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Home Buying in Berkeley : Real Estate Advice

  • All242
  • Local Info9
  • Home Buying110
  • Home Selling5
  • Market Conditions12

Activity 136
Fri Jan 13, 2017
Kevin D asked:
I am interested in purchasing a home in Berkeley so my son can live there during his 4-year attendance at Cal. unit has a long term protected tenant
0 votes 0 Answers Share Flag
Fri Sep 30, 2016
Destiny Robey asked:
Me and my family are relocating to California, July of 2017. We are both business graduates, so we're looking to find work within three months of moving. We plan on buying a house (500k…
0 votes 0 Answers Share Flag
Sat Sep 17, 2016
Freggersjr answered:
I suggest using the elevator occasionally and having it inspected once per year. You yourselves may find that you need it as you age. Moreover, if you sell the house, it might be bought by someone who needs it. ... more
0 votes 17 answers Share Flag
Thu Jun 30, 2016
Pl.estacio answered:
Sat Apr 2, 2016
Roylikesoccer asked:
Thu Mar 3, 2016
Krixsanth8310 asked:
I also have a workers comp. Work injury case which claim adjuster wants to settle now I have permanent desability but I can work. I need to wait for my attorney's answer when I will…
0 votes 0 Answers Share Flag
Thu Aug 13, 2015
Linda Miotto answered:
Hi

I am a Realtor in New Jersey but I just searched for an answer to help you. It seems the property owner is responsible for the inspection but I would call your local municipality to confirm that. If you are selling your home and want to get a much as possible, I suggest making the repairs yourself so that the home shows better. If you don't want to make the repairs, that will be a tool for the buyer to negotiate the asking price, and will probably make a much lower offer. Repairs can be negotiated prior to closing and if you can reach an agreement with the buyer, for example, if the repairs they are asking for are $5,000, you can offer a $3,000 credit. You need to reach a meeting of the minds, how much you are willing to accept and how much the buyer is willing to pay for your home in the condition it is. Good Luck! ... more
0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Mon Jul 13, 2015
Sheryl Arndt answered:
Hello Goran, yes you may qualify FHA from fico scores between 500-579 with 10% down or minimum 580 fico score may qualify FHA 3.5% down or as low as .5% half percent down payment program up to 417k. You may consider 3% down conventional from a minimum 620 fico score or even 5% down conventional with NO Mortgage insurance (Lender paid MI) up to 417k.

If you figure out what cities/zip codes you are considering, minimum number of bedrooms and the maximum payment/price you are looking to achieve you can be emailed listings to fit your search criteria. Your email address is needed to set you up for the automatic daily updates.

You will need to be pre-approved if you decide to buy and to be able to meet an agent to view and submit offers on any homes of your choice. Your qualifications will be determined by your credit profile, debt to income ratios, fico scores, loan program and how much you want to invest into the down payment and closing costs.

It only takes a few dozen questions to qualify, go over your options and email you listings to study and compare. Here are some links to study as well as web reference links to many loan program pages offered...

Sheryl Arndt, Real Estate Broker - Sr. Loan Officer CA only
Veteran & VA/CalVet Loan Specialist
REO & Short Sale Specialist
Credit Repair At No Cost
ALL Loan Programs Available
22+ Years Experience
BRE# 01140252
NMLS# 297251
760-486-4225
9am till 5pm by phone Monday thru Saturday, Sundays by appt., EMAIL ANYTIME 24/7
Under640FicoScoreLoans@gmail.com or HomeLoans4U@live.com
http://youtu.be/MrygA2_8fAY
http://www.trulia.com/profile/SherylArndt

If my response was helpful, consider clicking Thank, Link or Best Answer.
... more
1 vote 6 answers Share Flag
Thu Jun 11, 2015
Sheryl Arndt answered:
Hello Seethomas3, yes sure there are depending on what you are looking for but from 499k and up. If you figure out what cities/zip codes you are considering, minimum number of bedrooms and the maximum payment/price you are looking to achieve you can be emailed listings to fit your search criteria. Your email address is needed to set you up for the automatic daily updates.

You will need to be pre-approved if you decide to buy and to be able to meet an agent to view and submit offers on any homes of your choice. Your qualifications will be determined by your credit profile, debt to income ratios, fico scores, loan program and how much you want to invest into the down payment and closing costs.

You may qualify FHA from fico scores between 500-579 with 10% down or minimum 580 fico score may qualify FHA 3.5% down or as low as .5% half percent down payment program up to 417k. You may consider 3% down conventional from a minimum 620 fico score or even 5% down conventional with NO Mortgage insurance (Lender paid MI) up to 417k.

It only takes a few dozen questions to qualify, go over your options and email you listings to study and compare. Here are some links to study as well as web reference links to many loan program pages offered...

Sheryl Arndt, Real Estate Broker - Sr. Loan Officer CA only
Veteran & VA/CalVet Loan Specialist
REO & Short Sale Specialist
Credit Repair At No Cost
ALL Loan Programs Available
22+ Years Experience
BRE# 01140252
NMLS# 297251
760-486-4225
9am till 5pm by phone Monday thru Saturday, Sundays by appt., EMAIL ANYTIME 24/7
Under640FicoScoreLoans@gmail.com or HomeLoans4U@live.com
http://youtu.be/MrygA2_8fAY
http://www.trulia.com/profile/SherylArndt

If my response was helpful, consider clicking Thank, Link or Best Answer.
... more
0 votes 2 answers Share Flag
Thu Apr 30, 2015
Sheryl Arndt answered:
Hello C.T., If you figure out what cities/zip codes you are considering, minimum number of bedrooms and the maximum payment/price you are looking to achieve you can be emailed listings to fit your search criteria. Your email address is needed to set you up for the automatic daily updates. You can set you up for all the cities within your search criteria so be specific...

You will need to be pre-approved if you decide to buy to be able to meet an agent to view and submit offers on any homes of your choice. Your qualifications will be determined by your credit profile, debt to income ratios, fico scores, home price, loan program and how much you want to invest into the down payment and closing costs.

You may qualify to buy FHA with fico scores between 500-579 with 10% down or minimum 580 fico score may qualify FHA 3.5% down or as low as .5% half percent down payment program but only up to 417k. You may consider 3% down conventional from a minimum 620 fico score up to 417k. Your fico scores can be raised within 3-4 days in most cases to qualify for programs, rates and terms as necessary.

It only takes a few dozen questions to qualify, go over your options and email you listings to study and compare. Your fico scores can be raised within 3-4 days in most cases to qualify for programs, rates and terms as necessary. Here are some links to study as well as web reference links to many loan program pages offered...

Sheryl Arndt, Real Estate Broker - Sr. Loan Officer CA only
Veteran & VA/CalVet Loan Specialist
REO & Short Sale Specialist
Credit Repair At No Cost
ALL Loan Programs Available
22+ Years Experience
BRE# 01140252
NMLS# 297251
760-486-4225
9am till 5pm by phone Monday thru Saturday, Sundays by appt., EMAIL ANYTIME 24/7
Under640FicoScoreLoans@gmail.com or HomeLoans4U@live.com
http://youtu.be/MrygA2_8fAY
http://www.trulia.com/profile/SherylArndt

If my response was helpful, consider clicking Thank, Link or Best Answer.
... more
0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
Thu Apr 30, 2015
Sheryl Arndt answered:
Hello Marc, you sound like a proud new home owner, it may be just a picture from google earth or something which they can not show the exact address due to rights so that is why most of the outside exterior pics are erroneous but close proximity.

If you had bought your home from an agent/company it will be in the mls/tax rolls but the pics will be from then. Why would you want to update your pics to current as many feel exposed but it is up to you.

Have you owned long and need cash out or refinance to lower rates, there are options to choose from.

Sheryl Arndt, Real Estate Broker - Sr. Loan Officer CA only
Veteran & VA/CalVet Loan Specialist
REO & Short Sale Specialist
Credit Repair At No Cost
ALL Loan Programs Available
22+ Years Experience
BRE# 01140252
NMLS# 297251
760-486-4225
9am till 5pm by phone Monday thru Saturday, Sundays by appt., EMAIL ANYTIME 24/7
Under640FicoScoreLoans@gmail.com or HomeLoans4U@live.com
http://youtu.be/MrygA2_8fAY
http://www.trulia.com/profile/SherylArndt

If my response was helpful, consider clicking Thank, Link or Best Answer.
... more
0 votes 2 answers Share Flag
Mon Mar 30, 2015
Arpad Racz answered:
Hi Kaleb,

Yes, it is a good idea to have a chimney inspection, since a broken chimney can be a hazard, and can be costly to repair. It is a good idea to have any safety or expensive items known up front with inspections.

Kind regards,

Arpad
... more
0 votes 22 answers Share Flag
Thu Oct 16, 2014
Simon Watson answered:
I was an appraiser for 6 years and the rule then was any detached unit/cottage is not part of any
living space or bedroom count unless it is zoned multi unit or duplex. It can be considered as bonus space but not part of the GLA. You also have to be careful with FHA loans as bonus space can raise red flags.


Simon Watson
Keller Williams Realty-East Bay
(925) 286-7112
(510) 859-4773
BRE 01881304
simon@myrealtorsimon.com
http://www.myrealtorsimon.com
... more
0 votes 6 answers Share Flag
Fri Jun 13, 2014
Chris O'Connor answered:
Every buyer is different but it seems most buyers consider quality wood flooring to be a significant upgrade to carpeting. If your clients floors can be repaired and refinished that may be the wiser choice. As Tristam Bielecki said carpet (and padding) is something that comes in all different colors and qualities so it is difficult to know what potential buyers will desire. ... more
0 votes 12 answers Share Flag
Thu Jun 12, 2014
Claudia Muller answered:
That Deed should come to you within a week or so of recordation.
If you need it immediately, you can go to the county and have them get you a copy of it...immediately.
0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Wed Apr 9, 2014
Jodi Selene answered:
Hi Tom, you might also consider buying a major fixer upper and getting a renovation loan on the property.
This way, you can buy the infrastructure (electrical, plumbing, etc.) already in place and redo the house the way you want.

Essentially, you'd be building from the ground up, but with the ability to get a loan and not having to bring in power - which can get quite expensive.

Tim Floyd, at Prospecting Mortgage: tim.floyd@prospectmtg.com
handles renovation loans.

I love finding fixers for clients, so if you'd like to chat, call me at 510-225-5323

Jodi Selene
Daniel Winkler & Associates
... more
0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
Sun Mar 9, 2014
The Medford Team answered:
The answer is immediately, but, as Liz stated below, make sure it does not impact the loan. Typically, if you are adding a spouse, you can do it right away with no loan consequences. We do it all the time. ... more
0 votes 4 answers Share Flag
Thu Jan 16, 2014
Tomi Thomas answered:
There are actually a lot of converted duplexes and triplexes now in Berkeley that have gone condo. Many of them are Victorian style or Craftman and have some shared yard space. They sell quickly and at a premium, but if you shop carefully and respond quickly when one comes on the market, you might be the lucky buyer. You should definitely hire an agent and get consistent with your search, so that when a good fit comes available, you don't miss out. I represented a buyer last year on one like this, with a wonderful private yard. We came in second, because there were 11 offers, if memory serves...
My buyer was offered the chance to match the high offer, but countered 10K short and they sold it to the other buyer...from SF. Experience and tenacity really count in this market.
... more
0 votes 13 answers Share Flag
Sun Dec 29, 2013
Tomi Thomas answered:
Parissa and Jim, your query doesn't really say why you want to approach the market this way. Perhaps you don't have the funds for a down payment, or you may think you can get the property cheaper by locking in a price now?

True rent-to-own deals are very rare in our market where properties sell quickly with competition. I can't think of a single real advantage to sellers and few to buyers. There are risks involved in "off - market" deals, as well, that you should be wary of. Corporate sellers (developers) have figured out the market is back, and if they are offering a rent to own, there may be fine print you want to look at very carefully. If they are serious about selling, they would likely just sell. Any seller offering to rent to you directly with an ownership path, may have some ulterior motive, like locking you in to spending more on a non-refundable basis. Either way, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Be sure to have any contract you consider signing reviewed by a licensed real estate attorney. Be very cautious not to get caught up in the heat of moment scenario, thinking you've outsmarted the market.

If you have any available money for down payments and documented income, you might be better served by purchasing now and getting an FHA backed mortgage, 3.5% down payment. You'll have to look for a home outside of Berkeley to get that accepted, because you'll be competing with cash buyers...but if you buy a modest first home and put a little sweat equity in to it, you might do far better in the long run.

My advice is, rather than posting an open ended question on websites, visit some open houses, and talk to 3 or 4 agents in person about the market to get a better sense of how to capture a home in today's market. That will allow you to get answers based on questions they can ask that flesh out your situation, and get you better info that will put you on a path to success. Or, if you don't want to go to open houses...simply call the offices of some local agencies. They will put you through to the agent on duty to take calls (called the FLOOR agent), and you can ask some questions by phone, or make an appointment to go in and talk out details with a few of them. These agents will help you figure out what your real options are. If you can't buy now, the effort will still be worth it to figure out what you need to do for the future to become a homeowner. It's an education that is well worth the effort.

Good luck with your search. Remember, information is the key to success.
... more
1 vote 6 answers Share Flag
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