Home Buying in Oakland>Question Details

Shannon T., Home Buyer in Kansas City, MO

Is now a good time to buy?

Asked by Shannon T., Kansas City, MO Mon Feb 20, 2012

What are some reasons why now is a good time to buy a house in Oakland?

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Answers

49
Shannon,

Now is NOT a good time to purchase a home in Oakland. In general, if you can get approved and have money to put down on a home or have cash and find a home that you want to live then that is a good time to buy.

There is NEVER a one size fit all time to buy. When someone ask if it is a good time to buy I normally say NO. Most ask why? I say because if you have to ask someone if it is a right time for you then you might not be ready.

Purchasing a home is personal and depending on what you are looking for dicates rather it is a good time to buy.

In this current climate people that are attempting to flee higher rental prices, investors and those looking to move to more affordable states or purchase larger properties in California, these situations appear to be most common in my experience.
5 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 20, 2012
Hi John, please do accept my apologies if you felt I was casting any aspersions on you. That is absolutely not my intent. I don't think anything is true about all RE professionals. I did point out a fact, which is that all the people on this thread who said "buy now" happen to be making a living from that activity. As a thinking person, I'm sure you'd agree that that is relevant. In fact, if all commentators had said "don't buy" and they (somehow, not sure how) all made their living from people not buying, it would have been remiss of you not to point it out and absurd for someone searching for answers not to consider it.

I still haven't gotten an answer to my question about interest rates. What's wrong with the following analysis:

1. Real estate prices are largely based on affordability on a monthly basis.
2. People can afford to spend more on a monthly basis when interest rates are low.
3. Therefore, low interest rates correlate with higher house prices (all other things being equal).

On this last point, I didn't make it up. Here's an article from Business Week supporting this rather obvious point: http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/content/dec2009/bw2009…

Ok, so that means buying when interest rates are low means you're paying more. Now, I'm sure you agree that interest rates tend to fluctuate and that they are currently at historical lows (artificially supported by government policy)? That means they will go back to normal at some time in the future. What will that do to housing prices? Well, they will go down.

4. The value of your home you buy now will go down if interest rates go up.
5. You will be underwater, or at least have lost some equity.

Now, contrast this with buying when interest rates are higher.

1. High interest rates means lower home prices, so, on an affordability basis, its a wash (roughly speaking, your monthly payments are the same for the same house).
2. Since interest rates fluctuate, at some point, they go back down.
3. Then you refinance, and your interest rates are lower.
4. You end up with lower payments than in the scenario where you bought a higher priced house at a low interest.

So John, you're a thinking person. Tell me why this shouldn't be a factor in peoples decision making process? Agreed that if you can't rent the place you want to live, that's a factor. Agreed that there may be other reason's you'd rather own than rent. All these are factors in favor of buying. I acknowledge that. Will you acknowledge the flip side?
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 1, 2012
And here's another article on point:
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/beware-of-housing-prices-2012-03-22
Flag Thu Mar 29, 2012
Here's another article on the inverse correlation between interest rates and housing prices: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/07/how-rising-interest-rates-affect-home-prices/241504/
Flag Thu Mar 1, 2012
Notice that everyone who said "buy now" has a financial interest in your doing so. It's an age old mantra of RE agents and loan brokers "buy now" or lose out.

The truth is that it's a way better time to buy now than, for example, in 2007, but don't think that makes it the right time. It's far cheaper to rent now, even considering the amazing interest rates and mortgage interest deductions. Also, here are a few facts to keep in mind concerning the market:

1. Even nationally, prices have not yet returned to the historical trend line. (I.e. have not recovered from the absurd run-up that started in 2000). (http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2011/03/comparing-housing-price…). As you may know, historically, in a post bubble crash, prices tend to overshoot on the low side. High end houses have even further to fall, as there is a great latency in the price response to changing market conditions.

2. Interest rates are artificially low. Housing prices are typically based on affordability, so this means that prices are far higher than they will be when interest rates get back to normal. If you buy now, when interest rates are low, when they return to normal, house prices will go down (all other things being equal :)) and you're under water with your mortgage. On the other hand, if you buy when interest rates are higher, you get the house for less, and if interest rates go down, you can refinance at the lower rate and you end up with a win/win.

3. Baby boomers are retiring. 50% of baby boomers have 0 savings for retirement, and many of the rest haven't saved enough to continue with their current lifestyle. Add to this that their kids have left home (well, some of them ;)) and they typically have more house than they need. For many of these folks, their only savings is the equity in their homes and their survival strategy will be to sell their houses in expensive areas like the Oakland hills and move somewhere cheaper to live.

4. The shadow inventory is huge. I don't know what the current stats are, but last I looked, for every house on the market there were two others that were either: Bank owned, but the bank is keeping it off the market or the owners have stopped paying on the mortgage and foreclosure hasn't happened yet (I think the stats I saw talked about homes where the owners were 90 days or more behind on their mortgage.) As you drive down the street and see "for sale" signs, just imagine that between every two you see, there are two other homes that are part of the shadow inventory. This source (http://originationpro.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/just-how-larg…) says estimates range from 1.6 million homes to over 10 million homes. I tried to get a number for what the current number of Single Family Home listings is for the USA, but couldn't find it.

Basically, I would look for sources of information from sources other than real estate agents and loan brokers. Even if they have managed to convince themselves that they are right about this, the underlying fact is that they have a significant (I'd even say existential) incentive to believe that now is the right time to buy. They could be right, (because no-one has a crystal ball), but since the NAR (National Association or Realtors) and their brethren have been saying that since they came into existence, it probably shouldn't be taken as authority.

Anyway, good luck on this. My opinion, if you're on the fence, sit it out even if we're close to a bottom. I've heard (even from some agents) that when we do hit a bottom, it's likely to stay there for a while. Be patient, and I think you'll be rewarded.
Tom
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 25, 2012
Nicely written. It is a different market here in Maryland where Buyers seem to be coming out of the wood-work looking to buy. I do like your out-look and agree.
Flag Fri Mar 2, 2012
By golly you're right Tom. I knew it when I tried to give myself a T/U. LOL!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 1, 2012
I think it is a good time to buy IF you can get a total house payment (mortgage + taxes + insurance + water bill + average maintenance costs) that is close to what you would pay in rent. But if that housing paying is a lot higher than rent, I would think twice.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 1, 2012
for equivalent property types. One cannot compare a 3/2 house with a 2 /1 apartment.
Flag Fri Mar 2, 2012
Hi John A, I think the thumbs up is given by clicking on the up triangle to the left of the post.

Now for a mea culpa. I've always believed there was a tight correlation between interest rates and house prices. After some research, it turns out the truth is murkier. When interest rates go up, apparently this tends to happen in times of economic growth and inflation, both of which tend to increase housing prices. This to some degree counterbalances the "affordability" argument that I made. I also for some reason couldn't follow the link I posted. Here's another one that has a more balanced discussion: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/07/how-risi…

I would have to disagree with John J, who claims "Current interest rates have nothing to do with home affordability". That, I'm afraid, is patently false. Take for example, a $500,000 30 year loan at 6%. Monthly payments for that would be $2998/mo. Lower the interest rate to 4%, and the payment is than $2387/mo. That's a $611 a month difference. I suppose if you're really rich (or really poor :)), that doesn't change affordability, but for most of us it sure would.

Tom
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 1, 2012
Tom,

Current interest rates have nothing to do with home affordability and everything to do with the Fed’s attempt to stimulate the economy and housing by keeping interest rates artificially low. Interest rates are not based on affordability but on the demand for money and the return on investment of money. Also, remember that there are many other borrowers in addition to home buyers who are affected by the level of interest rates. Your formula indicates that interest rates should fall if prices rise. We know that is not true. If prices rise, demand may fall but that will not drive down interest rates. When home prices were screaming up because of hyper demand a few years ago lenders made plenty of money available to lend because they were making huge profits. If it was true that simply lowering interest rates yielded lots of home sales due to increased affordability we would see a vibrant real estate sale environment with today’s record low rates. That is not what is happening. Demand/Supply is what drives interest rates. The Fed is trying to stimulate demand.

For those who say wait because prices are going down, I say you are guessing and you are trying to time the market. Timing the market is not a good approach to investing or to home buying.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 1, 2012
Tom, I tried a few different ways to log onto your link but this is all I got. Can you copy and paste it. It might be a good read for this thread. Information like this is always welcomed. Let me ponder on your very valid questions a bit. Additionally, I want to do some research of my own on this topic.

My knee jerk and uneducatied reaction is that unless there's some radical fluctuation in interest rates there shouldn't be a radical fluctuation on RE values as they relate to interest rate fluctions but that's what I want to verify. Thanks for your intelligent participation and observations.

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1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 1, 2012
Hi Shannon,

I am an agent in CT - so I know nothing about the market in Oakland right now...
But I am always curious about this question when asked by a potential buyer.

What are your feelings about the market out there, based on your own research, and how long
have you been considering purchasing a home?

The truth is that there is never one right answer to this question... so much has to do
with your personal situation and what you want to do, or are in the position of doing.

I think that the last Real Estate boom made people look at their homes differently....
They saw their homes as piggy-banks that they could withdraw from, and "home" became
"commodity"... not a home anymore, in the traditional sense of a place that you lay down your roots and become a part of the community. Just the question itself, "is now a good time to buy?" sounds like the kind of question someone would ask when they want to buy a stock...

Of course when you ask a bunch of Real Estate agents if it's a good time to buy, they are going to show you the upside of buying... that is their job, that is the profession, and we do see the overall upside... It's not to sell you a cheap bill of goods, but to show you the upside. You are the one that will decide if it's the right time - for you...

No one knows what the future holds - people end up selling for all kinds of reasons... they want to move for a new job, they loose a job, they get a divorce, or they just want to be in some other part of the world... If you don't sell in a down market - you don't loose money. The market goes up and the market goes down... that is what the market does.

How long do you want to be in the same place? Is it a year, two years... ten? Maybe you are moving somewhere new and you want to rent a bit before you jump into owning?
Whatever the case, you will buy when you are ready... when it's your time.

All the best of luck to you,
Steph
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 29, 2012
Antoine Pirson suggests I've had a bad experience with a Broker some time in the past. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. I bought a small house in Berkeley in 1993 and sold it in 2006 for a 350% profit, thanks in large part to the broker who helped me get it fixed up and represented me when I sold it. that house is now about $200K underwater. I've also found brokers to be, by and large, very nice people.

None of this should affect your decision to buy or sell a house now. I provided a reference to the various estimates of the "Shadow Inventory" provided by the Wall Street Journal. To many serious people, they are a trustworthy reference. Antoine's suggestion that "it does not exist in reality" pits his credibility as an interested party against the WSJ. I'll let you be the judge of who to trust when you're making one of the most important financial decisions in your life. I also don't say that you shouldn't buy now, just that you should make your decision in light of the factors I raised. I also said, and believe, that now is a much better time to buy than 5 years ago.

That said, I'd like to hear a reasoned and calm response to the point about low interest rates being (ironically) a reason not to buy now, since prices are based on affordability, and low interest rates make prices higher than they would be with normal interest rates. When interest rates return to normal levels, affordability goes down at any price point and house prices will adjust downward (all other things being equal). If you buy when interest rates are high, prices are adjusted lower, and when interest rates fluctuate downward again you can refinance and have a big win. Anyway, as before, I do wish you the best of luck in your decision, whatever it is.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 29, 2012
Just found this article supporting the interest rate price inverse relationship.
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/beware-of-housing-prices-2012-03-22
It might be worth a read.
Flag Thu Mar 29, 2012
Hi Shannon,
Wait another year to buy, prices are declining. Good Luck
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 29, 2012
It's an absolutely great time to buy, in other words, if you are ready, willing and ABLE (the most important part- i.e. you have stable and steady income, some money set aside for downpayment and closing costs, and good credit (the better you have, the better interest rates you'll garner on your loan if you finance your transaction).
Interests are the lowest they've been since the early 1970's - 40 yrs ago! "Is now a good time to buy" can be answered by asking yourself "Am I ready to buy and build for my future, and am I motivated and have set aside the time and planning for moving into my new home.??? If the answer to those questions are "Yes", then forge ahead with confidence. And call me when you're ready go move into the driver's seat!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 20, 2012
If you've been thinking of buying a home for a few years, this is perhaps the lowest price point that Bay Area real estate has been at since 2003. It's also an awesome time for getting a home loan, with mortgages lower than ever!
So, yes - it's an excellent time to buy.

If you're financing your new home and you have been paying income taxes, having a mortgage is still one of the best deductions there is.

All good reasons - saving money. Personally, having your own home means you can really make the place your own, adding sustainable features or just decorating and changing it to fit your taste.

However, if you're intention is to buy a home and sell it within a couple of years to move out of the area, you may not realize any profit in such a short time, unless you are buying a distressed property that you will fix up.

Just FYI - I am offering a totally FREE class for women in how to manage a home renovation. It's next Monday evening, 5:30 - 7 pm in Oakland, refreshments served.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 20, 2012
I think its a great time to buy. Financing is at an all time low. Its far more expensive to build than to buy. Plus land on this side of the hills is limited. They just ain't making anymore. If you want to own a piece of planet earth to call your own it just doesn't get any better. Of course others have figured this out and inventory is low. Meaning that there is more competition for what's available which should boost prices but we haven't seen that yet.
Good luck to you!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 20, 2012
One other factor to consider is the pent up inventory from people waiting for prices to rise. While, by definition, this inventory won't hit the market until prices start going up, it will have a dampening effect that would prevent another bubble from arising. In other words, this is more support for the notion that when a bottom is hit, there are forces that will tend to keep prices low. See the article below:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 6, 2012
This is a great time to buy a home anywhere. With rare combination of low home prices and record low interest rates, one can buy a lot more home for your monthly payment. Neither the prices or rates will remain this low forever, and as they increase, you will find yourself in a very attractive position.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 5, 2012
@Tom

Current interest rates have nothing to do with home affordability. By that I mean that rates are not a product of home affordability but are an attempt to make homes affordable. The Fed is attempting to keep rates at a very low level to stimulate borrower demand, not only for home loans but for all loans. Increased borrowing by consumers and businesses results in spending that expands the economy.

If borrowing goes up (the demand for money) rates will also go up.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 3, 2012
reasons...
(1) Low Prices
(2) more houses available than buyers
(3) Low long-term interest rates
(4) Low down-payment

You can strike a deal, if you are working with a good buyer's agent! In terms of the local market... as in the Oakland part of your question... if you like Oakland then you like it... no need to ask anyone else :)
Is a vibrant place, I was there last weekend and was impressed by the amount of activity!

RonE
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 2, 2012
Warren Buffett appeared live on CNBC’s Squawk Box this week. During the interview, he was asked about the current real estate market and whether he felt now was the time to buy. His response was rather emphatic and has been used as a headline in hundreds of articles since the interview:

“If I had a way of buying a couple hundred thousand single-family homes I would load up on them.”

If one of the wealthiest men in the world says it’s time to buy a home i think it’s time to buy!!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 2, 2012
It is the best time to buy on a lease purchase basis. In fact, we believe it is the only way for a person with less than perfect credit to buy. So I recommend that you should go to http://www.OurGreatProperties.com to find out how you can get in a nice home for about what you pay in rent now.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 2, 2012
I am sorry - I am referring to the market in Des Moines, Iowa.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 2, 2012
This is best time to buy. We have seen a 30- 40 % increase in homes sales pending in the month of January - compared to last year. The homes are being negotiated now and will most likely close in 35 day.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 2, 2012
Winston, I get as wired about answering questions as my kids do about playing video games. I would much rather spend time trying to help folks out by answering questions than posting blogs. It's much more gratifying and if I end up with a couple of quality leads all the better.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 2, 2012
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 2, 2012
If you are a well educated buyer and understand the risks any time is a good time to buy.

For an investor this is the best market to purchase in. The pricess have been steady for the past 6 months. The interest rate has remained the same for the past year which gives buyers the confidence to purchase. This consumer confidence has build a rally in Real Estate single property purchases to be upgraded and put back on the market for sale.

When you asked is this a good time to buy? What are you asking about single property purchase, multi unit purchase, appartment building purchase, commercial purchase, property flipping purchase and dvelopment purchase. Please elaborate more.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 2, 2012
Great time to buy. Rates are low and prices are stabilizing. Need help, give me a call
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 2, 2012
Most of the other agents who answered this question are in distressed markets, where home values have continued to decrease. I wanted to share my thoughts from North Alabama, which is currently a solid real estate area. Home sales are currently up 17.6% from just a year ago January 2011.

Our local economy has continued to demonstrate signs of a recovering real estate market. Of course like every area of the country we are experiencing a high volume of short sales and foreclosures which is affecting the absorption ratios as well as extending days on market.

Now is the time to buy in North Alabama with interest rates at an all time low. Not to mention Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines are increasing the upfront PMI and re-finance fees again. Home buyers can build a wide variety of new full brick homes with all the amenities you could dream up for around $100 or less $ per Sq. Ft.

TAX BENEFIT:

If you currently don't own a home then purchasing a home now for no other reason but to have a tax deduction of home ownership is worth the process.


For more info or questions feel free to contact me any time.



John Brooks
256-797-2286
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 2, 2012
Tom should read my answer completely. I said there is no shadow inventory as banks know exactly the inventory there is or there is to come. The only thing we do not know is the probability that all or none of the NOD's will default, ( or any thing in between). For thee record Tom, I told my clients NOT to buy in 2007 as I did not see the value in real estate at that time. That caused my income to go down dramatically. My integrity is not for sale. You have not given one reason that you can quantify NOT to buy today. A journalist can be just as wrong as a consumer about the direction of real estate prices. They write about real estate but that does not make them guru's. I do my own research every month and make statistical analysis for my self and for my clients. I like you affordability approach as I think it is a good gauge of buying. Equally important is the cost vs. return analysis even for SFR's.
Kind regards
A
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 2, 2012
Not sure I like this format. How do you give a thumbs up. There's lot's of good answers here including Tom's that deserve it. Can someone tell me what's up with this format?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 1, 2012
Tom needs to not paint all RE professionals with such a broad brush. Had he takent he time to do some homework and research some of the very astute professionals who comment on several of these threads he would have seen the many if not most of us have been historically very prudent and conservative about our prognostications in the RE market overall.

If you look back at several threads I have commented on you would have observed that I've been very conservative and redicent when advising folks to get off the fence. In fact I've suggested on several occassions that if you're an inexperienced RE investor or a first time buyer that perhaps it would be in your best interest to stay sitting on that fence for awhilel But that was last year and the years before.

Now, as others including the one and only WB, have intimated that this is indeed the right time to get off the fence if you're a serious buyer/investor. Sure there can continue to be a certain downward trend in some areas but the bottom line is the bottom line. Just how much would you really be leaving on the table by acting now?

Main thing? Get a competant and experienced RE professional to work with you and get busy at least doing some bottom fishing so you can begin testing the waters a tad. Just sitting on the fence will not get you in the pearly brine enough to get your heart beating or your adrenalin flowing. You can't swim until you get in the water.

I'm not in your market area and really wouldn't be able to represent you but if you want some sound and unbiased advice please feel free to contact me anytime. I would be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have at no charge. onthelevel@cox.net 760 815-6977. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 1, 2012
Now is the perfect time, prices are at about as low as they can get. The perfect property is purchased at a low price and sold later at a high price, it is no different that a stock holding. Buy low sell high!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 29, 2012
I'm not an agent in Oakland and cannot speak to the local market. In a declining market, many buyers are looking for prices to hit bottom before they purchase. A great reason to consider buying a home before it hits bottom is simply that once prices DO hit bottom, all the people who have been waiting to purchase will jump in and start buying, creating a possible frenzy. A buying frenzy means less inventory, more competition, and rising prices and mortgage rates. Would you rather own before or after that?



Find a reputable local agent who's been around awhile and just talk to them about what's happening in the market. There's really no way to time the market. Do you believe in 5-10 years that home prices will be higher or lower? Do you want to live in Oakland for the next 5 or 10 years? Interest rates are historically low making the cost of borrowing money about as low as it can get.

Best of luck...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 29, 2012
Just read what the richest person said about real estate. Warren Buffet said he would buy as much real estate as possible, and leverage as much as possible. That would be a person I would be inclined to listen to.
Here is why most people make mistakes in real estate and specifically people who are NOT in real estate. They try to find the bottom or the top in the market. They make probably the same mistake in the stock market. If the numbers make sense, then act. Of course, you have to know how to do the numbers in the first place.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 29, 2012
Maybe Tom had a problem with an agent at one time, but he is wrong on several fronts. As an investment adviser to my clients I let the numbers do the talking. What you need to do for that is to make the comparison between renting and buying. If you do not how to do this correctly, let me know. Shadow inventory as Tom and many call it does not exist in reality. Banks know exactly how many people are late for 30, 60 and 90 days. Out of all the ones that are late, you could make a a statistical analysis of the probability that anyone of those (late ones) will foreclose. Do not look at national figures, but at the figures for the area you want to live. Here is another observation from being 10 years in real estate: everyone else not in real estate always think they know better than the professionals in real estate. Good luck.
A
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 29, 2012
Interest rates are the lowest they have ever been. The housing market prices are at historic lows. Right now is the best time to buy, if you can. Meaning, if you qualify for what you are looking for. Many people are having trouble qualifying in this economy.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 29, 2012
Oops! I pushed the send button before I had a chance to leave my contact info. If you're looking the best bang for your buck contact us. onthelevel@cox.net 760 815-6977. Or visit our website at http://www.tagrealestatesales.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 25, 2012
Once again as we RE professionals hear each and everyday. RE is local. So I'll answer that question as it pertains to my market in San Diego. Now is the time for fence sitters to get off the fence and get serious.

Property values in most areas finally seem to be bottoming out. Interest rates are at there all time low and there's still lot's of very good deals to be had. Unless you're unemployed, don't have an adequate downpayment, have very poor credit or you're just a plain doomsdayer you should really think about pulling the trigger.

Once interest rates start ticking up and in spite of what Bernake said about holding the interest rates down until 2014 truth be know they're beginning to tick up a tad. So I say if you're in San Diego....................JUST DO IT!!

http://www.chadofalltrades.com
http://www.intimatelivinginteriors.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 25, 2012
The combination of low housing prices, and low interest rates happens perhaps twice in a lifetime. Therefor, if you CAN buy today, with as much borrowed money as possible, than do so. The financials have not been this good in about 20 years or so. You should also buy now because interest rates have an important impact on the purchasing power of real estate, much more than people think. I am also an investment adviser and can show the impact of purchase price vs interest rate. How you need to prepare to buy is another question. Some answers have already been given on that subject.
A
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 22, 2012
Follow the income property buyers - who, by the way, are buying small homes and 2-4 unit property. They will be a factor in raised prices as well as the lack of homes for sale.
all the best, Liz
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 22, 2012
Best measure of good time to buy is to follow investors. They are buying now!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 22, 2012
Shannon, A little asked question by buyers is: are investors buying? Financially, following real estate investors - those who buy houses to rent out - is the best measure of when it is a good time to buy, financially. Otherwise you have your personal measures -eg. am I ready to take on a mortgage, do I have a stable income, etc. all the best. BTW, investors are buying up small houses and two - four units in Oakland and surrounds. Their activity is relevant in making prices go up.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 22, 2012
With prices having tumbled from their bubble high levels and interest rates at time lows, the window of opportunity for buyers is wide open.

If you buy and hold a good property now, you will look back in ten years and say, “That was the best decision that I ever made!”
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 21, 2012
Prices and rates are at a level that has not been seen and most likely will not be seen once the economy recovers. Inventory has decreased so values are coming back up slowly and if one has the downpayment and the credit it is a perfect time to take advantage of the current market.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 21, 2012
3% on a 15 year fixed rate with a fair amount of inventory = Yes. [Assuming you have a solid job and plan to live in the area for a bit]

-Mike
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 21, 2012
Real estate is the best bargain in town. Housing prices are at the bottom and they are on their way up. Some properties are getting mutiple bids. Investors are coming in with cash. If you get a loan, Interest rates are the lowest they have been in years, and the government still helps pay for your mortgage by allowing a tax deduction for your interest if your home is your principle residence and additional deductions if it is an investment.

Plus you can purchase a house for 3.5% down using FHA financing. Where can you get that kind of leverage on any other investment? Plus contact me if you want to discuss Rent vs Own. Most likely you can own more cheaply than you can rent.

Plus owning your own home is part of the American dream. Grab it while it is most affordable.

Carol Sottile Carol@CarolSottile.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 20, 2012
Absolutely! In addition to the great advice and ideas below, I believe Oakland is becoming more and more desirable. I live in the heart of Uptown and can feel the difference and momentum growing. With affordability and rates being so low, I definitely believe the best times are ahead! Good luck in your search.

If you havent been pre-qualified, I would love to help! A fully approved commitment can make a difference when presenting an offer!

Ivan Diaz
Home Mortgage Consultant
Land Home Financial
idiaz@lhfinancial.com
(415) 271-7740 cell/direct
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 20, 2012
Greetings Shannon,

I would love the opportunity to speak with you in person to find out exactly what you would like to achieve with homeownership. It is absolutely a great time to purchase! Interest rates have been steady at all time lows and the inventory of the homes in market are being priced with great equity potential.

I would love to help you establish a high regard for ownership, if you would like to chat about some specific criteria, please do not hesitate to call....

Real Estate...."It's a Piece a Cake"

Renee Elizabeth Hines(CakeLady)
Real Estate Agent DRE#01171827
Better Homes and Gardens
REAL ESTATE Mason McDuffie
3320 Grand Avenue
Oakland, Ca 94610
510.938.0077
renee.hines@bhghome.com
http://www.trulia.com/profile/CakeLady
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 20, 2012
Hi Shannon T, now is definitely a great time to buy. If you are financing your home purchase, interest rates are at an all time low and so are home prices. There are lots of short sales to choose from, foreclosures and regular sales. There are all kinds of loan programs available too. This is definitely a great time to buy. Hope we've all answered to your satisfaction.
Angela Mitchell, Realty World-Chabot Highlands
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 20, 2012
Now is a great time to buy. Interest rates are low as well as home prices in most areas. Short sales, while they do take somewhat longer than a regular sale, many home prices are still discounted. In some areas homes are still receiving multiple offers. Get prequalified to find out where you stand.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 20, 2012
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