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Home Buying in Lafayette : Real Estate Advice

  • All39
  • Local Info3
  • Home Buying12
  • Home Selling3
  • Market Conditions2

Activity 18
Tue Jun 14, 2016
Bradley Leimer asked:
Thu Dec 11, 2014
Hi Ginny, Below is the real estate transfer tax information for your question.

$0.55 for each $500
No additional fee beyond the County assessment

Here is the link for all transfer fees for both Alameda and Contra Costa Counties:
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0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
Sat Nov 15, 2014
Walter 'Skip' Kersten answered:
Hi Ginny,
Just google Proposition 60/90 and you should get your question answered132.
Good luck,
0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Fri Jan 10, 2014
Jim Colhoun answered:
It looks like several Realtors have weighed in on this topic. Debbie Johnston, like myself, has sold many home on Quail Ridge, Via Roble. I'm surprised nobody mentioned the name "Tiffany Hills" which is an old name for the subdivision. It's close to town, BART, best schools but little for sale right now. There are vineyards on Quail Ridge too! ... more
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Tue Apr 30, 2013
ClarkPeaceNow asked:
This question was asked from this property:
0 votes 0 Answers Share Flag
Thu Apr 4, 2013
Scott Sans answered:
The commute can all depend on what area you are coming from and going to, but is going to be roughly 20 to 35 minutes, depending on exact location. BART is a great solution for a commute, but unfortunately Moraga does not have a BART station, so you will have roughly a ten minute drive from either Orinda or Lafayette BART to Moraga. I would love to help answer any further questions. Please feel free to call or email me anytime.

Scott Sans
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Thu Apr 4, 2013
Scott Sans answered:
Although online research and looking at maps on the computer can be helpful, what I like to do with my clients, is physically get in the car and go on what i call a driving tour. I will provide you and your husband a map with designated points, where we will go, all while I am describing each area in detail, ie: schools, neighborhoods, restaurants, even specific streets, and their pros and cons. I feel the best way to learn about an area and their schools, and to see if it would be a place you would like to live, is actually get out there and learn about it while you are there. I grew up in Lafayette, so I have great insight into different neighborhoods, specific streets, and schools. Again I would be more than happy to take you on a driving tour throughout Lafayette. If you have any questions please feel free to call or email me anytime.

Scott Sans
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Thu Apr 4, 2013
Todd Scheid answered:

I know you got a lot of answers but I wanted you to know that I also went through this process. I owned a home in Lafayette and chose to move to Walnut Creek, in the Northgate area. My kids are in elementary school and it is AWESOME, there is so much parent involvement. That being said not all schools are created equal, but home values reflect school quality. If you want to save the most on a home you could decide to send the children to private school like St. Mary's or Christ the King. There are also excellent private schools that are not religously affiliated.

Let me know if you need more help,


Todd Scheid
Realtor ~ Trusted Advisor
Alain Pinel Realtors
(925) 323-6150 cell
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0 votes 9 answers Share Flag
Sun Mar 17, 2013
Ron Thomas answered:
Fri Oct 28, 2011
Kyle Quesnoy answered:
I've been reading a lot of good answers and advice from the previous responders. The main question I would consider, is, "how high up on your current agent's priority list are you, exactly?" He may simply be handling many buyers and sellers right now and is prioritizing the ones he thinks are serious over the ones he thinks are not yet serious. You should definitely give this agent the benefit of the doubt by conveying to him/her that you are indeed serious about buying.

One thing that many buyers fail to consider when seeking a buyer's agent is the role the agent's office environment can play in the buyer's success. What I mean by this, is that there are offices in which the agents tend to keep to themselves and work "alone" as they say. These tend to be the more cut-throat offices, in which each agent competes against the others to pull in the most buyers and sellers. They often do this without considering what is best for the customer/seller. The agent also manages to forget that their time is going to be split between, in many cases, too many buyers/sellers for them to handle alone.

While I can't comment on your current agent's branch/office environment, I can certainly claim that my current office hires quite a few agents who were simply tired of the cut-throat environments of their previous firms. We work as a team and are always making sure we are each meeting if not exceeding our buyer/sellers needs. If one of us is between transactions and sees that another agent in our office needs help finding a property for a buyer, for example, we always come to our fellow agent's aid without any thought of compensation. I recently did just that for one of my office colleagues. If this sounds like the kind of effort you are seeking from an agent, please let me know.

Kyle Quesnoy
Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Mason McDuffie
51 Moraga Way
Orinda, CA 94563
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1 vote 16 answers Share Flag
Mon Mar 7, 2011
Bob Georgiou answered:

The age of the home is not a good basis for comparison between homes. The price per square foot will not have much meaning by itself as well. For example a Burton Valley home could command $400 per sq ft if it is updated and smaller. A home closer to 680 may not pull $300 and lafayette homes in the Alhambra school district which are newer could pull $300 to $400 but have different algebra altogether. Since the most coveted areas of Lafayette are the older areas, the price/sq ft calculation should be compared locally. ... more
0 votes 6 answers Share Flag
Wed Feb 23, 2011
Pete Sabine answered:
Declining market values are caused by home owners agreeing to accept offers significantly lower than the last sold price of a similar home in the same area. Therefore, if Buyers are concerned about purchasing a home now with the chance of property values declining further, Buyers must be willing to pay a purchase price close to the Seller's asking price provided that this asking price is in alignment with the last recent sold price of the best like-kind comparable home.
In other words, real estate value appreciation and depreciation begin with transactions that consistently close above or below the last closed sale. Stability in a real estate market can only occur when Buyers finally agree to pay a price at the last sold price or higher if there is a limited supply of available homes for sale.
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0 votes 12 answers Share Flag
Sun Dec 19, 2010
Catherine Bedrossian answered:
Hello Longshot7,

What type a property are you looking for? I am assuming at that price range, you are talking about a condo, but I need to make sure and understand your parameters. Please contact me either by phone or e-mail, so we can discuss in more detail what you are looking for. I will be happy to help you daughter find The Right Home at The Right Price.

Best Regards,
Catherine Bedrossian
Home Sales Pro
(310) 383-4212
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0 votes 2 answers Share Flag
Sat Jul 24, 2010
Kamal Randhawa answered:
Hello Tm,

There are lots of wonderful areas in the Lafayette area. Here is a link to the school API index which you might find helpful.

Kamal Randhawa
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0 votes 5 answers Share Flag
Thu Jan 14, 2010
Gregg De La Cruz answered:
Hello Agb,

I'm yet another LAMORINDA agent and I so far concur with everyone else's posts. The elementary and high schools in the area are ranked top in the Nation. If you go to the new 2010 US News report you will see that 2 of the 3 high schools are ranked as Gold Medal schools and the third school is a Silver Medal school.

You should also note that there are other areas outside of LAMORINDA with some great schools. The one that is real closest to Alameda is Piedmont however I'm not sure if you'll get much for 1 million there.

I grew up in the area, moved away to the for college, after college lived throughout the Bay Area included SF and came back to LAMORINDA when I had kids. Many of my neighbors and friends have the same story. It's just a comfortable place to grow up.

If you have any questions about Lamorinda or any of the surrounding areas with great schools send me an email or give me a call. I didn't list the other great areas because of the focus of Alameda.

Good Luck
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0 votes 4 answers Share Flag
Tue Oct 6, 2009
Gary Civello answered:
To provide some understanding of the locations of each of those towns starting from Walnut Creek (the furthest of the towns mentioned from San Francisco), the following is the correct order for the BART stations together with rush hour travel time to Embarcadero station in SF (first one in SF): Walnut Creek (34 minutes, Lafayette (30 minutes), Orinda (25 minutes), Rockridge, MacArthur, 19th St. Oakland, 12th St. Oakland, West Oakland, and Embarcadero in SF. The next stop in SF would be Montgomery St. - also in the financial district. For full schedules, see ... more
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Mon Jul 21, 2008
Randy & Sereta Churchill answered:
The new owners have been entertaining offers on the property and are in the process of deciding whether to sell now or develop it. Any questions on the property please email or call us. ... more
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Sun Jan 13, 2008
Deborah Madey answered:
An out of area Realtor can learn a new neighborhood, but must be willing to invest the time and energy necessary to acquire the knowledge.

In an ideal situation, you will have local representative for a Realtor who knows the market, is well connected with affiliated businesses to call in as necessary, be well respected by other agents in the area, and have first hand knowledge of buyer preferences for that area.

If I had to compromise and couldn't "have it all" in one package, I would give consideration to a Realtor who was from a nearby neighborhood who had excellent skills, and was deeply committed to me as a client. I give great weight to the value the Realtor brings to the transaction, and the right Realtor can venture outside of their immediate area and be very effective.

I have seen buyers have their Aunt Mable from 80 miles away help them through a transaction because they felt obligated and so Aunt Mable could get the commission. If Aunt Mable isn't going to driving the buyers to see all the properties with you, internalize the market data, tresearch whatever is needed, and maintain a hands-on approach, then pass on Aunt Mable.

As a sellers agent, the priority is on the merit of the offer and the likelihood of closing. A strong offer that does not close is worthless. If there is reason to suspect the contract may not make it to closing, I will share those reasons or suspicions with the seller. A buyer agent can build confidence or cast doubt on the liklihood of closing.

Bottom line....Choose a knowledgeable and committed buyer agent, preferably from the immediate neighborhood you seek to buy. If you have a great agent from a nearby area, he/she may be well worth it. Companies all across America place a high value of talent.

Best of luck with your home purchase.
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