Congrats and welcome back! Depending on where you will be assigned and the type of home you want (condo/townhome vs detached) there are different options. I like the way downtown San Jose is working toward a more active and safe area. There are many new complexes that offer extra security and are really turning into very good neighborhoods for "urban" living.
I am seeing some small house in the downtown area that may need some cosmetic work to get them up to par as well as I continue to see homes in the Alum Rock area in that price range that actually have nice size yards.
It will come down to knowing your personal lifestyle and what area best suits you. There are options in that price range and more coming up daily. This is a market that is working to your advantage. I agree with Linda to chat with a couple of agents and get opinions about different areas. Get a feel for how the agent works and whether or not they are willing to spend time helping you look over your options.
The good news, prices continue to come down. What you can afford this year for $385K will be more next year! I think there are a couple of areas to recommend. Including Santa Teresa, Central San Jose around The Alameda and some pockets of downtown. Depending on whether or not you are looking for a detached home or condo/town house there may be other neighborhoods to consider. Since you lived here before are their particular areas you know you like? Then we might be able to give you an update what your money can afford.
I'll leave the location question to the Real Estate Agents, however allow me to address a loan program availble to you. I have assisted several clients in your field of work to obtain loans and down payment assistance programs designed specifically for teachers.
One loan program available in California is the ECTP (Extra Credit Teacher Program). This allows you to obtain a lower than typical first loan (30 yr fixed) and a deferred/silent second (used for your downpayment). The second loan is "deferred" meaning you do not have to make payments on this loan. And if you stay in your home for a certain time period this loan is no longer due.
Here's the catch. The wonderful state of California will reward a credentialed or classified school employee with this loan program as long as you work at a school that has an API rating of 1 through 5.
As you can see there are creative, yet sound loan programs for teachers and others who provide a service to their community. Good luck with your home search and let me know if we can assist in any way.
Welcome back to CA!
Welcome back to the Silicon Valley!
I know the struggles that you will meet as teacher, my wife has been a teacher in the Alum Rock School Dist. for many years. You will have some choices when you come back, it will depend on the area and the type of home you are looking for. If you are looking for a single family home, the Alum Rock area has some great homes available. I just helped clients (wife a teacher) purchase a very nice home in Alum Rock for about $415K. If you are looking for a condo or townhome you will have plenty of choices. The market here should be rebounding by late 2009, so if you want to buy it is a great time now through mid 2009.
If I can be of any help to you now or in the future, please contact me.
I wish you the very best on your return, your career and on purchasing your home!
Since you're returning to san jose you already know the area. In todays market with $385K budget the only areas that are beyond your budget are saratoga, palo alto, los altos. All the rest of the south bay you'll have opportunities to consider. Some areas you can find fixer single family homes and other areas you'll be limited to small condos. The interesting question is what will be the market like in Fall '09!??
Congrats on your teaching credential. What a great time to look to buy a home. Believe it or not, there are a lot of homes that you will be able to consider, in areas that I would personally live in. There is a lot to answer here, and I don't want to overwhelm you. The best thing for you to do is hook up with an experienced Realtor and go over the various areas and homes available. Take into account proximity to your new job, where your friends or family are, etc. Areas that I would consider include Cambrian, Blossom Valley, parts of Central San Jose (I know the good areas).
Remember, homes don't have any feelings, so if you drive up to see something and you don't like what you see from the outside, just move on. There are way too many choices for you to feel obligated to anything.
Have fun looking. If you need any references to lenders, let me know. I have a number of teacher clients, so I am familiar with the various programs out there, and you want to take advantage of everything you can.
Alain Pinel Realtors