Home Buying in 94550>Question Details

Avy, Home Buyer in

How is the downtown Livermore area? I am looking at Station Square by Sig Prop.

Asked by Avy, Fri Jul 11, 2008

Is it a good idea to buy in the Livermore area for 500k? I do not want to buy into a declining housing market. Any opinions?

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Avy,

First off...Livermore is a GREAT community! Our downtown has been redeveloped over the last 3 years and it is now a family, friendly environment with many fine restaurants with outdoor dining. We have 2 movie theaters + a brand new Performing Arts Center. On Tuesday evenings during the spring and summer months you can take a stroll downtown for Tuesday Tunes...live music every Tuesday even either on the grass in front of the Performing Art Center or on the grass triangle by the Flagpole. On Thursday during the same time period you can buy your fresh fruits and vegetables at the open air Farmer's Market. Our Farmer's Market moves under cover for the winter months and is held on the lower floor of the Dowtown parking structure.

All of this is within walking distance to Station Square. These are beautiful units with many features like fully enclosed garages. These units are also priced considerably lower than when first offered for sale.

Real estate is a long-term investment and even though the market is not as strong today as it was 3 years ago. Check with Signature Properties and the sales office at Station Square but I think I remember reading that they are one of the builders now offering a 2 year price guarantee.

I've attached their web site below for your review.
Good Luck with your home shopping.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 12, 2008
Was just at Station Square this morning. The Plan 1 is sold out in this release, but Plan Two (Irvington) starts at $419,900, Plan 3 (Niles) at $429,900, Plan 4 (Sunol) $475,900 and Plan 5 (Warm Springs) $475,900. Please let me know if I can be of further help to you buyers.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 31, 2008
I am also looking at Station Square, but I can not find an up to date price (online at least). I have lived in Livermore except for when I was away at college and the new downtown is great. I am concerned with too much urbanization too quickly, but as it stands now, Livermore's downtown is pretty good. Not much for teenagers, but for everyone else a great place.

But I was also wondering if anyone has any recent pricing on the station square places. They should no longer be listed around 500,000 because many local houses are going for around 350,000 to 400,000 now.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 30, 2008
Hi Avy did you secure your home in Station Square? I know that this community was experiencing financing issues. Livermore is such an awesome community. If you check crime stats you'll see that over all it is a very safe place. Livermore has a lot to offer! If I can assit you with your Livermore home search please feel free to call me!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 17, 2012
500K for a condo less than 100 feet away from the train tacks? YIKES. I would not pay any more than 280. You'' never sell it for more than 320.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 14, 2012
Hi Avy,

Everyone here has had great answers. Quick note to add is that each neighborhood has its unique valuation criteria (location, construction year, amenities, size, schools, etc.). The best way to answer you questions is to have an experienced Realtor compile for you a CMA (Current Market Analysis) report. Having access to his information with help you make an informed real estate decision and address market value. Getting an exhaustive report will also give you insight on what the market has been doing for the last 6 month-1 year. I would start there.

Also, not to minimize your very valid concern regarding the current or future condition of the immediate market you are considering to buy in, but all-in-all it becomes relevant and unpredictable regardless if you are in an upward or a downward market. Each investment situation comes with its advantages and disadvantages. Purchasing a home in either market requires risk. Investments tend to be that way.

To request a CMA report on any home you are considering, click on the link below. I know it will help.

My best to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 20, 2011
The downtown area is a fun and busy place lately. The city has made great improvements. Ten years ago you could stand on the street corner, look up First Street , and not see a single family. Contrary to another poster, you will find plenty of young people everywhere now, just hanging out with friends at the various shops, having a cup of coffee, or going to the movies.

Regarding Station Square, before you buy there, you need to know that they have major issues with parking. There isn't enough of it. Prices have really declined for the homes. They have had units go into foreclosure and short sale. More will be on the way. The city bought units and tried to sell them to "first responders" and other designated groups, providing incentives to the parties. The units just didn't sell. I last heard that the city leased these units out with a "lease/option to purchase."

Any potential buyer needs to be informed about the plans for building across the street at the old Lucky Store site. You may see a massive theatre there, or closeby in the years to come. This may work out to be good for property values at Station Square but any potential buyer needs to look into the plans.

Regarding buying in a declining market, ...nobody knows when the bottom has come until is has past. If you are a long term purchaser, buying now should not be a concern. I would be more concerned with inflation and rising interest rates which will make your house payment increase even if prices remain the same. Why wouldn't someone buy now when there's a sale going on, the rates are low, and you can get a huge tax credit from the government? From the buyer perspective, a recession is terrible thing to waste. What are you wating for?

Natalie Swanson
Windermere Welcome Home
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 27, 2009
Hi Avy,
I actually have checked out that development personally, and I was
impressed by neither the construction quality nor its amenities. Most
homes except for the Sunol floorplan have tandem garages, and tandem
garages will eventually force you and your neighbors to park on the streets.
In a two-car household, the first person to leave the home is usually
the first person5C to come home as well. Unless both drivers leave at the
same time, that arrangement is extremely inconvenient.
Livermore is a fine city if you are a retiree, but if you have to
negotiate the infamous 580 traffic as part of your daily commute, I would
recommend Dublin or Pleasanton. East Dublin is centrally located and
beautifully landscaped. We have a fantastic middle school and a few wonderful
elementary schools, but we are far away from the high school. Please check
out a comment from Dublin School Board member Jennifer Henry on a blog post
referenced below. Basically, you know Dublin school district is in trouble
when after all the data slicing and dicing, our high school gets what
essentially amounts to a C+ compared to neighboring high schools. Dublin
High School is also overcrowded, as there is only one high school that serves
a population of 40,000. Cities of similar size have at least two high schools.
If you buy in East Dublin, you will have to spend almost half an hour each
way driving your kids to and from the high school. Finally, Dublin School
District is planning to raise the parcel tax by $99 to cover a huge budget
shortfall due their mismanagement of public funds. If you have kids at high
school age or nearing high school age, I would recommend Pleasanton at this
time. If your kids are no longer in high school, Dublin's value can't be beat!
We will have Whole Foods Market here (http://www.thegreendublin.com/) along
with other fine retail stores soon. We also have a BART station, which
Livermore does not have yet. All these factors should be part of your
evaluation as you look at the various new production home developments.
Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 17, 2008
Hi Avy,

Livermore is a great area to live in with all the wineries and the beautiful downtown shops and restaurants. I love to go to the downtown restaurants every weekend and try a new one each time. I live close by in Pleasanton almost at the border of Livermore. After dinner, we walk in the downtown area and it is so pleaceful with the fountains and the nice stores fronts.

As far as a declining market question, the prices at this time are very reasonable in Livermore. No one knows when it will go up, but as long as you do the comparables and you are planning to live there for several years and enjoy your home with all the benefits that come with home ownership, you should be O.K. If I can help you in any way, please call me at 925-425-9491.

Meena Gujral
Help-U-Sell Achievers Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 14, 2008

You have two questions here – let me try to answer both of them for you.

First, how is the downtown Livermore area?

Livermore, currently undergoing an urban renaissance, is rapidly becoming the destination of choice for those seeking an upscale bay area environment with a more relaxed, less hectic pace of life. With awesome access to Livermore’s award-winning vineyards, cultural center, fine restaurants and entertainment, Station Square is ideally located near the downtown core for those who care for the finer experiences in life. A couple of fountains in the downtown area provide a wonderful, relaxing ambience and ample park-style benches are conveniently located for those who want to relax with a book or simply sit and watch life go by. You can walk to Peet’s Coffee and many other wonderful shops and restaurants. In addition, downtown Livermore is has great commute access with CA-84 and I-580. You can also walk to Livermore Station to access the Altamont Commuter Express trains. Two thumbs WAY up!

Your second question is much more difficult to answer.

Unfortunately, no one has a crystal ball to determine when the bottom is going to bottom out. However, indicators are out there now which suggest we are getting close to the bottom. We are beginning to see multiple offers at the bottom of the market and investors are getting back in the game. One very important thing to consider is this: in the current market, builders are willing to give incentives and price breaks to buyers to get them to “step up” and buy. Especially if they have units in inventory. Once the market firms up, many of those incentives will more than likely disappear.

As mentioned in the previous post, Signature Properties’ “live secure” guarantee is certainly a bonus! They state, “With our new unprecedented Live Secure program, you can rest assured the list price of your home is here to stay.” See their website for more details.

One last thing. If you are interested in buying ANY new home from ANY builder, I highly recommend that you take a Realtor with you. Not just any Realtor, but one who has helped other buyers negotiate deals with new home builders. Those of us with extensive experience in this area know how the builders think and can help you broker a very good deal. And not only have we helped many buy homes from various builders, we’ve also represented a builder so we completely understand both sides of the equation. We can run the current market stats for you so that you can see how your prospective purchase stacks up with other comparable properties in the area and show you the trends that project where we believe the market is going (based on current market indicators and past MLS data).

You can contact me at carl@carlmedford.com with any questions. All the best!
Web Reference: http://www.carlmedford.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 12, 2008
Hi Avy, downtown Livermore is very nice (some of the scenes from American Graffiti were filmed there) and in my opinion is a smart long-term investment (how can you not like a place that has a classic downtown and wineries minutes drive from your home?). Not sure how its location would help or hinder your commute. If you would like more analysis on whether now is a good time to buy that’s going to require a more interactive discussion than this format allows (email me offline and I will send you current stats to start, if desired). NOTE: “Sig Prop” is offering a pretty interesting program called "live secure" on this very development that promises to pay any difference between what you pay for one of their properties and what you might sell it for within a two year period of buying. See http://www.sigprop.com/livesecure.htm

Best Regards,

Steven A. Ornellas, GRI, ABR, e-PRO, CMPS, RE Masters, MBA
REALTOR® / Mortgage Banker-Broker / Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist

Steven Anthony Real Estate & Financial Services
Expect Excellence. Get What You Expect.â„¢
Cell: 510.461.6011
http://www.Steven-Anthony.com SteveO@Steven-Anthony.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 12, 2008

I understand your concerned about making a purchase during a declining market. Here is the best advise I can give you.

You should seek out the advice of a tax person to advise you of the tax changes that will occur for you. Most of the changes should be positive. Think about the changes and your goals for the future, this should be a factor in your decision to purchase.

Then sit down with a Realtor you trust. Ask them to explain the current market. Have a conversation with them about your short and long term goals. Real Estate in general is cyclical, the pendulum has swung to the side where property values are falling. Eventually it will swing back. There are generally four phases in the cycle of real estate. Have your Realtor explain them.

Last, with new home builders some are offering price guarantees. Meaning while the property is under construction, if the home falls in value they will modify the contract to the new lower price. You would not loose value at the close of escrow.

There is no quick answer. I can tell you the Livermore downtown has already gone threw a transformation and look great, and there is more coming. As to price, again sitting down with an agent to review what is currently on the market will allow you to make the decision on price.

Your welcome to contact me directly if you would like a deeper explanation.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 12, 2008
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