Home Buying in 94002>Question Details

Real Estate…, Home Buyer in Belmont, CA

I am looking for investment property in either San Francisco, Seattle or Portland. I want a cash neutral

Asked by Real Estate Investor, Belmont, CA Mon Oct 27, 2008

condo in the city that I can use as my home when I retire in ten years. Can anyone recommend which market is best? I currently live in the Bay Area but am afraid the numbers will on work in the Northwest. Any advice , experience?

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Hi I have rental property in San Francisco 2 houses victorian style for sale let me know if you are interested
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 29, 2008
I would say that SF is your best choice. It eliminates the problems of having rental property to deal with long distance and it should give you the best appreciation over the next 10 years. The numbers will work better in the Northwest but over the next 10 years and ultimately when you retire you will be glad you chose SF. I would watch the market over the next year or so because there are a lot of new condo developments coming on line in SF and I think you will see some good opportunities especially in the South of Market area.
Good Luck,
Robert Applegate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 28, 2008
Dear REI,
The SFO and Penninsula have held its value better than the Portland/Seatllte areas. Although there are some great buying opportunities, the upside is less than SFO/Penninsula. Location, location, location are the key to maintaining value. Certain parts of SFO have suffered due in part to speculators in a less desirable part of the City, where prices went thru the roof. Now, the prices are falling back to normal. Beware of new developments and expansions of retail, R&D and more to help you find places where changes are taking place.

Some locations are overbuilt with TIC's and condos. Get a good Realtor familiar with the local market. Know what you are getting for the HOA dues. Do your homework.

Buy the way, I am trying to sell a 5-BR home in the Vancouver, Wa. area. That home in SFO would be 5x more than Washington prices.

Good luck.

Alan Louie
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 28, 2008
San Francisco is more expensive but will probably hold it's value better in the long run just as a function of it being a bigger financial center than Seattle or Portland. BUT - Seattle and Portland will cost you way less up front and will offer you pretty much the same living amenities as San Francisco in your retirement. I think all three markets are very similar in terms of holding or not holding their value over the long term.

It all comes down to what your priorities are in your retirement and how much you want to spend.
Web Reference: http://www.LawsCraig.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 28, 2008
Good morning.

You are wise to plan ahead for a place to live in your retirement.
Certainly, the "city" location close to all the desired amenitites is important.
You can buy a property that is "cash neutral" in any city.
The bigger question is how much down payment will be needed so that the rent covers the loan payment, property taxes, and HOA fees.
In SF you are looking at maybe 35 to 40% down assuming you want 30 year fixed financing.
I do not know the other markets, but my sense is you would be able to do slightly better in Seattle or Portland .
That being said, SF could still be better if the rate of appreication is higher than it is in the other cities.
Ultimately, my suggestion would be to buy in the city you will enjoy best.

Good luck!

I recently purchased a condo on the Big Island - my anticipated place of retirement.

Arn Cenedella
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 28, 2008
Dear REI,

Any market will suit you if the area, location and neighborhood is right and you buy the home cheap enough.

If you are using a Realtor who knows the Bay area, you would already have the numbers.

You should be able to find an investment property close enough to you.

Good Luck,

Stew Keene
Ph (480) 220-7491
Fax (8660 711 8573
Keller Williams - Scottsdale, AZ
2008-2009 Master of Real Estate award recipient
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 28, 2008
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