California is one of those states where you find all kinds of properties and where the climatic conditions vary hugely from place to place. You have places with moderate temperatures and you have places which experience all four seasons in their full glory. Traffic Jams, beaches and mild earthquakes are all characteristics of California. So there are a number of things to consider before you actually go for investing in California real estate.
The first thing to consider for investing in California real estate is to select the place/area for your California real estate investment. This is more applicable to people who are looking at California real estate more as an option for leading their life (rather than an investment option).
That said, even if you have chosen the region for investing in California real estate, you need to be careful with selecting the location in that region i.e. the California real estate piece that will fetch you good profit. Generally, growth of business (e.g. big companies acquiring land for establishing their offices) is an indicator of appreciation in real estate (whether California real estate or any other). That is the consideration with regards to new developments in California real estate or with respect to significant changes in the economic situation of a particular place in California.
However, there are always opportunities and they are there everywhere. You just have to hunt those opportunities in order to profitably invest in California real estate. Post cards, phone call, public auctions, foreclosures etc are all possible opportunities/ways of getting a good deal for California real estate investment.
You could also partner with the local attorneys or professional property managers in the region. These people can give you good leads on California real estate investments.
Yes, that does take effort and if you were to think that money can be earned without putting-in even that much effort, I would tend to disagree with you. A small amount of effort can really make a difference of thousands of dollars in terms of the California real estate deal that you get. Another good idea is to inform your friends in California that you are looking to buy a piece of California real estate and, in fact, let everyone know that you are looking for a piece of California real estate.
So with the California real estate prices rising (as always), investing in California real estate does seem like a great idea.