General Area in Brentwood>Question Details

Joe Smith,  in San Jose, CA

Would appreciate advice on good areas in Brentwood vs. areas to avoid - keep value, no flooding, no weak soil

Asked by Joe Smith, San Jose, CA Sat Mar 8, 2008

Also any input on Brentwood vs. Pittsburg vs. Antioch vs. Concord. Trying to figure out where to buy a house and what's going to keep it's value over the next 5-10 yrs. Don't know how Brentwood's closeness to Discovery Bay and Stockton impacts things - any builder can just keep building so prices should not go up too much but then they were higher just 1-2 years ago. Thanks

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The newspapers need a story. Us agents all have different experiences - wether we're working with buyers/sellers/banks/etc.

To generalize about this market is to misunderstand it - there are various segments of this market - the REO market is acting very different than the distress sale or the traditional seller. And there are very different activity levels based on price points. The investors want one thing, the first-time buyer seems to be looking for something else.

And you're right, you need to find a house that's right for you. And the price on that house might be coming down still, or it may be one that's getting multiple offers. You won't know until you determine your criteria, start looking and tracking those specific properties. It takes some time and some effort, someting a journalist on a 5pm deadline doesn't have.

If you want 3500sqft in great shape, 3 years or newer, with a bonus room and a pool - get ready to bid. If you want to stay under $350,000 and are able to do some cosmetic work, you can take your pick. If you've got 20% down you can probably be less aggressive and still get the house you want. If you're 5% down FHA it's going to be a little different story.

But you're right, your situation is unique. Find an agent who will work with you to determine what the market is like in your price range, what values are like for the specific kind of house you're looking for. Determine how long you're going to be there, and what the financing is going to be like. (A 1% increase in your interest rate will probably have a more significant impact on your monthly payment than another 5% drop in the price. Which is more likely to happen between now and the end of the year?)

Lots of folks think the bottom is forming out here, but for you, it may be wise to wait a bit.
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 8, 2008
Was going through this thread again and have another article to share.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu May 29, 2008
You make a good point. If you solely are looking at pricing, it continues to drop, BUT at a much lower rate than in the past 12 months. See, with the number of properties selling with multiple offers, it starts to stabilize the pricing. REO's coming on the market over the next 6 months will see what the new numbers are for sales in the area an price accordingly. Sure you are looking at buying only 1 home out of 466, but your crystal ball is as good as mine at predicting the bottom of the market, therefore there is a certain amount of risk no matter how well informed you are or the person representing you. The bottom of the market may have come and gone or has yet to come. What most people forget is Real Estate is more of an emotional transaction than anything else. That is what makes it harder to pin down.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat May 3, 2008
I think you're missing the point. You're in the real estate business so all this matters. To me, an individual buying only 1 house, 466 choices is plenty ( over 6 months of supply at April's sales rate) - I'll get 1 out of 466. The only thing that matters to me then is the price, which is dropping. Pending etc etc don't matter unless the price goes up (because there are X number of pending), and the price is not going up. Difference between my world as an individual buyer, and your world as a real estate pro.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat May 3, 2008
Since our last conversation...the number of homes in Brentwood pending sale (or in contract) is 228 and number of homes for sale has dropped to 466 and continues to drop. The supply is shrinking. Multiple offers on properties in Brentwood continues to be the norm in the $300 to $400K price range.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu May 1, 2008
Good Evening. The drops that you are seeing are bank owned properties that banks have been holding and are reducing pricing to clear their inventory. The pricing is stabilizing in other areas. We will not see increases for a while, but homes price in the $300k and $400k ranges are getting sold quickly. There are multiple on most of the lower priced REO properties. There are currently 196 homes pending for sale and the inventory in Brentwood is now below 500 homes for sale. It has been a while since it has been that low, well over a year. There are many realtors who feel the same way, we have seen bottom and we are starting to see things level out. Please post again if you have any questions.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 17, 2008
Good Afternoon,

As I live in Brentwood I may be a bit bias however, if I did have a choice of the four I would pick Brentwood. Pittsburg is a city that will have little additional new housing however, speaking economically, Pittsburg will not get to the level of Brentwood on per capita income and therefore does not draw the same types of business as does Brentwood. Brentwood continues to have a strong economic pace due to our per capita income levels in the mid $80K. Currently there is construction underway of a major retail center that will include names like Banana Republic, GAP, REI, Victoria Secret and restaurant chains like PF Changs and so on. As far as values...the majority of brokers see that we have hit the bottom of the market and are seeing a turn. We are seeing (in specific price ranges) multiple offers on properties and the buyers are coming in. Our pending sales in February (approx 95) hit a level we have not seen since 2005 and the level of pending homes in March is now at 134. Discovery Bay is a community unto itself and has no impact on Brentwood as a whole. Discovery Bay is more about a lifestyle and not about the community as a whole. As far as flooding, weak soil, etc., I have only seen one small flood in one neighborhood in the time that I have lived here and that was due to the fact that the creek had not been clean of brush and plants before the rains came. A natural hazards disclosure (which is part of every transaction) will tell you where there are issues of flooding, geologic and fire hazards. With soil, California as a whole will have certain areas with soil issues. I grew up in Sunnyvale and I had friends that lived in Los Altos Hills and during the rains of 1982, there were mudslides there and bad ones in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Most of Brentwood, except for the west side is flat land. The hills are very well managed by the city, but if there are any issues you can contact an associate of mine in the City Engineering Dept that can assist you with any questions.

I hope that I did not overwhelm you too much, but you can always contact me with any other questions.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 8, 2008
Wow, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in big big trouble. Gov't not bailing them out and they guarantee / buy 70% of the mortgages out there. Indymac bank just failed today. This is extremely extremely scary.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 11, 2008
Article on the Brentwood real estate market…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 11, 2008
Prices still dropping .... if there was more demand than supply, prices would not drop.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 1, 2008
Trulia shows that prices are continuing to drop, even the list prices reported as recently as last week
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 17, 2008
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