By reading most of your posts in this thread I would say you are California Jaded. California is a beautiful place... but it is broke. I I would put my house in California it would be a $10-$20 million home. Every thing about california and its life and realestate is broke. Not to mention taxes and infrastructure.
NOW is a great time to buy. I live in Charlotte, fastest growing city in the country for the last few years... Second largest financial hub in the country (NYC #1). We bought a house in April last year and just had it appraised last friday... We put zero money down luckily we got a 1.9% mortgage rate. We now have 54% equity in the home with out putting money down. It is all about location and the metropolis you are closest to. Plus it helps that we live on one of the top 20 private country clubs in the USA. But once again location location location. The only realestate you can compare most of california to is Detroit. Where if you buy a house and want to get rid of it in a few years, you are going to lose your ass. But California is really Pretty...
Originally Posted by MediaArtist
Some people don't have the option to fill every room in their house with a tenant, or want to put up with having to live with their tenants (if it's their first home).
I actually do think places like Stockton, Sacramento, Las Vegas, and Atlanta have had prices come down far enough that they have hit rental parity even with less than 20% down. That doesn't mean there isn't some downside risk to losing what little equity someone might have with only 3.5% down, but if the property is at rental parity, then I guess it softens the blow somewhat.
Also add to the fact that none of those locations are prime locations for RE, and it shows in their prices as well. West LA, South OC, and Santa Clara County are for the most part far, far away from Sacramento price wise.