Jack, Other/Just Looking in California

What's the out look on El Cerrito relative to other areas in the East Bay?

Asked by Jack, California Mon Aug 31, 2009

I just had dinner with a friend who mentioned his home in El Cerrito had gone down in value along with his tax bill. What's the out look in El Cerrito and which neighborhoods are good places to buy?

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Catherine Krueger’s answer
BEST ANSWER
Hi Jack,

Along with my colleagues I agree that properties in El Cerrito have gone down in value since the peak of the market in 2006/2007 (depending on the neighborhoods). Tax bills have consequently been reassessed downward (a good thing as opposed to fighting a reassessment with the county tax assessor's office). I also agree that as prices start to stabilize in the East Bay I am seeing multiple offers and homes selling for $100,000 over asking. The way to look at it in a nutshell is Berkeley is the center and then you have a ripple effect as prices in Berkeley start coming back up then you see a positive effect on El Cerrito prices. St Jerome's area in El Cerrito is one of the prime areas for walkability, and proximity to Albany and Kensington circle. Hills sell well too. You start seeing a difference in prices when you go north of Moeser and definitely past Cutting.
El Cerrito is a booming town working towards becoming a greener community and has won the National night Out award for the last 6 years as a neighoborhood-oriented city so that speaks well in favor of the city.

I hope this helps.

Catherine Krueger
Marvin Gardens Real Estate
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 1, 2009
Its a quiet hilly fairly inaccessible side path mostly built out if you ask me. I really like the area around the golf course and have done some super modern houses there, near the top of the hill, lots of mature trees. Views are great. Its hillside living though. You use your brakes a lot. I have good hillside experience doing renovations as long as you stay away from the slide.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 25, 2012
Thank you very much for your answers. I'll let my friend know that his house value in El Cerrito may be on the upswing, and to look out for a higher tax bill :-)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 24, 2009
Hi Jack,

Of course, EC has lost value in properties like many other areas but EC and Albany are still good investments. Every home in EC is still bringing in multiple offers and the loss in value is considerably less then many many other cities. There are several areas of EC that are very desirable....If you like, I can send you a list of available homes in EC so you'll have a good idea of whats out there. I know you are not actively looking for a property but it's always a good idea to have as much knowledge as possible.

Kamal Randhawa
Broker
510-932-1066
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 1, 2009
Jack

Interestingly enough, I've received requests from home owners to find comps for their homes in order to apply for a reduction in their tax assessment. And of course, a reduction in property tax could also mean....a reduction in value, right?

There is hardly a city in the Bay area that hasn't been affected, even slightly, by the down turn. However, it appears we are on the up swing judging by how quickly inventory is turning and by the number of offers received.

Granted that prices have come down to the early 2000 levels, many home buyers who were previously on the fence are springing into action and are actively looking to buy.

There are so many different neighborhoods to choose from, depending on your predilection for established neighborhoods with older homes (but larger lots) or newer homes on stamp-sized lots in new in newer subdivisions.

What; does your wish list look like --- and we can try to match your wants and needs with what's available for sale.

Let me know if I may help.
Pacita
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 31, 2009
Hi Jack,

I would have to say that overall El Cerrito has indeed gone down over the past couple of years, just like most parts of the Bay Area. Both Contra Costa County and Alameda Counties are reassessing tax bills so if your friends value has gone down it makes sense that their tax bill would as well.

While prices are down from what they were several years ago, multiple offers are happening. My clients have recently experienced excessive overbidding in the $450k - $700k range in El Cerrito, some houses with as many as 22 offers. 22 offers is not the norm, and is not meant to discourage you- there are some really great opportunities out there. In addition rates are super low and there is the first time home buyer tax credit that is still available. To know if there are good buys out there depends on your own finances, goals, and housing needs. I know, I know, that isn't very specific, but a good buy for you may not be a good buy for someone else.

Best of luck!
Krista
Web Reference: http://www.kristashouse.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 31, 2009
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