Don't believe the hype. This is not heaven or the best place in the world to live in. I have lived in Moraga since 1994. Nice town. Not worth $300 sq/ft.
Schools: Spending 500K extra for 'good" school district. Give me a break.
Schools don't make the student, that is a complex interation of parents, self-motivation, genetics etc. Sure the schools are better, but we've some pretty teachers and compared nationally the school are mediocre. This is a real estate agent tactic b/c they know people will spend on their kids eduction, etc But you are not getting anything more than a vanilla education. Parents,students here are more motivated hence the scores are better. Not worth 500 grand.
Prices will never go down here! Oh, ok. You'll need to find alot of people who earn 400K plus/yr to afford the average 1.2 million dollar shack in this area. FYI. for that house you need to earn pre tax 27K/yr to pay just the property taxes. around 15K.
This is an investment. Homes are the biggest expense you'll ever have. They are not investments. They don't have free cash flow, they appreciate at the rate of inflation. The larger they are, the more expensive to upkeep, taxes, etc. You will LOSE $ on every home purchase long term. Considering the loss of value of the dollar and lost opporunity cost of placing $$ in mutual funds, I am down around 50% from 1994, even accounting for the crazy appreciation of the bubble years.
Enjoy your home. It is not a bank or meant to make you $$.
Don't trust a real estate agent. Ever.
Whatever hasn't sold by September or October will start to come down if the buyers need to sell.
Yes, you might find a deal before then, and yes, interest rates may go up---or down--- by then, but I am looking for a nicer house here on the other side of the hill and will be waiting until the fall and see what has not sold, but still keeping an eye out for a good deal on the a place in the specific area etc I want.
Predict the future or buy in a buyers market? Best of luck to you.
smart buyers buy low and sell high. my 2 cents. check the links and best of luck.
I agree with Jb's comments. There are no guarantees in life. Moreover, I can't tell you the number of people that tell me they wished they had bought a property the year prior because they would have saved 'x' amount of dollars.
Lamorinda is still a very strong market and will continue to be so because of the top rated schools and the close proximity to SF & Oakland. Yes, appreciation on property is not skyrocketing like it was back in 2005, but it is still appreciating. My recommendation is if you can get into the market now, and you find a house that meets your needs, have your Realtor go over the comps and educate you on the value of that home (i.e. what prices have done in that neighborhood over the recent years) and then go after it!
Depending on your price range, i have a few homes that may meet your needs. Contact me, if you are interested.
Many buyers are trying to predict the very bottom of this low cycle in real estate. It is almost impossible to do. It hasn't been talked about much here on Trulia but I think it would be very interesting to compare the difference in market price vs tax savings in buying a home now or in 2009 and see how those two scenarios play out.
In working with my clients, I have been able to show that, that for the neighborhood they are looking at that we would have to see another 20-30% drop in prices to make up the difference in the tax base adjustments they would get with buying a home early in the year.
But most importantly, I believe that there is a definite trend back to buying homes with a balance between investment and life choices. I personally never enjoyed renting. I couldn't wait to find a home of my own. But others, are fine with renting and only buy a house for tax and investment reasons.
I believe there should be a balance in the decision to buy a house. Now is one of the best times in quite a while to have choices of homes in the Bay Area to buy, with near record low interest rates, with the possibility of avoiding a jumbo loan, and of course the simple pleasure of owning your own space for the long term investment.
It might be worth a chat with your tax expert, mortgage expert, to see how your personal situation stacks up in this market. You may very well find your window of opportunity is now, even if the market drops another 5% or so.
Good luck, Walnut Creek is such a great area.
Great time to buy in 2009.
Making RE dreams come true either for FREE (Buyer) or standard 6% (Seller)! -NNA
Many individual were able to purchase homes far above thier intrinsic value becasue they were selling homes far above intrinsic value.
You have time. If you happen to find the right house, then go for it. Let me tell you, its very hard to find the right house... lots of (undesirable) houses have been sitting on the market since last summer. The reasonably priced, desirable houses (good floorplan, good yard, good location) go into escrow within a week of listing with multiple offers at over asking price. Good luck.
One specific reason not to wait is that, at this writing, the increased FHA loan limits only last till the end of 2008. That may be extended but do you want to count on it?
I would rely on unbiased data regarding market prices. When you feel it is time to buy a realtor can be a great resource for finding the right home, but might not be the most objective source for market pricing and timing.
The east bay is also officially in a recession with the highest loss of jobs over the past year in the entire bay area...most lost in the real estate and financial sectors (surprise, surprise)
I would wait, unless you see your dream home priced reasonably.
One of the hard parts of house shopping via the internet is that you do not get the full picture.
444 Live Oak was owned by Washington Mutual Bank. These bank-owned properties tend to be in pretty bad shape. I guarantee the previous owner was not putting any money into maintaining the house for a long time before losing the house to the bank.
I currently have a buyer in contract in Alamo, getting a house at a $260 per square foot price. This is absolutely unheard of in Alamo. It is also bank-owned and has some foundation issues, along with some incurable issues relating to the lot. But if you compare this 3,300 square foot house to other similarly sized houses that sold around 2005, you would find the same story. If you compared this Alamo property to what the buyer that lost it to the bank paid for it, you would see the same thing. I have warned my buyer that when it comes time to sell this property, it might be tough because of the land issues.
The real story is the previous buyers of these properties over-paid at the height of the market.
The moral of the story is to work with an agent you can trust to tell you the whole story and back it up with proof. If you are looking to make money in real estate, you need to make it when you buy.
In other words, BUY RIGHT!
I just got this email from another fence sitter on a house that just sold in Blackhawk another desirable neighborhood. If this is a great indication of what is to come...sit still or make offers 30% below list.
IMO buy in decent school districts (regardless if you have children or not). Your investment money will go farther than areas with not a great school areas.