Earnest money is the deposit that you submit when your offer is accepted - it is your "Skin in the game". Typically the earnest money is between 1-3% of the purchase price. Putting in less than 3% can make your offer seem weak however it means that more of your money will be tied up. I have some of my own tricks that I use when it comes to earnest money to make your offer seem even more compelling.... more
My best suggestion is to listen to your agent - as long as you have a good agent that you trust. Those of us who take this business very seriously are in it to help our clients achieve their goals, not just to close deals. Last week I got an offer accepted for my client who listened to my suggestions 100%. Her offer was only $1,000 higher than the highest of the other 12 offers.... more
I lived for years on Samaria lane and loved it. Close to the tennis club. Lots of views, Easy access to freeways to go north or south and east and west. Close to the parks. Just not a very walk-able area for shopping.
Are you talking about price? Safety? Schools? What type of rating are you looking for in particular on that 1-10 scale?
Crestmont is a lovely area of Oakland. You can check crimewatch websites like this one http://spotcrime.com/ca/oakland/crestmont to see about recent activity. Most areas of Oakland are going to have auto theft and incidents of robbery so don't be put off by what you see on these types of maps.
My recommendation is to spend some time in any area you are considering buying a home. Walk around the neighborhood at different times of day to get a feel for the community. If you see folks outside in their yards, engage them in conversations about where they live and why they chose to move there. You would be surprised at how willing some folks are to talk about their street, any safety issues, experiences with schools, etc.
If you have more specific questions I would be happy to help!