Orange County home prices on the upswing

While buying a house in Orange County was once an option for many homebuyers, recent real estate data indicates it might become more challenging to acquire one of the homes for sale in Orange County. However, residents can take solace in the fact that the housing market reflects the strength of the area's economy.

According to The Orange County Register, home prices in Orange County rose 3.4 percent between August 2011 and August 2012. Additionally, sales in this county increased 15.6 during the same time frame.

The housing market in Orange County appears to be on the upswing, which could prove helpful for current homeowners. Their properties could rise in value due to the strength of the market.

Meanwhile, homebuyers may need to act fast to find their dream house. Properties appear to be selling quickly, so consider the following tips to acquire your ideal home in this county.

1. Examine interest rates
Interest rates typically fluctuate based on many factors, and homebuyers who are searching for houses in Orange County can find favorable rates on many mortgage options in the present economy.

For instance, Freddie Mac notes that the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-term mortgage was 3.55 percent as of September 13, 2012. This rate has fallen 0.54 percent when compared to the rate from September 15, 2011.

Many homebuyers prefer fixed-rate mortgages because they can develop budgets based on their monthly payments. While it's possible to get a lower-than-average interest rate on these mortgages, the housing market offers no guarantees, and interest rates can change at any time.

2. Review market trends and information about the area
The housing market can be complicated to novice homebuyers, so it's worthwhile to gather as much data as possible before you make your purchase.

You'll want to review past housing data because this information allows you to examine the current state of the real estate market in the area. Information such as the median selling price for houses can help you during negotiations for a property.

Be sure to learn about the region before you move there, and focus specifically on things that interest you. For example, Orange County offers residents plenty of recreational opportunities, including athletic and instructional programs. Researching the county's attractions and entertainment is a great way to understand what life is like in the area before your relocation.