Home Buying in San Francisco>Question Details

Jj, Home Buyer in San Francisco, CA

I'm moving to the Bay Area for a job in Palo Alto. I'm a young single gal with a partner. I look for areas

Asked by Jj, San Francisco, CA Mon Nov 12, 2007

that are: 1) sunny, 2) urban, 3) near shops and restaurants and easy access to freeways. My ideal house types include SFH, townhouse/condo, 2 beds/2baths, with 2 parking spaces. I don't mind minor cosmetic fixer. My budget is between $600-800 K. Is my budget realistic for what I'm looking for? What would be my options for a highest potential of appreciation in 5-10 years? For townhouse/condo, should I buy brand new one from the builder vs resale? Thanks for your input.

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Your budget is realistic. You're going to need to focus on townhouses/condos - not only because of the price range - but also to be near shops, restaurants and public transportation. With your budget, you won't need to do any updating. There are a lot of new or newer complexes within your location and price requirements.

For the highest potential of appreciation, you may have to get property specific. In other words, not too close to the train; the unit should be nicely upgraded; in-unit laundry (which most of them have). That sort of thing.

As far as buying brand new or resale - I don't think that matters - as long as it's not too old. Try to buy something less than 10 years old - or less.

To stay in the sun, just don't go north of, say, Millbrae.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 12, 2007
Jj, Without a P.A. restriction you should have a tremendous number of choices in your price range. There are a couple of areas that you may want to take special care in your investigations....East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park. Then, Weather may be of importance. South of Burlingame will afford you a bit more sunshine as the Fog line extends to South Redwood City. Trafiic: Travel times in the Bay Area should be experienced during the different times you will find yourself traveling. As I write this post I am reminded how many factors are in play here. Micro-climates to Macro-traffic. :) I hope others post different perspectives for you soon. Have fun shopping!

1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 12, 2007
Welcome to the Bay Area, Jj! You'll have lots of options from San Francisco, and down the peninsula. In the City 2 car parking will be a challenge, but you could find something in Glen Park, either a SFH or Condo, which is close to the freeways, South Beach and Mission Bay condos will give you access to the train for commuting and Potrero Hill is close to freeway access as well. Redwood City has just completed a rebuild of their downtown and is the warmest spot on the Peninsula; and there is a wonderful condo complex in Burlingame -- which has great shopping and weather. Skip over S. San Francisco, Millbrea, San Bruno, and Belmont in terms of weather and walking activity. I favor resale vs. brand new as I've seen new complexes diminish in value recently -- but it will depend on the location, amenities, and nearby transportation. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 11, 2007
If you do not mind a 45-60 minute commute you could afford a nice single family home in Santa Cruz on a sunny lot close to the beach and downtown. The downtown area has many restuarants, coffee houses, social and cultural events since UCSC is a major influence on the area.

Your best appreciation potential would be a single family home rather than a condomium or townhouse. You can find a very nice home in very good shape for under $800k in Santa Cruz.
Web Reference: http://www.RealtorBeach.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 14, 2007
I wanted to clarify that I'm not restricted to Palo Alto only. I'm open to areas from San Francisco to Palo Alto.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 12, 2007
Hi Jj, Your not unrealistic in your desires...Location may be a challenge if you want to be IN Palo Alto. There are a number of homes less than 15 min from Palo Alto that you would find desirable.. urban, hip and above all safe. The Potential appreciation question is a very neighborhood specific and an opinion at best. Once you locate the neighborhood you are most interested in then, you can learn more.

Here are some to consider that are inside a 10-15 min drive to Palo Alto Business Centers.
These areas have seen a run up of 15%-25% in some...today, there has been little.


0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 12, 2007
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