These are very different places in most ways you could think of. I have lived in both of them.
Orinda feels like a village. Very established, mostly older homes, an older demographic. Two separate shopping areas, great schools, easy commute to San Francisco. BART station too. Prices are MUCH higher than San Ramon.
San Ramon is more of a dormitory town. People commute mostly to the San Jose, Silicon Valley area or work locally in Bishop Ranch. There are two San Ramon's. 94583 is the west side which is more established, while most of the newer developments are in 94582, in Windemere and Gale Ranch. No downtown, although one is probably coming soon. Danville is only ten minutes away of course.
There is a greater choice of homes in San Ramon. Most are in subdivisions, while most in Orinda are not. San Ramon also has great schools of course.
It really depends on your lifestyle and where you work as to which would suit you better.
Bernard Gibbons, J Rockcliff Realtors... more
You will need to check with the school district, but I believe you need to be physically living in the property that you claim to be your residence. Moreover, you will need to provide a utility bill and property tax records. But again, that is something you will have to check with the school district. As far as your building cost question, that can vary. Finding a builder and constructing an actual structure is probably not that expensive - i.e. $250/SF for something middle of the road. However, your real costs are incurred when dealing with the City. When building your own home, you will have to get plans drawn up and submit them to the city for approval. They will have you present your property to the City's Design Review board, which will then critique and make possible modifications to your plan. You will have to pay your architect each time the city makes modifications/recommendations, and you will have to pay the city fees to go through this process. You will also encumber the local neighbors who may not be too open to the idea of you building a 2000SF home next to their single story rancher. I have represented a few builders in the area, and I have seen this process take a few years before they get final city approval and the costs add up quickly. Also, I am not sure what the going rates are for a new water meter, PG&E meter, and sewer, but I can't imagine them being very cheap considering that we are all seeing rate hikes. Well, nope that answers your questions.
That is a tough question, as most of Orinda gets fog that rolls over the Oakland Hills in the evening/early morning. The areas that are least affected by fog are the homes that are perched highest on the various ridges. For example, there are homes in the Orinda Country Club or off of El Toyonal that sit high enough on a ridge that the fog doesn't necessarily go up that high. However, driving to get to the home, you will encounter fog. Most of the homes get terrific sunlight, so long as there is not heavy tree cover around. As I mentioned above, the fog generally only comes in during the late evening time and burns off by mid morning. On rare occasions, the fog will stay there all day, and that is usually in the winter months. Moraga and Lafayette fall into this as well, as they are both in the same valley...
Hope that answers your question.
Hi Home Buyer,
I think that there are better rental markets near Orinda, like Walnut Creek, Danville and even Lafayette, sticking with the best school districts.. I would advise you to go on Craigs List and research what rentals are getting in the area. Any one of us can assist you in making an informed decision about income property. I actually have a rental in Blackhawk and Walnut Creek.
Suzanne Looker... more
I will answer #2:
Yes, you can obtain financing in your situation. If you are going Conventional, you will need to put at least 10% down and have a 700+ credit score to obtain the proper mortgage insurance. However, if your purchase price is lower (approx $750,000) I would strongly suggest an FHA loan with only 3.5% down. You will get a better interest rate and a cheaper MI payment. I would highly advise it.
If you have any questions about financing programs, please let me know.
Apply Online: flagstarloans.com/lallison... more
Both are excellent. You can take comfort in knowing that whichever city you find your dream house, you will have a community that is kids first. All of the "Lamorinda" (Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda) schools are top notch.
Below is a link that you can use to compare the two markets. I hope you find it helpful.
Is the business you are starting in the same industry as your previous employments? What is your experience in this industry and do you have management experience?
These are a few questions the underwriters will ask. There may be more. Talk to a few loan broker (myself included if you like).... more
As a life-long East Bay Area resident, I have always heard that Orinda sets the bar. This lore comes from friends and family; I have an Aunt who is a grad of Miramonte and I have cousins who attended Acalanes High School. My dad grew up in Lafayette and attended Pleasant Hill High School (now closed) and mom went to Clayton Valley. Enough about my family lore. I don't have children myself so I can't offer personal parent-teacher feedback. However, do take a look at the school scores with the link below.
Best wishes in your home search and let me know if I can be of service to you; I am here to help.
Arturo C. Shivers, REALTOR, SFR
KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY
760 Camino Ramon, Suite 200
Danville, CA 94526
Office: (925) 855-8333 Ext. 272
Mobile: (415) 871-4239... more
Lamorinda Home Buyer:
I can understand your confusion. As of the end of last month, the average list price was $1,493,000 but the average sales price was $992,000. It’s unfortunate that we cannot put graphics here or I could show you exactly what is happening. Keep in mind one thing: the difference between list price and sold price DOES NOT mean that homes at the high end of the market (1.4 million) are selling for the lower prices (.99 million). It actually means that the homes at the lower end of the spectrum are selling while the homes at the top are not. And, of the homes over a million that HAVE sold since January, most of them saw large price reductions reflected in the final sales prices. This really means the homes were really marketed too high to begin with. And there is currently a glut of homes over $1,000,000 in Orinda.
This trend is currently consistent throughout the entire Bay Area.
When you look at trends in an area, you have to look at list price/sales price averages AND price per square foot. In Orinda, the average price per square foot has actually been sliding downward for the 6 months. It was $448/sq. ft. in October and finished at the end of April at $338/sq. ft. This is a whopping 25% reduction. In other words, home buyers in Orinda can expect to buy 25% more house today than they could in October, 2009.
There are a number of factors influencing this. Jumbo money is still in short supply, and there are increasing numbers of short sales and foreclosures in the upper market tiers. The upper end of the market is still VERY soft in the East Bay and will continue to be so for some time.
To answer your specific question about the home that dropped from 1.9 to 1.5, it was a short sale and had been on the market almost a year. This tactic of drastically reducing prices to get an offer is frequently used throughout the bay area; however, it can backfire if the bank renegotiates the price back up at settlement.
Rather than rewrite previous posts that address this same issue, let me provide a few links that may be helpful. In addition, I can provide detailed data by email upon request.
Tax credit's impact on SF market still unknown
Danville Housing Market Facing Unprecedented Reality Gap (read all the comments)
The areas you mentioned are all very nice. Orinda is a small community so it really comes down to what type home you and your family would like to own. If you need more info or would like me to send you current homes on the market feel free to contact me. I'd be happy to help.... more
Knowing only square footage and trying to price a home is crazy. There are so many factors in valuing a home that the only true way to answer your question is by giving a range. The low end would be about $825,000 and the high end is almost unlimited. A completely dialed-in house on a spectacular lot, the spectacular lot being the key, could fetch above $2 million.
As you can see, a lot more information than square footage is needed. To get a more accurate price, more detail is needed. Do you want a house in move-in condition? Do you want a fixer? How important is the lot size and lay-out? Hillside or flat? In what neighborhood?
Another factor is where will the market be this coming December? Nobody knows. You can get numbers for what is happening now, but there is no such crystal ball for December. Orinda does hold up better than most areas.
If you narrow your parameters, you can get more specific numbers related to what is happening now.... more