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Home Buying in Berkeley Hills : Real Estate Advice

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  • Local Info2
  • Home Buying9
  • Home Selling0
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Activity 9
Fri Dec 6, 2013
Paul Talbot answered:
Hi Louis,

The realtor you choose to work with should be going on a broker's tour to find you homes with a true panoramic view of the bay. Whenever I have a client with a specific request, I make sure to do the homework and the research myself. That way, I save your time and mine. One of our agents in the office had a spectacular listing with a panoramic view not too long ago. It may still be available. Contact me if you would like help with you search.

Kind Regards,

Paul Talbot
BRE # 01940563
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Fri Dec 6, 2013
Paul Talbot answered:
Hi Sylvie,

You need to assume between 2.5-5% for closing costs and inspections. Depending on what improvements you decide to make or negotiations made during the transaction, it is difficult to say what the total cost would be to have you in the home and satisfied. As a rule of thumb, I recommend that clients look at houses $100,000 to $150,000 less than the top of their budget.

I hope this helps and let me know if you have further questions!

Paul Talbot
BHG Mason-McDuffie Berkeley
BRE # 01940563
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Thu Nov 28, 2013
Tracy Marchese answered:
Tue Sep 13, 2011
Tomi Thomas answered:
The short answer is no...but there are some good resources for looking. Start by having the agent you choose (always your first and most important search because that is the start of a successful house hunt in the Bay area) put the word out to colleques and friends. Most of the best rentals, including short term, never really hit the market. If you can do a studio type set up, the easiest is the Extended Stay hotels. It's basically a room and kitchenette, but you only have to make a one month commitment to get the best rate. The rooms are clean and the facility reasonably well maintained with a pool and gym.

Also, in estimating your search time, you should know that we rarely see escrows longer than 30 days in Berkeley. Escrow is the period between when your offer is accepted, and when you get the keys. You will spend longer looking for the house, more than likely, and you should expect to write offers on more than one home, unless you get very lucky. Many homes here still get multiple offers, so again, you want to find an agent you feel you can work closely with. Good luck with your search!
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Tue Sep 13, 2011
Tomi Thomas answered:
Ditto on the importance of working with a local agent to help you with the valuation and negotiation. If you are getting a loan, you've already discovered the number of lenders who do loans on TIC's is more limited. There are two types of loans for TIC' where all owners are on the same loan OR the newer type, and very few lenders do these...are the "fractional" loans...where a lender is willing to make individual loans to each owner or set of owners. In this case, the loan is more similar to a condo, but the ownership structure is not. I have good friends who did a TIC purchase on their own, with no representation, and had many surprises after the fact...because they just did not know the questions to ask.

We are all assuming you don't have an agent yet, because if you did, many of these things should have been explained to you. Good luck!
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Sun Jul 3, 2011
x answered:
I'm sorry, but this lovely home went pending three days ago. Is there something else I can help you with?
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Fri Oct 15, 2010
Marc Guay answered:
Hi Stephanie,


If the property is not intended to be owner (you) occupied.

I have been selling and owning RE in the Berkeley area for a 32 years, you have to buy the Tenants out if they are availble to move.

If they are not available to move they stay acording to the City of Berkeley Rent Stablization Boards code
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Mon Oct 26, 2009
Steven Ornellas answered:
Hi Db,

Auctions are a different animal all together as compared to other distressed options (Short Sales and REOs). Auctions are a good option; however, strong stomach for mystery and risk is a prerequisite. Also, if you intend to flip a property, you had better have already assembled your “contractor team.” There are two types:

Trustee Sale – When a lender/servicer goes through the process of a non-judicial foreclosure the last step is the Trustee Sale on the County Courthouse steps. The amounts of seasoned investors at these events far outweigh the number of “newbies.” If you are looking for actual Trustee’s Sale auctions, they are published in the local newspaper on a weekly basis under “public notices.” Notices are also typically posted at the entrance of the County Courthouse. "Loans" need not apply: California state law requires liquid funds when your bid is accepted. The Trustee accepts cash or cashier’s checks (and nothing else). Most who do this on an ongoing basis will go to the auction with several denominations of cashier’s checks up to the amount they are willing to pay for the property of interest. Any set cashier's check overage will be returned to you. Condition of the property is a major concern, and you MUST individually perform a high level of due diligence to make sure you do not get stuck with a house that has major problems and existing liens.

Auction Company – Each auction company will have their individual process posted on their website to tell you about deposit requirements and how to view the homes (i.e. ). You have to have a cashiers check for deposit at a public auction. Seasoned bidders will have multiple cashiers checks of different denominations to make up a particular bid of a home. These auctions allow the bank(s) to unload lots of properties faster in this "bid-up" environment. It's really more of a pressure sales environment based on the premise that pitting buyers against each other results in higher selling prices for the sellers. Have a drop-dead figure for each property you bid on and once you reach it “walk away.” Although you do get some time to do inspections, this is really a process for someone who is intimate with eyeing defects and has some level of construction experience allowing them to walk into a house and know what it will cost to place it back into shape. You can pay to have inspections done, but this might cause you to bid up the price of the home during auction time so you don't waste your money paid for the inspections. Really, there's no reason to be in an environment whose sole purpose is bidding-up a property's price in these times.

Best, Steve
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Tue Sep 22, 2009
Von Saam answered:
This is a great time to buy a bank-owned foreclosure. Buy it for less than the usual over-inflated Berkeley prices. It may take some time so why not rent while you look for the right place at a decent price. ... more
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