As previously mentioned, we are certainly still seeing multiple offers in many parts of Berkeley and Albany. I also agree that a trip back would be beneficial as I think you will have some options worth pursuing. Are you willing to look at something requiring a little work? Are you willing to look at short sales (this is when an owner owes more than the property is worth)? Foreclosures? Albany and Berkeley aren't seeing high levels of foreclosures at this time, but I have heard some forecasters say that the rate of foreclosures throughout the Bay Area is expected to double by next Spring, and double again by the Fall...could be some opportunities out there. Finally, are you willing to venture just outside of the Berkeley/Albany lines? There are some fantastic 2 bedroom homes in El Cerrito and the Richmond Annex where you can walk to BART, shopping, coffee, etc. Regardless of whether you buy in Albany, Berkeley, or elsewhere, you should have some options on the loan side (I just had a client purchase a wonderful home with only 3% down) so you will want to be sure to talk to a qualified mortgage broker.
Hope this is helpful! Best of luck with your search.
Welcome Home! Right now in California, and the Bay Area Specifically you can find homes at nearly all price ranges.
As a past resident you understand the need to work with an expert in the area you are hoping to live in, for that reason I would like to recommend a colleague of mine: Jasmine Rhodes with WINDERMERE WELCOME HOME.
Her expensive background and experience in the Oakland, Albany, Berkeley area serves her clients very well. And although I would love more business I believe that you can't 'Master Every Neighborhood' as many other agents would like to try. Go with someone with an impressive, highly respected long history or Real Estate Professionalism in the area you want to live and you can't go wrong.
To find Jasmine: 925 824-4800; 510-388-9920; firstname.lastname@example.org