Home Buying in Belmont>Question Details

Donesa Tipgos, Home Buyer in Belmont, CA

Buying a home in Belmont/San Mateo/Redwood City

Asked by Donesa Tipgos, Belmont, CA Thu Feb 14, 2013

We may be in the market for a home in the San Mateo, Belmont, san Carlos, Redwood city areas. We are presently renting but due to recent increases are seriously considering looking to buy.

We were looking at houses mainly as the HOA fees in the area seem extremely high.
We have been looking through the websites but cannot find a lot of property for sale around the$600K and $750K mark, especially that we would want to live in (there was some cheaper properties but they needed work and not what we wanted) and wonder if that is normal or do we drive around the area more to take a look. We want to stay in the area for work reasons.

Should we look more for ourselves or keep renting?

Help the community by answering this question:


Thanks for all the help. we will have a drive around the area this weekend and have a good look. Basically anywhere north of Palo alto up to Millbrae would suit us. we will look around also and pick a realtor to help us try and find something.

Thanks for all the helpful answers, we really appreciate them
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 14, 2013
My take - buy. The rent will be increasing and buying a home will help you stabilize your housing costs. Make sure that you can afford the house payments though.
Web Reference: http://talisrealestate.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 14, 2013

Some great answers below. If I can add a couple of things. Take a look the values of homes over the past 5-8 years. You have an opportunity to purchase a home that maybe you couldn't have qualified for just a few short years ago. You have two factors working against you today. First the prices of homes are steadily going up as our CA housing market bounces back and throw in the lack of inventory as bonus. Second, the rates WILL be going up. You can see that the rates have taken a hit over the past 30-45 days, and unless the stock market takes a really tumble, I don't see rates coming back to the lowest point as earlier in the previous year. I always tell my borrowers when they are looking for a home. This may not be the exact dream home you've envisioned, but it's a foot in the door and in time you can fix up the home up the way you want it. But please don't let the band wagon pass you by. Find yourself a good Realtor, put your faith in their knowledge and listen to what they recommend.

Best of Luck!
Web Reference: http://www.AFN-loans.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 14, 2013
Hi Donesa,

For new home buyers looking to assure a successful outcome I recommend:

1) Find a professional Realtor® to work with to protect you interests.
Simply put, your Realtor® will be able to answer initial key questions and guide you through the process. One of the key advantages of involving your Realtor® is access to seasoned Mortgage Broker/Bankers with a track record of getting the job done. You can check to make sure an Agent is a Realtor® by going here: http://www.realtor.org/rofindrealtor.nsf/pages/FS_FREALTOR?O…

The primary distinction of any Realtor® is they have a real estate license by taking required classes and passing a written test - but most importantly - they must also subscribe to the Code of Ethics published by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Typically, Realtors® are also members of state and local association of Realtors® and further agree to abide by the bylaws, rules and regulations of those associations.
The full Code of Ethics can be found at http://www.Realtor.org/mempolweb.nsf/pages/code

2) Obtain a "True Pre-Approval" (I'm sure your Realtor® will recommend this as your first step).
You MAY need to improve your credit score, increase cash reserves, etc. before buying; however, at least you will have a roadmap to eventually purchasing if this is the case. Furthermore, this step can save you from wasting money on a purchase that does not close escrow!
"Retail Banks vs. Mortgage Broker/Bankers"

3) Make sure you obtain access to your local AND regional Realtor® MLS data via an automated search your Realtor® should most certainly create for you; here's why:
MLS Data Accuracy – Where to search if you’re “without Realtor®”

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 14, 2013
My predecessors are right - the supply of homes is small now, but it is going to change. It is just matter of time. Also, you can get a very nice house for the price you are looking in the area you are looking, especially in San Mateo and Redwood City now, but it takes some effort. I wouldn't give up condos as well. The high HOA fee is usually an indication that HOA might be mismanaged or has financial problems. You can find condos with fees in upper 200s and low 300s. Add Foster City, Redwood Shores, Menlo Park and Millbrae to your search. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 14, 2013
Artur Urbans…, Real Estate Pro in Burlingame, CA
If you have a choice, I would advise purchasing a home instead of paying someone else's mortgage.

If I were you, if you haven't done so already, contract a mortgage professional and see what you are qualifed for. Remember, you may be qualify for more, but are not comfortable with that payment so stay within your means.

Work with an active Realtor and ask for referrences. Have the agent set up an email search so you can follow the market.

When you are looking for a home, you need a passive/ aggressive approach. Be approved for the loan and have your downpayment ready, but be patient. But, when the right property comes around, you need to have the ability to jump.

Right now the market conditions are not in your favor, but that can change just as quickly. Inventory is low and demand is great. There is a lot of cash in the market locally and over seas. That, coupled with low rates makes it very attractive to jump in right now.

If you have any questions or need any advice, feel free to call or write.



David Tapper
Coldwell Banker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 14, 2013
It is always advisable to look neyond just an online listing. Driving through the neighborhoods is always a good idea. And soliciting the help of a local realtor who is familiar with the area can be very helpful to look beyond the surface.

It is a tight real estate market right now, houses, especially in that price point are selling fast. But with a little flexibility and imagination you might be be able to create a home in the area,

If you want to discuss further. do not hesitate to call me. I would love to help!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 14, 2013
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer