Home Buying in 94105>Question Details

Cold Canuck, Home Buyer in 94123

I'm a Canadian relocating to CA with my partner and two small dogs to work in Novato but have an affinity for SF. I have about $700k Cash to

Asked by Cold Canuck, 94123 Sun Jul 4, 2010

invest in a place to live am interested in something in a 2Br/2Ba >1000 sq ft and in a nice walkable neighborhood. As there is a chance I will be selling in two-three years, I am treating this as an investment decision rather than strictly lifestyle and comfort.
In essence, I would like to take advantage of the current market and use my cash position to leverage a fantastic deal that might fit a few of my needs.. possible?

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I don't think a 2 to 3 year hold is an appropriate amount of time. You should seriously consider renting and invest your money elsewhere. Until we see a full recovery in the job market I would move cautiously and look at real estate in San Francisco as a long term investment.

There is a selection of 2 beds in that $700k price range.

Also, I'm not sure how much time you have spent in SF but if you ended up in the 94105 your commute would be about an hour - especially during the rainy season. You may want to consider the north-end of the city or maybe even Southern Marin. Sausalito is a wonderful walking & biking town and only 10 mins from the city.

Avalon offers some pretty good rentals. I've included their link for your review.

Good luck.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 5, 2010
Yes, it's possible.

If you are looking to make an all-cash purchase, then $700K can buy you a condo or single family home in SF. It is however a very popular price point because it's at an entry level for many homebuyers. Properties in a "nice walkable neighborhood" will be at high demand so you will face healthy competition.

Investment options:

- You can buy a "fixer" home in a great neighborhood in SF with a larger than normal downpayment and use the rest of your cash for updating the property.

- You can try to purchase in the $900K - $1.3M range with at least 50% down.

- You can try to purchase in Southern Marin County with less competition, better prices and stronger market for resale than Novato or Northern Marin County. From Sausalito you can get into SF in less than 10 minutes.

SF Search:

http://www.mlsfinder.com/ca_sfar/oggikashi/index.cfm?action=…

Marin Search:

http://www.mlsfinder.com/ca_sfar/oggikashi/index.cfm?action=…

I currently live in Marin and I am very familiar with both SF and Marin markets. Let me know when you will be in town next and I would be happy to schedule a tour for you of neighborhoods and homes with potential.

All the best,

Oggi Kashi,
Broker Associate - DRE 1844627
Paragon Real Estate Group
Web Reference: http://www.oggikashi.com/
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 5, 2010
There's a lot going on in your question. First we need some definitions:

What's a nice walkable neighborhood to you?
You can find properties in the $700K range in SF, but maybe they wouldn't be what you'd like-maybe they would.
What's a fantastic deal to you?
Do you want a 10% return? 20%? 30%
I do think this is a terrific time to buy, but 2 years may not be a long enough horizon. We don't know what will happen in the next year, so I certainly don't want to tell you 'no problem-you'll make money in two years'-that's not realistic.

I've found that prices are better for sure and all cash might buy you a bit more, but it's still all about money in the eyes of a seller. They want to get as much as they can, so unless they have a lot of equity, someone willing to pay more may win even if they have financing and you don't.

Some properties are priced low and still getting multiple offers, so if you are looking at the premium properties that everyone wants, you aren't likely to get the screaming deal.

You should get together with a trusted realtor to discuss your options and goals.

Best
Eric
Web Reference: http://www.sfhotbuy.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 5, 2010
Although the market has picked up significantly, the buyer is the boss still, especially if the buyer has $700k in cash!
Web Reference: http://www.paulhwang.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 23, 2011
If you have not found a place yet, I would try Southern Marin. Personally, I prefer sunny places, such as Corte Madera, parts of kentfield. I'd stay away from foggy areas (my personally preference, always feel groomy when the sky is grey). There tons of hiking trails and open space in Marin county where you go with your partner and the two dogs.

Also, you will be doing reverse commute, so it'd work great for you.

Best,
Sylvia Barry
Frank Howard Allen Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 29, 2010
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Marin County, CA
MVP'08
Contact
Have you read my blog post titled: "What do you get? For how much? Where in San Francisco?"
Here is the link:

http://www.trulia.com/blog/oggikashi/2010/06/what_do_you_get…

This post is for homes @ $750K:

http://www.trulia.com/blog/oggikashi/2010/07/san_francisco_7…

Oggi Kashi,
Broker Associate - DRE1844627
Web Reference: http://www.oggikashi.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 7, 2010
Hello,

What you are thinking is very doable. Just make sure you are working with an experienced and knowledgable Realtor who will be patient in putting in multiple offers for you so you can get a good rate.

Kamal Randhawa
Broker
510-932-1066
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 6, 2010
Hi,

I have clients who are in contract to buy a single family home. In a few weeks from now when that transaction is finished we will be putting their 2 bed 2 bath condo in Cole Valley on the market which is a very walkable neighborhood. In essence your cash might interest my clients. If you would like to learn more call me at 415-378-3120.

Cheers,

Eddie O'
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 5, 2010
Hi,

Eric C has the best answer. It really depends on what your answers to his questions are..... People are offering you 2/2 units or homes but they are not in the best areas or are in foggy areas of San Francisco. And all who say 2-3 years hold is not long enough are correct. Our rate of appreciate is predicted to be in the mid to low l digit....not what it used to be.

I would look in Marin County where you can get more bang for your buck. Try Whiskey Springs or complexes around there in Sausalito. The walk score will be good and it is a 10-15 minute drive from San Francisco. Also San Rafael is not far from S.F.

The key is to find the areas you like and then make decisions on properties. You might try renting for a while as well. I would hate to see that you bought in an area that you do not love.......Talk to realtors. If you need ones for Marin, I can recommend some excellent agents for you to meet and use.

Cheers,

Sally
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 5, 2010
Here is an updated Marin Search Link:

http://www.mlsfinder.com/ca_bareis/oggikashi/index.cfm?actio…

Sorry, I posted the SF link twice.

Oggi Kashi
Web Reference: http://www.oggikashi.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 5, 2010
That link does not seem to be working. Let's try it again...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 5, 2010
I have seen some great deals in the $750,000-1,400,000 price range. There are many properties in that range that will give you the space and walkability that you're looking for. You will have to decide which neighborhoods you like based on style, weather and location but there are many options at this point. You should talk to an experienced mortgage broker to determine your loan options since loan requirements are different for people coming from out of the country.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 5, 2010
Hi 05240524,

Yes, you can leverage your cash for a fantastic deal you find that fits your needs. I know of a US Mortgage Bank that is "Canadian friendly" in that they will lend to Canadian citizens at very attractive rates, even though they do not have a US Social Security number. They could help you invest your $700k into a $1.5 million purchase if you want to go that high.

Feel free to contact me for the bank's contact info and a very good loan officer to help you.

All the best,
Ros
480-422-5095
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 5, 2010
Of course!

It is still a buyer's market and I actually feel that Marin over the long run will always hold value.

The properties have gone down a bit since the crash and it even may go down a small bit further, but with cash as your leverage, there should not be a problem.

I am happy to help you by setting up an automatic email system that will show you listings.

Please email me fred@fredglick.com and I will get it set up.

Fred Glick
Broker, State of California
Licensed by the CA Department of Real Estate
415-683-6950
Web Reference: http://fglick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 5, 2010
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