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California Mortgage Calculator

Updated March 3, 2023
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If you're planning to buy a home in California, it's important to know what your monthly mortgage payments will look like. That's where our California mortgage calculator comes in. Here, we'll introduce this tool and tell you what you need to know about buying property in California.

If you're planning to buy a home in California, it's important to know what your monthly mortgage payments will look like. That's where our California mortgage calculator comes in. Here, we'll introduce this tool and tell you what you need to know about buying property in California.

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California housing market

The U.S. housing market is hot right now due to limited inventory, and that's driven home prices up. In California, the median home value is $586,659, according to Zillow -- but that doesn't tell the whole story. In some parts of the state, home values are much higher.

Take Los Angeles, where the median home value is $768,046. San Francisco, meanwhile, has a median home value of over $1.4 million. As a general rule, living in or near a major city will result in a much higher home price -- and a much higher mortgage payment. Furthermore, buying in a tech hub like San Jose could cost you close to $1 million for what's basically a starter home.

How do I calculate my mortgage payment?

California mortgage rates are relatively low right now, as are rates on a national level. To calculate your monthly mortgage payments in California, you'll need to plug in your estimated mortgage amount, the term of your loan, and the rate you think you'll be eligible for. Your loan term is the number of years you have to repay your mortgage. Keep in mind the higher your credit score, the more likely you'll be to snag the most competitive rate available.

For example, imagine the average California mortgage rate for a 30-year fixed loan is 2.945%. If you sign up for a loan with that term, you'll owe $418.37 a month in principal and interest for every $100,000 you borrow. However, there are other monthly expenses you'll need to account for, like homeowners insurance and property taxes. You may also need to account for private mortgage insurance (PMI). For example, PMI comes into play if you don't make a 20% down payment on your home. You may also end up buying a home in California that's part of a homeowners association, in which case you'll have to pay a separate monthly fee for that as well. That fee, however, buys you maintenance of common areas and generally includes services like trash pickup.

That's why it's helpful to use our California home loan calculator. Our tool will help break down your costs so you can see what your monthly mortgage payments will look like in different scenarios.

If you want to refinance an existing mortgage, our California mortgage calculator can also help you determine your monthly payment -- and you can check out our list of the best refinance lenders to get that process started.

If you want to calculate your mortgage payments yourself, without a calculator, you can use this formula:

Mortgage formula NEW.png

Things to know before buying a house in California

Before you buy a home in California, it's important to make sure you're financially ready. You'll need:

There are also some specific issues you should be aware of when buying a home in California. For one thing, California is subject to extreme weather conditions, like earthquakes and wildfires. If you're looking to buy in a wildfire-prone area, your homeowners' insurance could be quite costly. And, depending on where your home is located, you may have to buy special earthquake insurance.

Some areas of California also experience extreme heat, which could damage your property if it isn't properly protected. If you're planning to buy in an area that's anywhere near Death Valley, for example, you'll need to make sure the home you're purchasing is constructed to withstand severe heat. Your home inspector should be able to help with this.

Tips for first-time home buyers in California

The California Housing Finance Agency has a number of programs in place to help first-time home buyers. Some programs you may want to look into include:

  • The CalHFA Loan Program, which is an FHA-insured loan with a 30-year term.
  • The CalPLUS FHA Program, which is similar to the above only with a slightly higher interest rate. It's combined with the CalHFA Zero Interest Program for closing costs.
  • The CalHFA VA Loan Program, which is suitable for veterans.
  • The CalHFA USDA Program, which allows you to apply for a USDA home loan if you're buying a home in a rural area that's eligible for this type of mortgage.

California also has a down payment assistance program known as the MyHome Assistance Program, the specifics of which depend on the type of mortgage you're applying for. Your assistance under this program is generally capped at $10,000.

Another thing you should know if you're buying a home for the first time: It pays to shop around with different mortgage lenders to see what offers you qualify for. Each lender sets its own rates and closing costs, so the more offers you get, the better you'll be able to determine whether you're getting a good deal. And remember, you can always plug each offer into our California mortgage repayment calculator to figure out what your monthly payment will look like.

Are you ready to get a mortgage in California?

If you're in a strong enough financial position to own a home, and you're certain that California is the right state to buy in, it pays to use our California mortgage calculator. That way you can run the numbers and see the actual monthly payment you're signing up for. A common mortgage mistake is to borrow the amount you're approved for, only to realize the payments are beyond your financial comfort zone. Rather than run that risk, use our California mortgage calculator to get a clear sense of what your budget will look like after you buy your home.

Still have questions?

Here are some other questions we've answered: