Home Buying in Sunnyvale>Question Details

Itguy, Home Buyer in Sunnyvale, CA

I have like $100k cash in savings and looking to invest in real estate -something cheap just for myself(my wife might also come from time to time)

Asked by Itguy, Sunnyvale, CA Wed Feb 17, 2010

I dont have strict location preferences just looking for safe-looking place anywhere between South SF and San Jose. Preferably closer to Sunnyvale or Palo Alto where i work. Mobile home/apartment/condo whatever, just need place to live for next year and good investment. I would be also cool if I could rent out this place in future to my friends from SF who will pay for services while i will be traveling. Any advice what should i start looking for? I am first time RE buyer, so have 0 experience. http://www.trulia.com/property/1068011911-1111-Morse-Ave-196… I found many places like this but i guess it only for 55 seniors, right?

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Patricia Johnson Really Care Realty’s answer
Hi ltguy: There's a big difference between a mobile home and a condo! Watch out buying a mobile home and then finding out that park policy is you CANNOT rent it out, the banks just don't like it. I was investigating homes in Half Moon Bay area today, which is in San Mateo county near Belmont. I was quoted a 20 percent down payment and about $855. a month for space rent. It was listing around $129K. Total would be about $1800/month. I would consider buying it cash and offer $100K and see if they bite. I also read on line that you need to put 10% down to buy a condo in today's market. Sunnyvale may not have $100K condos, I'd have to check, but I know an area in Santa Clara that they have sold in that price range in a large community - one bedrooms. So there's your options. Realize that you will have homeowner's dues of range of $200-$350+ for the condo or townhouse. A condo will appreciate better than ANY mobile home in value.
Most space rent is $800-1,000 in Sunnyvale.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 11, 2010
Hello Guy,
We chose a manufactured home when we were in a rush to buy something affordable but still pleasant to live in without a lot of yard work and lots of security so that we could go on trips without worrying about our home. Our park is not for 55 and over as very few are no longer restricted. . The laws changed awhile back since this is age discrimination. It is true we pay lot rent which gives us the use of 2 pools, 2 jacuzzies, a beautiful clubhouse, billiards tables, game room, libraries where the books are free to take out, activities we can participate in or not, security staff who monitor the park, a clean and beautifully landscaped park.
Our neighbors are the best and everyone who lives here looks out for each other. All of this is not worse then paying HOA or condo fees for a lot less amenities than what we receive here. It is also a quiet park.
As a manufactured home owner there a few things that you might want to know first hand. I am a realtor and I do have my home for sale at the moment. The best is to come and see what I am talking about. I hope this helps with your question. Please feel free to contact me. My website will give you my email address etc, http://brigitteionis.com
Web Reference: http://brigitteionis.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 17, 2010
You may also like Mountain View. I found four or five manufactured homes in Mountain View at your price point. Really close to Palo Alto, also with a pretty cool downtown for restaurants & bookstores etc.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 18, 2010
If you're committed to Mobile I like the location off El Camino on Henderson in Sunnyvale 94086. There are two for sale right now behind Henderson in 94086 for under $50K on Sycamore.

You will experience depreciation on the investment but it's a safe place and you will like going home to it. Plus there's a good park for jogging/basketball just down the street.

For your logic though, I would challenge you to consider a $200K condo with 50% down payment. I noticed several in Santa Clara (next to Sunnyvale) for this price point. The monthly payment is in the $500 to $600 range depending on your interest rate. That is quite likely less than the space rent. For instance, at the Sycamore location above, the space rent states $800.

If you are committed to mobile, note that every time a home changes hands, the space rent can go up at a faster rate than when it belongs to one person for a long time. So, you can see wide variability in space rent. This can help you with your choices as your price point will give you many. Also, while the space rent may state one number, it will most likely go up when the property becomes yours. So have this conversation with the park prior to wrapping up the deal.

Good luck!

Erica Nelson
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 18, 2010
Michael Roberts:

Once again: I do have more than 100k in cash. I can probably even buy each of these for cash only. However my max budget is 100k cash i am not going to spend a dollar more for this deal. I will not consider taking additional loans. Paying %% to banks doesnt make any sense to me. My money are working for me and i dont want them to work for bank or waste all of them into RE.

I understand that i have to pay rent in mobile park. I am fine with it as soon as its good service for reasonable money. Money i will save on <100k deal will bring me more anyways. What are other cons for manufactured? What other options should I consider?

I just need a simple place to live and work -anywhere down to San Jose, nothing fancy.
Taxing deductions might be also irrelevant as I am not US citizen, i will find out.

PS I do A LOT of IT consulting, and run business in this area. Not sure what are your freelancing needs.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 17, 2010
ltguy: there are other areas such Richmond as well as San Pablo you may be interested in. The homes are fairly decent in size and you would own and not have to pay for rent such as on mobile homes. Price ranges from 60,000-125,000 for 3 bed/1 bath homes. They are no frills and simple. But it seems like that is what you are looking for.

Feel free to contact me if this is an area you may be interested in. Good luck on your home search.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 24, 2010
Erica Nelson:

Thanks a lot for your tips! I guess the only way to deal with Mobile houses is to go there and see park, managers, talk about rates, etc. Thats what i am going to do.

I googled that too many ppl complain about bad service, weird restrictions and constant rates increases. These things are more relevant than price I guess.

Thanks again I will definitely consider contacting you re purchasing home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 19, 2010
Hi Itguy, I know you don't want to loose dollar value right? A mobile home will be a waste of 600-800 dollars a month having no tax deduction to cover it. That is just space rent alone!

The real gems right now are short sales.

BTW, Do you do any freelance IT stuff? ; )

Here are 2

1) 395 Murphy in Sunnyvale 2bed 1 ba. for $295K

$100k down

$916.00 per mo. including taxes and insurance... and a huge tax deduction.

2) 2025 California St. Mountain View 2bed 1 ba. for $228,950

$80K down

$939.28 per mo. Including association fees taxes and insurance.

You can benefit in a number of ways!

I added a link below to learn a bit about short sales.

Web Reference: http://bit.ly/arjARA
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 17, 2010
Carl Medford:

Thanks for tip! Good investment is not my #1 goal. My goal is to buy something where I can live over next year or so, in future rent out to friends or sell easily without loosing too much value. Right now i burn over $12k cash for rent yearly + higher living costs in SF + transportation costs.

I am not looking to attract additional financing and would prefer something affordable. Monthly space rent works for me as its still much lower than my rent right now. What are other cons of Mobile houses?

I seriously dont need anything big as i will be living alone, just sometimes with wife or friends may come for weekend. Dont want to spend all my spare time for cleaning my huge rancho!

I found some places in San Jose within this budget is it so unreal?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 17, 2010
Hi Itguy:

I agree with Carl, a mobile home is not the best investment tool since it is a personal property and you will have to buy with all cash or get a special loan for mobile home, which can prove to be expensive. On top of that the berth fee (lease of the lot) can be quite expensive. So I would go with that as a last resort.

Why don't you check with a mortgage broker and see if you can get a certain amount of mortgage that you are comfortable with? with around $200K (financing $100k), you can get nice condos in Novato (which is very far from where you are but people can commute from San Francisco) and a great investment as the value for starter condos has gone down a lot and this will be a great time to buy.

Sylvia Barry
Marin, Sonoma
(415) 717-0293
Frank Howard Allen Realtors
#1 Real Estate company in Marin county, celebrating 100 years in real estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 17, 2010
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Marin, CA

If you are serious about finding something, you really need to sit down with a REALTOR and discuss your options in person. They can go over all the different types of property available, future investment potential and so on.

As an example, a mobile home is simply NOT a good investment AND you will need to pay monthly space rent fees that could run in the range of $800.00 a month.

It is VERY unlikely you will find anything in the $100,000 range – therefore you need to consider financing to extend the scope of your search – again, a REALTOR can show you all your options and help you make an informed decision.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 17, 2010
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