You don’t have to spend a million dollars to find happiness in a home here in Orange County. There are many affordable alternatives in nice locations that would make good investments and great homes. Let’s face it; if you dread that monthly house payment, there is less room for enjoyment in your day to day living. If you find you can’t afford the home you really really want right now, try to count all the good things in a home you can afford.
A small home or condo will seem more attractive in a location you love. It may not have as many bedrooms you want or the upgrades you desire, but if it is in otherwise good shape and in the good location, it is still a good investment. If it does not make sense for you to wait until you can buy the size home you want or with the upgrades or space you need, then try to buy the best you can in the best location. While you are living there, its value will most likely increase, and you may be able to afford to move to a larger home in the future.
In the meantime, love that little home. After all, it is yours and working for you to help you build wealth and keep a roof over your head. If it needs some updating, try to do so in stages to increase its value when/if you decide to sell. Smaller, more affordable homes will always be in demand as first or starter homes, and an upgraded home will always be more attractive than one on original or dated shape.
So take care of that little home and it will take care of you. It will be affordable, livable, it will help you grow some money and make some memories. Who knows; you may not want to move to a larger home after living there for a while!