This price range is one of the most competitive, as it lines up perfectly with families that have been renting, and are now looking to buy. The PITI on this price range is almost the same as a comparable home for rent.
I'm guessing you already know the competitive nature of this area and price range.
My suggestion, is to look for 'really' distressed homes in this area. Not just homes under financial distress (Short Sale or REO), but properties that need some rehab work. Typically, lenders don't want to lend on properties that are in very poor condition, which means they're usually scooped up by all-cash buyers. Most first time home buyers shy away from these properties as well.
Talk to your lender about securing a 'rehab' type loan, where you can finance the cost of repairs/upgrades into the purchase loan. I've had good success helping my buyers through this process. If your lender doesn't have a program like that available, contact me, I'll be happy to refer some that do.
Once you've finally secured your investment properties, you'll need to find some quality tenants. We do property management as well.
I have helped many investors (including myself) purchase property in that price range, and less, for investment rentals. Although inventory is low, there are at least 10 in the Fremont tri-city area I saw that might work. As well as a few in the Tri-Valley area.
Feel free to include myself in your interview process for your next Realtor.
Brian Ripp, CRS, GRI
Check my web site: http://www.BrianRipp.com
Real Estate Market Weekly Update Webcast: http://realtytimes.com/REUv/BrianRipp
About me: http://client.rw.imprev.net/81/281/11768/index.ipv
Realtor since 1985
DRE Lic. 00886348
DOI Lic. 0G82194
I would suggest you consider Livermore as well - rents are going through the roof, I helped 1 investor buy several last year (1 ea. in Union City on Fremont border, San Ramon, and Livermore). You also might want to consider raising your ceiling to near 400k with 20% down - more options if you can go a bit higher.
Please call me if you want to talk. I can give you good strategic advise.
Will Bateson, Broker, MBA