The main difference is school district. Larkey Park has more older homes and neighbors pleasant hill. Heather Farms homes are generally a little newer and has nicer homes in neighboring Northgate area. Each area has unique characteristics and preferences is totally subjective to what the home buyer is looking for in a home. Hope that helps.... more
I'll stick my head out on the line and say that the condo market has pretty much bottomed out and will be dragging along the bottom for a little while longer. The condo39;s got hit the WORST of all real estate bubble assets. They prices went up disproportionately higher than single family homes (SFRs), fell further than SFR's, then HOA took a beating, then lenders all but stopped lending on condo's. As a consequence prices fell as much as 75% in some associations. Even now In order to buy a condo today you have to be an owner AND have a big down payment.
AS associations improve financially and rentals fall toward 75% owner occupancies (with newly placed rental restictions in many associations), financing will return and you should expect to see priced jump again disproprotionately relative to SFR's since people will be able to buy in with 5% down once again. This will allow upward price appreciation once again. With condos as low as 100k in some areas, the market will turn quick when it happens. Recently some banks have announced new lending guidelines so recover in the low end condo market may happen as soon as 2012.
How much will homes go up? Hard to quantify in a number.... more
You do need some money in the bank in order to buy a home. A friend or relative can lend you the money, (talk to your loan broker about the rules for that- i have a couple i trust and work with) but in my understanding, here is a brief list of what you will need.
If you are a veteran of the US Military and can get a VA loan, you can get a 0 down loan, but you will still need about 3.5% of the selling price for closing costs. If you cannot get a VA loan, you will need at least 3.5% of the selling price of the home to use as a down payment for an FHA loan. If you are buying a $100,000 home, you will need at least $3500. Then, there are closing costs. Those are the cost of the loan, the appraisal, any inspections you have, title insurance, some property tax that you pay early, the first sometimes almost 2 months of payment, for another approximate 3-5%. So on that $100,000 home, you will need another $3000 to $5000, for a total of about $8500 out of your pocket to buy a house at $100,000.
The more money you have to use as a down payment, the better your offer will be regarded by the listing agent. People with 20% down seem more solid and more likely to be able to complete the deal than someone with nothing down, so you want to put yourself in the best possible situation so that when you find the home you love, you will be able to buy it, and not have your offers rejected. There is a lot of competition in the under $800,000 price range, with multiple offers happening all the time. So be ready, get your finances in order, and then you will be successful!... more