online option or you can complete the loan application with the Loan Officer. Once the Loan Officer receives your documentation and application he/she will obtain your credit review your file.
Most Loan Officers can issue a pre-approval for a mortgage within 24-48 hours. Once you hear back there is one very important thing you should do – ask questions!
Make sure you have a clear understanding of the pre-approval and the loan process.
Compare Mortgage Rates Online
Being able to compare mortgage rates online is a great opportunity for homeowners. Seeing what lenders are offering each week enables the consumer to be better informed. It’s important to keep these four facts in mind when you compare mortgage rates online.
- The rates listed are not quotes.
- These websites are not always providing rates to your specific loan scenario.
- Mortgage rates not set in “stone” they can and often do change daily/weekly.
- The below websites make money when you “click” on a lenders rate listing.
Below are some of the most visited websites on the internet. Many homeowner’s use these sites to compare mortgage rates online. When doing your research it’s important to remember to check a lender’s “reputation”. A quick visit to the Better Business Bureau website will give you a good idea about how reputable a company is.
You can also check on reviews on Zillow, Google and more.
Almost everyone has heard of Bankrate – a website that offers information on various consumer financial products including mortgages, credit cards, personal loans, and more. Bankrate has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and on Bloomberg.
In addition to their general educational information, they also provide various mortgage “rate tables”.
NerdWallet was founded in 2009 by Tim Chen and Jacob Gibson (source: Wikipedia). NerdWallet is not as famous as Bankrate but it does have a large online presence. Millions of people visit NerdWallet every week.
They offer a wide variety of consumer financial information such as mortgages, student loans, insurance, and credit cards.
The title of their website is “Empowering you to make smart financial decisions” and they offer a somewhat different product mix than NerdWallet and Bankrate.
Smartasset offers financial consumer information with an emphasis on mortgages, retirement, tax planning and investing. Offering information on home buying as well as mortgage rate tables, Smartasset offers consumers a chance to see what’s available to them online.
Comparing online mortgage rates in California is something every homeowner should do. Just remember to keep in mind the facts listed above. If you like what a lender is offering be sure to visit BBB.org (Better Business Bureau) to check out their reputation before you reach out to them for a quote.
Consumer Protection In The Mortgage Industry
Living in California means you have access to some of the best mortgage rates in the country due to the fact that there are so many mortgage companies competing for your business. To help ensure that you receive the best possible quote look to the three main organizations that were created to not only help consumers but also protect them.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a federal agency whose main job is to protect and educated consumers. After the 2008 financial collapse, the federal government decided consumers needed more protection from financial companies looking to make a profit at any cost. From that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created (aka CFPB).
The CFPB is a big part of the mortgage industry however it has no direct impact on mortgage rates. The Mortgage-Backed Securities market is where mortgage rates originate.
We encourage all our clients to visit the CFPB website to become better educated as to what happens during the mortgage process. Knowing what the process is like and what steps lenders need to take to ensure a consumer understands their mortgage are keys to a successful transaction.
California Department of Real Estate
The California Department of Real Estate (aka California DRE) is a well-known state agency that oversees both real estate and mortgage companies operating within the state of California.
The mission of California DRE is as follows:
“The mission of the California Department of Real Estate is to safeguard and promote the public interests in real estate matters through licensure, regulation, education and enforcement.” (source: California DRE)
If you haven’t already please be sure to visit the California DRE’s website to learn more about what they offer, how they protect consumers and the educational opportunities they provide. Use the California DRE to help you locate a reputable mortgage company that offers low mortgage rates.
Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System
The Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (aka NMLS) is also called the Nationwide Multi-State Licensing System. How can the NMLS help you find a reputable mortgage company to work with?
Great question. The main function of the NMLS is to provide a national database of mortgage professionals (and mortgage companies) that consumers can look up licensing information, location information, and Loan Officer history (or company history).
It only takes a minute to visit their website and look up the Loan Officer and mortgage company you are working with.