EastBayDwell…, Home Buyer in Oakland, CA

555YVR - what is the real scoop?

Asked by EastBayDweller, Oakland, CA Sat Aug 29, 2009

Will these units really go for full asking price or will this start to flop like Mercer? I am very interested in them, but afraid they will not get enough sold quickly enough for the developer to be satisfied and thus some will become rentals.

Is it common in this area for some of the first buyers to offer full asking price but then ask for a large cash concession back at closing? This helps keep the comp high and I have seen this in new construction communities in other parts of the country, but always thought it sounded rather shady/borderline unethical.

Lastly, any ideas on why nothing was pre-sold here?

Help the community by answering this question:


Congratulations to 925couple!

If you bought FHA, you put only 3.5% down (or even 0% with seller/realtor kickbacks), so you can walk away with no loss when prices drop.

Well done!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 17, 2010
congratulations to "925 couple" ... you are moving into a truly unique environment, in one of the most convenient locations in Walnut Creek... and the views from the rooftop social area are amazing!!

Enjoy your new home.

Steve Curtis
Broker / Owner
Windermere Walnut Creek
"just around the corner on N Broadway"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 8, 2009
I have been in contract for 2 months now. I have just been informed that all contracts that were planning on FHA financing are now ready to move. That is amazing!! I figured it would take much longer than just a couple of months to reach the required "homes sold" number. Especially in this market. I am so looking forward to my new home at 555YVR!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 8, 2009
there are 5 out of over 80 units that were dictated by the City of Walnut Creek to be set aside as "low-income" housing. Of those 4 are active on the mls at $457/sf, 3 are pending at $457 / sf and 4 that have closed at $455 / sf. The sales have ranged from $310k ($9k less than full price) to $625k (full price).

The low income units must stay as low income units for an ongoing 45 years, with restricted appreciation and restricted income allowed... and remember that low income housing in Walnut Creek is priced higher than mansions in some parts of the country.

Will some end up as rentals ... who knows? I've only been selling real estate in Contra Costa for 35+ years. I have watched and lived with 4 cycles of the market ... and ultimately the prices went one way ... UP.

Bottom line, if you find a home you like, buy it ... make it your home and enjoy life. I don't care where you buy, buy your home for the long term
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 23, 2009

Obviously the developers are still listing at $300k to $700k, hoping someone will come along and pay those prices.

But realistically, few if any are going to sell at those prices, and the majority that don't sell as low-income housing are going to go as rentals like the Mercer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 23, 2009
W.c. Varones, you're blog is incorrect. Let me clarify that there are ONLY FIVE below market rate homes at 555YVR, which was a requirement by the city of Walnut Creek of developments such as this. Pricing on all other units range from mid- $300,000 to mid-$700,000.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 30, 2009
Here's the program information on the Below Market Rate Program from Walnut Creek

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 28, 2009
Now it's low-income housing, available in the mid-$100,000s.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 28, 2009
I have been checking on these fairly regularly since my office is in The Atrium Building around the corner. They did a test run for about a month, maybe 6 weeks with "limited time, special pricing" on selected units... including placement on the MLS ... and places started selling. I think virtually all of the units sold have been at the new, lower price point. As a comparison there have been 67 condos go pending in Walnut Creek, including 2 at 555 YVR (only a few of their units are listed on MLS). There have been an additional 20 close escrow at an average sales price of sales price of $316k and a range from $116k to $725k. Most of these were built in the 70's. new places usually command a 20 to 25% premium in price. Are they over priced? 18 folks don't think so. Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 7, 2009
Thanks Steve. What I'm asking, though, is will these units sell at the $319k-$625k? Still feels too high. I'd called the sales office 2 weeks ago and one of the agents said they should be selling unit 20 by the end of the week. So something's gotten a bit fuzzy with the numbers since then.

Still curious for other opinions. I think they still want too much.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 7, 2009
When 555YVR came on the market the developer set prices from the very high $300's to over $700k. Fortunately, John Millano and the rest of his team were cooperating with the local realtors and asked them their opinions on pricing. Ultimately, the prices were reduced to $319k to about $625k which puts them in range with the market ... including resales at The Mercer. While The Mercer has more amenities like a pool because of its size (0ver180 units) 555YVR has better views, comparable floor plans and a better feel in the "public" spaces, especially the hallways which have portions that are open air and look out at the views and into the courtyard.

My undrstanding in talking to John last week is that they have 18 units pending out of 87 and are selling a little over 1 per week. In this strange market place that's not bad.

Is it common to try to keep the price up by providing incentives and upgrades ... absolutely and that has been done by builders for decades. 555YVR started out with this approach, but the focus recently has been more straight forward with the pricing and I think it's working. The Pre-opening prices were too high for the market and the public didn't go for the incentive bit

You can obviously go direct to 555 YVR, but if you want someone on your team during the process contact me at 925-408-0037. I would welcome the opportunity to help you purchase a home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 7, 2009
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