This question was asked a long time ago and the market at the time was still spiraling downward. I remember at that time on the news it was Foreclosures and unemployment on the news headlines. The market has changed since then. Most people are in positive equity positions once again. Short sales are less than 2% of the market.
I hope that everything worked out in your favor.
Coldwell Banker Star Realty
BRE Lic#01456982... more
I think Claremont has some factors that insulate it from the overall effects of the general economy, 7 factors in fact...the 7 Claremont Collleges. Given that these institutions continue and will continue to bring revenue to the city, you won't see any drop in the upkeep of the community and given the engaged nature of the faculty and community at large, you get a positive force that will continue to shield the community from the harshest effects of the recession.... more
Keep in mind that a good Realtor will keep your appraisal contingency in place so that you will not pay a penny more than the Certified Appraisers value regardless of the list price or what you actually offer the seller on paper.
If the appraised value comes in lower than the offer price then you will have to renegotiate with the seller to match the appraised value or pay the difference in cash.
Anyone who makes blanket statements like "if you are planning on staying in your new home for at least 2 years that you will make money on the home no matter where you buy" clearly can't give credible advice. There is no guarantee. Trulia is a great resource for listing/price comparisons, but has a lot of realtors trying to drum up business for themselves and are listening to the overly optimistic reports of the NAR. I'm not saying listen to the overly pessimistic reports from places like Merrill predicting straight drops until 2010, but the truth is probably somewhere in between.
Don't assume anywhere is automatically protected from the bubble burst. A lot of LA residents moved to Riverside because other out of the way locales like Claremont were getting too expensive.
I'd say it's a good time to start looking, but not necessarily buy. As a fellow buyer, I'd say figure how much payment you can afford and don't forget 20% down; and if you must buy now, bargain for the price you want (within reason) and don't be afraid to walk. Talk to a realtor (interview several to find one you trust), and have them run prior sales histories and how much they owe the bank. This is public info by the way. Also, it would be good to find out if they own another house to find out how badly they need to unload.... more