My wife and I miss the Bay Area and want to move back. Are $400k-$500k homes possible in Berkeley or Albany?

Asked by Brian Purcell, 02906 Tue Sep 30, 2008

(looking for 2 bedroom, good neighborhood, not a marginal one like we used to live in)

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Krista Miller, Agent, Berkeley, CA
Tue Sep 30, 2008
Hi Brian,

As previously mentioned, we are certainly still seeing multiple offers in many parts of Berkeley and Albany. I also agree that a trip back would be beneficial as I think you will have some options worth pursuing. Are you willing to look at something requiring a little work? Are you willing to look at short sales (this is when an owner owes more than the property is worth)? Foreclosures? Albany and Berkeley aren't seeing high levels of foreclosures at this time, but I have heard some forecasters say that the rate of foreclosures throughout the Bay Area is expected to double by next Spring, and double again by the Fall...could be some opportunities out there. Finally, are you willing to venture just outside of the Berkeley/Albany lines? There are some fantastic 2 bedroom homes in El Cerrito and the Richmond Annex where you can walk to BART, shopping, coffee, etc. Regardless of whether you buy in Albany, Berkeley, or elsewhere, you should have some options on the loan side (I just had a client purchase a wonderful home with only 3% down) so you will want to be sure to talk to a qualified mortgage broker.

Hope this is helpful! Best of luck with your search.

Krista Miller
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Liz Stevens, , Berkeley, CA
Tue Sep 30, 2008
Brian, Our Berkeley and Albany markets are definitely changing - however, the homes that are presented in top condition at the right price are still selling in multiple offers. Getting financing is harder. Prepare to put 20% plus down on a purchase. I suggest you come back with your wife, do an investigative trip, look at a number of homes in specific neighborhoods so you know what your price range will buy here, and then be patient. Some good homes are staying on the market for reasons of difficulty of showing to buyers, insufficient preparation, lackluster condition, and pricing that is not real time thinking on the part of the owner. Those homes will come down in price over the next six months. Remember, the minute the rains start, all homes look less attractive -- great time for buyers. let me know how I can support your search/inquiry. Liz Stevens
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Andrea Davis, , Fremont, CA
Tue Sep 30, 2008
Hi Brian:

Welcome Home! Right now in California, and the Bay Area Specifically you can find homes at nearly all price ranges.

As a past resident you understand the need to work with an expert in the area you are hoping to live in, for that reason I would like to recommend a colleague of mine: Jasmine Rhodes with WINDERMERE WELCOME HOME.

Her expensive background and experience in the Oakland, Albany, Berkeley area serves her clients very well. And although I would love more business I believe that you can't 'Master Every Neighborhood' as many other agents would like to try. Go with someone with an impressive, highly respected long history or Real Estate Professionalism in the area you want to live and you can't go wrong.

Good Luck.

To find Jasmine: 925 824-4800; 510-388-9920;
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