Planning to buy a condo on Julian St (3B 3Ba/465K).Is the area considered safe ? Is it a good investment?

Asked by Skyhigh, 95112 Mon Jun 1, 2009

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8
Leon, Home Buyer, San Jose, CA
Tue Jun 2, 2009
Hi
I lived at the Plaza for 2 years (the condo building in front of One East Julian) and definitely will not recommend living in this area. There were burglaries on the building. In one occasion, somebody entered the underground parking and broke into several cars, my bicycle and other's were stolen from the bike rack (they were locked). In addition, you will hear lot of noise from cars coming from downtown after partying on Friday and Sat night (stereos at high volume) and how to forget the sporadic guy urinating in the front steps of the Plaza 1st floor condos facing 1st St.

I had friends living in Townsend (the building in the opposite corner), they had a problem with homeless entering and sleeping in the lobby. Those condos are very nice btw.

Overall, you may be ok in terms of personal safety, but considering the nuisances on this area, I don't recommend this area and would think twice before making a home investment.

Just my 2cents. All the best.
lf
1 vote
Andrew Espino, Agent, San Jose, CA
Wed May 16, 2012
Julian st is a good area.. East of N. 4th and Julian st is where the boundary begins. Your in downtown, so keep that in mind. FYI, great gym on N. 3rd st "San Jose Athletic club" used to be called "Capital Club athletics. Great place to meet some neighbors. : )
0 votes
Stu Carson, Agent, San Jose, CA
Wed May 16, 2012
So safe no. But some would say neither are most neighborhoods on the East Side of San Jose, neither is Salinas and neither are some parts of Gilroy! But your question was "Is it a good investment?". Absolutely. That's why buyers with cash or large down payments are scooping up properties in these areas as fast as they can. Fundamentally rents are not linear in the Bay Area, meaning a 2 bed 2 bath in Los Gatos might cost $600k and rent for $2600 while a 2bed 2bath in Salinas might cost $200k and rent for $1300. Los Gatos 3x's the cost but only 2x's the rent. In fact, while your monthly cost to own will be higher than the rents you receive in Los Gatos, investors buying rental properties in Salinas are making $200 to $500/mo in profit BEFORE taking other tax benefits into consideration. So fundamentally buying Real Estate to live in is and should be a fundamentally different decision than buying Real Estate to generate income. Oh one last point, just like in the stock market, properties (stocks) or regions (industries) that take a large hit in price largely based upon "herd mentality" and overall marketplace swing or collapse based upon fear, etc... also tend to rebound higher/more in the following cycle of recovery. Essentially a volatile stock is great if you buy low. That is the case for many regions/areas in the Bay Area that had fundamental solid underpinnings to value that took an undo hit in the market collapse. A great example of this is Morgan Hill which is a reasonable commute (nothing like Hollister or Los Banos!) and right in the path of progress for Silicon Valley and yet lost 50% of it's value in the "bubble".
0 votes
Michael Cheng, Agent, San Jose, CA
Wed May 16, 2012
Aside from the concerns about safety, which is unavoidable in an urban environment, a condo at that price would not make for a good investment property. It's priced way too high relative to rent.
Web Reference:  http://www.archershomes.com
0 votes
Trevor Curran, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Great Neck, NY
Sat Apr 21, 2012
First steps:

1. Meet with a Local Mortgage Banker to get prequalified for mortgage financing. The Mortgage Banker will review all facets of your loan request to answer your questions with regards to the types of loans and maximum loan amounts you could qualify for.


2. Get a referral to a good, local, real estate attorney. Call the attorney, retain the attorney so you have her information handy when you make an offer. Having that information at time of offer helps you demonstrate to the Seller how serious you are, and they will consider your offer with more interest.

3. Line up a Home Inspector. A good home inspector will scare the heck out of you: that's what you pay him for! But you'll concentrate on the fundamentals of the property: roof free of leaks, plumbing, heating and electrical up to code and in good working order. Again, when you make an offer and you have your Home Inspector ready to go, your offer will be considered with much more interest by a Seller because you truly have your "ducks in a row" and your preparation demonstrates your serious attitude about conducting the purchase transaction in a timely manner.

4. Find an experienced Local Realtor who works in your desired shopping area. A serious pro Realtor will refuse to show you homes until you are Prequalified for mortgage financing. Don't take offense! That Realtor doesn't want you to be disappointed and wants you to have a smooth experience as you shop for your new home.

Put together your Team of real estate professionals and shop 'til you drop!

Good luck!
Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140.
0 votes
George Raymo…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Fort Worth, TX
Mon Apr 16, 2012
Not only is great area and good investment, you can buy this Condo with $0 Money Down. There is a special program that is eligible in this area to purchase with little no hoops to maneuver through. It's the easiest program to qualify for bar none. For further information, click on the link below.


Best of Luck!
0 votes
Virginia Tho…, , Cupertino, CA
Wed Apr 11, 2012
I have lived around the corner for Julian One for 15 years and unfortunately we have had our problems with crime. Allot of the condos in downtown have experienced crime which usually are bike thefts and vehicle break-ins. However, home burglaries are rare.

I've been working with our Councilman on the homeless in St. James Park and other issues. We are making progress but not as quickly as most would like to see happen. The issue has existed for more than 40 years and hasn't gotten the attention it needed to resolve the problems. I'm also involved in planning activities in the park and we are gaining momentum. We had our first Easter egg hunt which drew local news and over 250 people. It's all about making changes and getting residents involved.

The lifestyle in downtown is changing and getting better. It will never be Santana Row. The new San Pedro Market Place is getting more active, new shops are being added, eateries, social games, etc. A Saturday Farmer's Market has been added, movie nights, local artists, etc. and all of this is all around the corner from you. New development is planned off Julian near 87 (street realignment planned as well) and housing on St. James Street between 2nd and 3rd as well as a park.

I feel safe in my condo and do not fear walking in and around town. There are nuisances but residents are getting involved and we are being heard. We are recovering in home values and condos are easy to rent out.

Virginia Thomas, Realtor
DRE# 01515223
ginnyth@pacbell.net
0 votes
April Tavares, Agent, Campbell, CA
Mon Jun 1, 2009
Hi Skyhigh,

The questions you have asked are very subjective and therefore difficult to answer in this forum. Everyone has a different definition of what constitutes a safe neighborhood and a good investment.

Regarding neighborhood details, I would suggest asking the neighbors. I have found that neighbors are always a great source of information.

To provide you with some insight on whether this purchase would be a good investment, a Realtor must understand what your goal is for the short/long term. Will this purchase be your primary residence? If so, are you hoping to use future equity for another purchase? Are you purchasing to use this property solely to rent out? Are you trying to understand if purchasing is better than renting? etc.

My best advice is to hire a buyer's agent. A good buyer's agent will take the time to understand your goals and needs and you will work together to find that perfect property.

Regards,
April Tavares
DRE License #01742179
Web Reference:  http://www.AprilTavares.com
0 votes
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