Shea Home - Ivy Montage, is this a good buy at the price they are asking for in Livermore?

Asked by ankur_desai82, Mountain View, CA Sat Oct 27, 2012

I saw the Ivy-Montage by Shea Homes and loved the Belmont plan. The floor plan is exactly what I was looking for in a house. My Questions/concerns are:
1) I am not so sure about the area. Its a little deserted from the heart of Livermore.
2) Elementary and High Schools are good but what about Middle School?
3) If i would like to move in say after 6-7 years, Would I get the return on my investment? Not looking for lot of appreciation but not sure the price they are asking is worth it or not?
4) I did some research and looks like the houses in Livermore are selling at around $245/sq ft and Shea is asking around $285, there are some upgrades included but not sure if this much premium in price is worth.
5) Also I will be commuting to Sunnyvale for work, not sure about how the traffic is normally, I am prepared to drive 45 mins one way. is it going to be more
I would really appreciate if someone can shed a light on my concerns because I loved the property.


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Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Thu Feb 28, 2013
1) you fell in love before it was yours! your bad.
2) You could have taken a Realtor with you to protect your interests. your bad.
3) Asking us to look in a crystal ball and tell the future is moot; what would anyone have told you in 2009? We will tell you that Real Estate is the best LONG-TERM investment.
4.) You can't look at the $245 average, because that includes many houses that are not comparable to yours. Just a WAG, but $285 is probably close.
5.) I lived in Dublin and commutted to Mt. View and then Hayward for 15 years: With a comfortable car, it was worth it to me; because I WANTED to live there and raise my family: Do YOU?

Good luck and may God bless
0 votes
Crayzedshopp…, Home Buyer, Livermore, CA
Thu Feb 28, 2013
Allow no less than 1 hour or so for commute time, Ankur, from Livermore to Sunnyvale. I use to work in Santa Clara and San Jose...and every day is a different commute. If there is an accident, you are dead in the water if you don't allow 1 1/2 hours for your commute into work. Typically it takes 1 hour traveling home after 6 pm during the weekdays. You might want to consider paying extra to gain access to the express lanes should you need it. It could save you from being late to work in the mornings when the unexpected happens.
0 votes
braceanil, Home Buyer, Sunnyvale, CA
Thu Feb 7, 2013
HI Ankur,
Even I am thinking of buying this property in Livermore. Just wanted to check if you already bought it and shed some light. I will be commuting to Santa Clara for commute.

0 votes
Thanks for the insight!!
Flag Thu Feb 28, 2013
I use to commute from Livermore to Santa Clara a couple of years ago and it typically took no less than 45 mins to 1 hour. Every day is a different commute in the morning but I would recommend allowing NO LESS THAN 1 hour of commute traffic to Santa Clara from Livermore. Paying for a pass to use the Express Lanes isn't such a bad idea and will save you from being late to work in the morning if there's an accident or just a lot of traffic and are faced with total gridlock on a Monday morning. It will take you approx 1 hour ( 45 mins at a minimum ) to get back home to Livermore from Santa Clara during the thick of the evening commute between 5-6:30 pm.
Flag Thu Feb 28, 2013
Rich Homer, Agent, NAPLES, FL
Tue Nov 27, 2012
Best to go directly to a LOCAL pro at "Find a Pro" in the header of this website for local advice.
0 votes
Natalie Swan…, Agent, Livermore, CA
Sun Oct 28, 2012

1-2 Location, location, location. If you are commuter considering Livermore, It's a good location. If school proximity is higher on your importance list, it's probably not the location for you.

3. Considering how much these units have gone up in the last 9 months, I would say it's a very good investment long term. If you have looked at the plans of the entire development, you will see that there is good upside coming, especially with your timeframe. I had client close sale last Dec, 2011 and they are plus $60k in equity already.

4. You will always pay a higher price per square foot on new construction. It's at the beginning of the lifecycle. Don't order all the upgrades and do it yourself. You will save yourself a lot of money.

5. Your commute time will rise the later you leave. Whether this works for you is up to you.

Buyers looking to purchase now are not going to be able to take possession until next October or November. If you want to talk to a resident to see how they like it, I can connect you with my client. They will be happy to share all inside details.
0 votes
Sally Blaze, Agent, Eugene, OR
Sun Oct 28, 2012
Dear Ankur:

Lots of questions in one!

1. Yes, the area is not in the heart of downtown, but you are probably about 5 - 8 minutes from downtown. It is convenient to Costco, many businesses, the community college, and the freeway. It is also close to shopping options along the 580 corridor, including the new outlet center opening on Nov 8th.

2. Rating schools is difficult and subjective at best. The same students who go through the elementary and high school also go to the local middle school. Our school district does a good job at providing a balanced education at all levels. Only you can judge whether schools are good for "you".

3. Generally speaking, and over a length of time, real estate does appreciate. There are many experts who try to predict future returns on real estate. One book called "Little Book of Bull's Eye Investing" by John Mauldin, might give you some ideas on real estate investing.

4. When looking at sold price per square foot, I find the number is most relevant if you also include the size of home in question. There can be a great variance in price per square foot, depending on the home's size. Ask a Realtor for more specifics about your potential purchase (and if you are looking to purchase new construction, I would suggest you also get the assistance from a Realtor).

5. During non-commute hours, the drive from Livermore (and the Shea development area specifically) to Sunnyvale will take around 35 minutes. The time will vary depending upon where in Sunnyvale you are headed. Some of my clients, before deciding to move to Livermore, have spent a night in a hotel, in Livermore, and actually done the commute both in the evening and in the morning. As elsewhere in the Bay Area, Monday mornings and Friday afternoons are the most congested times during the week...unless of course it rains!

Good luck in making a decision that is best for you.

Sally Blaze
Alain Pinel Realtors
DRE 01856137
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