I'm afraid to find a realtor who will take me seriously when my price range maxes out at $450K - do any of

Asked by Jackalope, San Francisco, CA Thu Apr 3, 2008

the readers here have experience with an excellent Realtor who won't laugh them out the door with the price range that is ridiculously low by San Francisco standards? I do not want anything that involves HOA fees, so am primarily looking at parts of Daly City, South SF, Pacifica, etc. and need a 2BR for my daughter and myself. My timeframe is six months from now - can anyone recommend a realtor who will take a first time homebuyer without a bazillion dollars seriously? Thanks in advance!!

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Peter Brunton, , San Francisco, CA
Fri Apr 4, 2008
Hi Jackalope,

I hate to use this forum to advertise myself, but I actually specialize in working with first time homebuyers like yourself. I understand that it can be a very stressful process and I'm here to make it easier for you. I think that your best bet is Daly City.......especially "original Daly City". In fact, there are a couple of 2bd/1Ba homes right now that are in the 425k range. Furthermore, there are a lot or reo's coming onto the market in the 500k range. Although it seems out of your price range, if you look at the sales history some of these properties have been selling for 30-40k below their final asking prices. If you have any questions please feel free to shoot me an email at peter_brunton@yahoo.com
Web Reference:  http://star-sf.com/
1 vote
Mike Kelly A…, Agent, Santa Rosa, CA
Thu Apr 3, 2008
Jackalope (II once saw one of those!), I think Horace Greely, himself a noted SF journalist, said, "Go North Young man!!" Yeah I know, it was WEST but in this market going NORTH is the best way to find a super deal on a home, live in the fab Sonoma County wine country (you of course DONOT stop in Marvelous Marin!!), and have access to 883 single family homes priced below $450,000 for sale—Yes, 883!! Plus we have CalCHA loan assistance programs which can get you into with zero down!! What the heck are you waiting for!! You can go visit the City once a week if you’re lonely for the fog, drizzle plus taking the ferry from Larkspur to the Giant’s ball park is a lovely way to see the bay
1 vote
Sylvia Barry,…, Agent, Marin, CA
Sat Apr 5, 2008
Hello Jackalope:

I have to respectfully disagree with Michael (so sorry, Michael); Novato, the northmost part of the Marvellous Marin, which used to seem to be so distant, is now very 'barely' affordable, and yes, even reachable for a price range maxes out at $450K.

Not saying that you have a lot of choices, to be honest, but we have a few, and just north of us, Petaluma, has a bunch; and my feeling is that you will see a few more within the 6 months time frame you are looking at - although you'd find more 3/1 or 3//2s rather than 2/2.

Of course, where Michael is, an equally wonderful (but in a different way than Marin) Sonoma, will have a lot more houses within your price range,but if you need to commute to S.F., you will need to consider the distance.

I don't specialize in first time home buyers, but my first time home buyers are treated just as my million dollar buyers and I am proud of going above and beyond ot help them find a home.

Is school an important factor here; how about commute? Jobs? etc


Check on a few links on my site for Marin towns.

0 votes
Jed Lane, Agent, Petaluma, CA
Sat Apr 5, 2008
Your response right before Peter's describes him to a T.
0 votes
Jackalope, Home Buyer, San Francisco, CA
Fri Apr 4, 2008
Thanks all for your helpful answers. I do need to stay on the Peninsula due to my daughter's school and proximity to her dad, so unfortunately points north won't work!

Maybe I should ask this differently, do any of the readers out there know of an agent who **specializes** in first time homebuyers?

While some may view buying/selling homes as transactional and a one-off, ideally I'd like to forge a Realtor relationship with someone early on who will take me seriously as a first-time homebuyer, help out when I go to sell my starter home 5-7 years down the line, and help upgrade into a "real" non-starter house.

My findings so far are simply being blown off and I've mostly been using redfin for sourcing, price points, price changes, previous sales prices, and days on market. While it's a great tool, when it comes time to actually buying I'd prefer to have someone with local expertise who will negotiate with my interests in mind.

Any readers out there who have glowing recommendations to give?

Thanks to all!!
0 votes
Jed Lane, Agent, Petaluma, CA
Fri Apr 4, 2008
We can help you with your search in tha areas you mentioned. It's interesting that you mention this reaction from, I assume, agents that you've been in contact with. I was just at a meeting of the Education Committee of the San Francisco Association of Realtors and one of the upcoming classes we will put on is FHA financing. It was quite clear that most agents don't deal in that price point but the President this year is from Daly City and wants this covered because the areas you are looking at do have homes that will be sold that way.
I have an agent in my office that specializes in that area, Peter Brunton. peter_brunton@yahoo.com feel free to contact him directly if you'd like.
Web Reference:  http://www.jedlane.com
0 votes
Linnette Edw…, Agent, Oakland, CA
Thu Apr 3, 2008
If you find difficulty with finding a realtor to take you seriously, I would take it into your own hands and start saving searches online so you start receiving emails the day a home in your price range and search criteria comes on the market. It's a great way to stay on top of the market. A couple places in SF you receive auto email listings:


Although you might get call/emails from realtors at these websites, it does offer great search functionality.

If you are open to the East Bay, check out http://www.MyHousingGuide.com I'm the founder and would be happy to help and advise you.

Good luck!

0 votes
Jason Willia…, , Anaheim, CA
Thu Apr 3, 2008
Go Mike! Go Mike! Go Mike!
0 votes
Sally Rosenm…, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Thu Apr 3, 2008
Dear Jackalope,

Shame on any realtor who does not want to work with you. Looking outside of San Francisco is the best as you will not find a two bedroom home in SF anywhere --(condos always have HOA dues.) I can recommend the name of an agent who lives in San Mateo county and can work with you.

I do, however, think you will not find a home for $450,000 -- a condo yes, a single family home, no. But I do not know the areas in which you are looking... Call Carol Bullock at Cashin & Co, 650-403-6203. She will help you.

Good luck!
Web Reference:  http://www.sallyrosenman.com
0 votes
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