Home Buying in San Francisco>Question Details

cnyenter, Home Buyer in Boulder, CO

Is buying a home under $500k even possible in the bay area?

Asked by cnyenter, Boulder, CO Mon Jul 14, 2014

My girlfriend is currently interviewing for a job in San Francisco (downtown). We have just started looking at places to live. We have two dogs so I'd really like to find a place with a yard or very close to a larger park. Are there any good neighborhoods within 30-45 minutes commute where we could find a 2/3BR, > 1500 sq. ft house/condo for under $500k? I haven't seen a lot but I don't know all the local resources to check. I have a feeling we may be forced to rent which I would rather not do if possible. Thanks in advance.

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Absolutely. Especially anywhere outside of SF proper like Pittsburg, Antioch, Baypoint, Concord etc etc. Hell even in nicer areas like Walnut creek you can get something, just not as big (note that pittsburg has the same crime rate as walnut creek currently).

Good thing about Pittsburg is that it's got BART access, and is only about 40 min to SF.

For example, we just bought a property there for $395k that's 2k square feet and is way nicer than you would find in SF unless you wanted to spend double.

Don't get sucked into renting, it's just giving all of your money away to someone else. Invest in yourself, give me a call and I can find you something nice within your price-range (and more than 1500 sq feet, and way under $500k).
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 16, 2014
Hmmm... "...bay area..." is big, you can find some affordable, comfortable, attractive and nice properties in several areas in the 9-county bay area, but, you're also looking at a slew of differences in geography, amenities, commute times, communities, etc. You will be well served to define your search a little more precisely, e.g., how far from San Francisco would you accept to live? Among other things. You'll find this price in areas close to San Francisco, in Alameda County, Contra Costa County, and the likes. You can search in http://www.trulia.com where I'm sure you'll locate both the right properties as well as the local agent who will gladly help.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 11, 2014
There are some great new developments emerging in San Francisco.

One development in your price range that comes to mind is San Francisco Shipyard.

Starting price is around $ 400k. The developers Lennar Urban are even offering free access to a shuttle. The Shipyard Shuttle is anticipated to depart every hour in the mornings and evenings during the week. Other times, an on-demand shuttle will be available within 20 minutes of calling.

With stops in the Mission, Dogpatch, SOMA and the Embarcadero, the service will provide quick access to the Financial District, making the work commute as painless as possible.

For public transit, the 19 MUNI line and T Third Street light rail are the quickest options.

In regards to your 2 dogs, just across the way from the new apartment buildings, Lennar Urban are creating Innes Court Park. The developer also plans to have grassy lawns, public art installations, and a playground with a jungle gym inspired by the shipyard’s old gantry crane.

Might be a great alternative to moving outside of the city or renting.

Nicole Redding
Skybox Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 9, 2014
There are many people who commute from as far north as Petaluma, here in sonoma county! It's about a 45 minute drive, but there are commuter lanes, commuter buses and Petaluma is a commuter friendly town! Needless to say Petaluma is very dog friendly, country, and you will be all ready to enjoy your weekends with all the fun activities of the "Wine country", all the wineries, Bodega Bay, the new casino, and more! Drop me a line for a list of some condos and starter homes up here!
Best, Terry Bell, Realtor
CPS RE Sonoma County
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 5, 2014
I would have to agree, the East Bay would be a great option but the commute may be longer than 30-40 mins in the morning if she has to take the Bay Bridge. I have helped some clients recently purchase in Brentwood and Antioch and the homes there are have nice yard sizes and you will buy much more home for the money. Please contact me if I can be of any assistance and good luck!

Ponce' Deleong Smith ®
Realtor/NewVision Realty Group
916-470-7290 Cell
916-468-4149 Fax
Realtor Lic# 01712938
NewVision Realty Group Lic# 01366388
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 22, 2014
Hey, we are listing our unit in Bernal Height at 499k. Our realtor is purposefully listing it low because that's what you do, realistically it should go for 525k or even 550, perhaps even higher if two or more people want it badly enough.

It is a beautiful 1+1 with a small back patio, nice wood floors, new windows. That's what you can get for your money in this area, where you could take the J train straight to embarcadero in 30 minutes. No car needed.

It's about 600 square feet, plus the patio space, so total maybe 800. :)

That's the thing around here, room is hard to come by. Two dogs makes it a bit harder too, a lot of condos have pet restrictions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 15, 2014
Commuting over the Bay Bridge would be a PITA, but there are many choices in Contra Costa County. Pinole, Hercules and if you don't mind a little gun play every now and then, there's Richmond.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 15, 2014
Pacifica is also a great option. It's really convenient to SF and there have been some properties in that range down here. Let me know if you'd like some more information.

Eric Castongia
Zephyr Real Estate
BRE No. 01188380
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 15, 2014
You might have more options if you search for homes in the East Bay. However, in today's market you will really need to be somehow flexible on your "must have", and "it would be nice to have" list, even when renting in the Bay Area. So, just keep that in mind, and please, share your experience. Let me know if I can be any help. Good luck on your new venture and take care!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 15, 2014
It is possible to find a property for under $500K in SF itself, but not with the size and amenities you're looking for. If you're willing to branch outside the city, you'd likely be able to find something that fits your needs, but it will all depend on how far of a commute you'd be willing to make.

Check out Alameda, Emeryville, and Daly City to start, and branch out farther from there if you don't find what you're looking for.

If you need any help with your hunt, don't hesitate to ask!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 15, 2014
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