San ramon or vallejo?

Asked by Shirf8, San Ramon, CA Tue May 7, 2013

We are first time buyer with 250k in savings. if we decided to buy a house in vallejo will be paid off. On the other hand considering our 3 boys san ramon has a very good school but will have monthly payment for 30 years. What hould i do??

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Doug Buenz & The 680 Group’s answer
Doug Buenz &…, Agent, Pleasanton, CA
Thu May 30, 2013
I would opt for San Ramon. Even though it means you won't have your home paid for, San Ramon is a safe community with clean neighborhoods and very good schools.

One way to look at it is if you live in an area without good schools, you may consider private schools. For 2 kids, private schools can cost as much as $1000 per month or more. $1000 in mortgage payments would equate to about $200,000 in a loan amount. So you could pay $200,000 more and send your kids to an area with top flight schools and have roughly the same payment (actually you would be better off, since you can deduct the interest on the mortgage payments, but not the tuition for the private school). And in the long run appreciation is stronger in areas with top flight schools.

It is your call, but those are some things to consider.

Here is detailed information on San Ramon:

Good Luck!

Doug Buenz
The 680 Group at Alain Pinel Realtors
(925) 463-2000
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0 votes
Roger, Agent, Dublin, OH
Fri May 10, 2013
Truthfully, comparing Vallejo and San Ramon are comparing Apples to Oranges...

There are various factors to be considered in this situation:
1. Your place of work (from commute perspective)
2. If both husband and wife works
3. How much you make
4. What is your goal from next 7 years perspective as home buying is a long term investment

If I look at your question, looks like commute is not an issue for you.

Looking at the other aspect of your question, looks like you are interested in looking at the good school for your boys, which is a smart decision.

If that is your main criteria, then I would suggest you to buy in San Ramon or for that sake Dublin is also a very good option as the schools are coming up pretty well.

San Ramon Schools are by far considered as one of the best school district in California. Schools are rated very high and have good balanced atmosphere.

As far as first home buyer is concerned, it depends upon your gross income. If you make more than 300K in today's market, you can buy a home of your choice easily for up to a Million. It is due to the fact that interest rates are historic low and affordability has been doubled. I would calculate like this:
You should not spend more than 30% of your gross on the home. That has been the safe haven.

Home & More Inc
0 votes
Grace Tam, , Dublin, CA
Thu May 9, 2013
This is depends on what you want. do you want your 3 boys have a better school with better environment or you want to be mortgage free? San Roman is very good city to raise kids. And today's 30yrs fixed rate is historically low. You can find out how much payment you can afford if you buy house in San Roman that make you comfortable to pay for it.
0 votes
Randall Ortiz, Agent, Sacramento, CA
Wed May 8, 2013
I like San Ramon, it's a very nice town. It all comes down to your financial situation and what you are comfortable with.
0 votes
Steven Ornel…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Wed May 8, 2013
Hi Shirf8,

Sometimes taking a step back helps one to keep moving forward.

I do not necessarily believe you face a "this or that" decision given you have framed your question along a pretty wide spectrum of property characteristics between the two areas. While I like SR, as Sally mentions below, there are other cities which might provide a better mixed solution for you.

Buying or not buying a home IS an important decision and it would be a good idea to discuss your purchase with a financial planner to identify all of the financial ramifications and benefits. For example, you have three boys; will they attend college? Does your medical plan sufficiently cover your family? What is the state of your retirement savings?

Personally, with mortgage rates at historic lows I would take a conservative approach and finance a portion a subsequent purchase so you have a "rainy day fund" set aside for life's unplanned events. If things go well for your family you can always accelerate pay-off by submitting extra principal payments, and/or a complete payoff.

This online mortgage calculator can help you look at "extra principal payment" scenarios.

0 votes
Jason Zaitz, Agent, San Ramon, CA
Wed May 8, 2013
If you are looking for schools there is no question.....San Ramon. If you're looking for a single family home with no mortgage, Vallejo is your answer.

Good luck.
0 votes
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Wed May 8, 2013
Those are really two extremes:
But here are some considerations:
You won't own either home for 30 years; probably about 9 years max.
Even if you appreciate at the same, (which you won't) you'll make more money in San Ramon.
There is a reason why San Ramon is more expensive.
If you care more about money, than where your boys grow up, then your decision is made.
0 votes
Bernard Gibb…, Agent, Danville, CA
Wed May 8, 2013
I would recommend San Ramon provided that you can afford your monthly mortgage payments. The first thing to do is figure out how much you can afford to spend so you should be talking to a good lender. You have 3 sons so I guess you would want a 4 bedroom home. 4 bedroom single family detached homes in San Ramon start around $600,000 so if that is outside your comfort zone, you may be better in Vallejo.

If it becomes a borderline decision, I would still say San Ramon is your best bet. Based on experience (I have sold homes in San Ramon for over 12 years) you can expect far better appreciation in value than you would see in Vallejo.

The downside of Vallejo is primarily the quality of schools in comparison to San Ramon but as Rachel points out, Vallejo is also bankrupt so don't expect to see much in the way of infrastructure improvements or maintenance. I would also venture to suggest that San Ramon is more family-friendly and with more and better leisure activities in easy reach.
0 votes
Sally Blaze, Agent, Pleasanton, CA
Tue May 7, 2013
The schools in San Ramon are excellent...from elementary school through high school. Having $250,000 in savings to use towards the purchase of a home certainly gives you lots of options. Before you make any decisions I would suggest you meet with a lender to determine the price of a home you can afford, whether you choose to spend that amount or not. The lender, or a financial planner, may also be in a position to advise you on the pros and cons of paying cash versus financing. Even if you have a large amount in savings, you may not want to put it all towards the home purchase. Remember, although the mortgage is a significant part of a home's cost, there are other financial obligations: insurance, property taxes, maintenance, possible HOA fees, etc.

After you determine your financial options with regards to home purchasing, then research the various communities. There is a big difference between Vallejo and San distance. Perhaps there are other cities / communities you'd be interested in as well. Some of this depends on your interests, commute requirements, weather considerations, etc.

I've sold homes in Vallejo and everyone seems happy with their purchase. I've also assisted clients in San Ramon. They also seem content. And so are clients in Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton, Castro Valley, etc.

Sally Blaze
Alain Pinel Realtors
DRE 01856137
0 votes
Rachel Knight, Agent, Danville, CA
Tue May 7, 2013
My vote would be San Ramon for several reasons:

1. The schools are outstanding, keeping property values up
2. The community is family friendly & stable
3. The infrastructure and community activities are top notch

Vallejo, unfortunately, is bankrupt and doesn't have the resources needed to keep up or grow the community. Their school scores come in below San Ramon's.

Prices are higher in San Ramon, but it sounds like you have enough to put down a 20% down payment. San Ramon offers older and newer homes, and I'd be happy to show you around San Ramon and all it has to offer. Please call on me any time.

Rachel Knight, Realtor
(925) 323-6311
J. Rockcliff Realtors
0 votes
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