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94607 : Real Estate Advice

  • All23
  • Local Info0
  • Home Buying11
  • Home Selling1
  • Market Conditions1

Activity 18
Sat Aug 26, 2017
Andersfroehlich asked:
Thu Jun 25, 2015
Matthew Smith answered:
There is a redevelopment blueprint known as the West Oakland Specific Plan that is accessible on the City website. Here is a list of some of the current and upcoming projects.

Things are very fast-paced and the area is really changing, block by block. If you need more information, please give me a call and I will be happy to help you out.
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Wed Oct 23, 2013
Jackie Care answered:
Many many homes fall into the $5-6K range. really need to have a reputable plumbing company who does this all the time come out and video the line and take a good look at the location.
Lisa is correct in that depth is a huge factor. Also, the lines can sometimes be configured so that part of the actual house flooring needs to be disturbed to redo the line. If you're on a hillside, if there are large trees, if there is any indication of something unusual make sure they have really confirmed the depth and location of all the lines. I've had 2 houses recently with bids closer to $20K, one was correct and the other was not. A second opinion is not a bad idea.
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Tue Oct 22, 2013
Shane Harter answered:
Having "good credit" and being credit worthy are two different things.

Most importantly, to be credit worthy, you need to live within -- under -- your means. You should have ample cash flow and the ability to save a significant share of your income. It's these qualities that mostly determine whether you can cope with sudden hardships like illness or job loss without affecting your creditors.

Unfortunately, being credit worthy is not enough to ensure good credit. High emphasis is placed on your Fico score. Fico is a very complex formula. And not to over-complicate, but it's not so much "a formula" as "a brand of formulas" that are all marketed by the same company. There are at least a dozen legitimate Fico scores, different versions that emphasize different things based on info from different bureaus. And then there is an entire cottage industry of companies who sell or give away credit scores that look like Fico scores but are in reality very different. These go by names like PLUS, TransRisk, etc. The ONLY place to 100% reliably buy a fico score online is

That said, understanding roughly how a Fico is calculated helps you understand what you need to do to keep a high score. First, know the range. Anything under 600 is totally bad credit. Under 700 is fair credit and can often be worked with. 720 is the magic number for "good" credit. Anything in the high 700's or over is certainly considered excellent.

The most important pieces of the score are:
1. Utilization. Do you have credit accounts and do you use them. And importantly, do you NOT max them out. A maxed out credit card (or anywhere close to it) is very very bad.

2. Credit mix. For optimal results, have a few cards, a couple major cards (Visa, MC, Amex, Discover) and a store card (Target for example). Revolving loans like an auto loan are not nearly as important to your credit as revolving lines like CC's are. (That said, a poor payment history on a installment loan is every bit as bad as anything else)

3. Length of history. It's hard to have great credit until you have credit history at least a few years old. Open some cards, keep them open, use them every now and then. And while closing a credit card CAN have some consequences, this isn't one of them. When your length of credit history is calculated, it includes closed accounts until they fall off -- usually 10 years or so after they are closed. Along with this, the more new credit you obtain, the more your score will be hurt. When your credit report is pulled by a lender, a "hard inquiry" will show up that will last for 2 years. This is an early warning sign to creditors that you are looking to open new credit and may have new obligations that haven't yet reported because they aren't at least 1 month old yet.

4. Last but not least, on time payments. Going from zero to 1 late payment can drop your score SIGNIFICANTLY. On top of that, collection accounts from things like unpaid medical bills, cell phones, gym memberships, etc, can positively ruin your credit score.

I wrote a lot because this is a complex topic that other people have been kind enough to help me learn more about and master over the years. If you have questions, there are great experts here, and also over at

Good luck. Fico is complex but understanding it is a skill that is worth developing.
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Fri Mar 22, 2013
Jason Schwager answered:
I know the 94607 zip code very well. If you like, we can talk (415.999.0030). Glad to hear so many of my colleagues here made excellent suggestions. I urge you to read all their responses. If you do, you will have a miniature college course, like Cliff Notes, in the current market.

The bargain foreclosure market is waving goodbye. Another marker of that fact are the current demands from "our" quasi-governmental organizations, for example Fannie Mae (the Federal National Mortgage Association) which is now demanding absurdly high prices for their seized properties.

Get a good agent you can communicate with or call me.
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0 votes 7 answers Share Flag
Sat Nov 24, 2012
smilesandpeace answered:
Honestly, that tax rate isn't true - it is almost 2% in Berkeley.
The 1% annual for my property is $3321. Voter added cost add 821.06 for Schools, Mello Roos, Buses and Parks = 4142.56. But they never tell you about the non-voter approved taxes $1577.26 = GRAND TOTAL of $5919.82.

So in the real world, its double. Berkeley tax = 2%.
6 grand is a lil higher than 3 grand and it is closer to 2% than 1%.
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Tue Jun 26, 2012
Emily Erekuff answered:
Hi Summerglens,

Claire is correct. The phone number displayed on your listings is pulled from your Trulia profile, so you'll want to edit your profile to change it. To do that, access the link below to navigate to your main profile page. Then, select 'Edit Profile' on the left. Under the 'Personal Information' section, you should find the option to update your phone number.

Let us know if you need any further help. You can always feel free to contact our Customer Service team either by phone at 888-466-3501 Monday - Friday 7am to 4pm PST, or by email via

Best Wishes,

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Tue Dec 14, 2010
Nelvas answered:

Please remember, you are only allowed a homepath program on a Fannie Mae listed home. The benefits are no appraisal, no monthly mortgage insurance and no upfront mortgage insurance premium. However, there is an adjustment to the rate due to the fact that it doesn't have mortgage insurance. Your rate will be higher anywhere from .50% up to .75% compared to a standard FHA loan; however, your mortgage payment might still be less with a homepath product, since there isn't any monthly mortgage insurance. The down payment, as indicated below is 3%.

I hope this helps. If you have further questions, you can email at

Warm regards,
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Wed Nov 24, 2010
Bill & Elijah Fletcher answered:
You can pick up a property over there real cheaply right now. Buyers have a lot of clout right now. As the others write, there is much to consider. In purchasing a condo it is important that you do your homework and thoroughly investigate the property. This includes the HOA. Your realtor should help you with this. Be sure to get all documents including at least 12 months worth of board minutes. Talk to neighbors. It could be a great place to park some $ and a great place to live. Take your time. There isn't a rush to buy right now. I expect that to change in the spring. Best of luck to you!
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Sat Jun 5, 2010
Frank Ruzicka answered:
Without knowing all the specifics of the deal I would say it sounds a little high. Based on a very generic scenario my FHA streamine 30 year fixed at a rate of 4.75% has an APR of 5.324%. Make sure you get a written Good Faith Estimate along with a Truth in Lending Disclosure (which are requited by law) and compare it with a couple of other lenders. Just make sure you are comparing apples to apples. ... more
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Tue Dec 22, 2009
You would qualify for the $6,500 tax credit if you are in contract before May 1, 2010 and complete the purchase before July 1, 2010. You do not have to sell your current home but you have to have lived in it for five consecutive years out of the last eight.

When you say a second home I assume you are referring to a new primary residence.

I hope this was helpful.

Good luck.
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Fri Oct 23, 2009
Pacita Dimacali answered:
Goodness, Makifu

The only major city that I've seen that have properties selling for under $10,000 is Detroit, MI where the median price (Dec 2008) is $7,500. And even those houses need a lot of work where buyers infuse a lot of cash to get them to habitable condition.

In Oakland, we've seen a few under $50K....but they, too need a lot of work.

Perhaps you should sit down with a realtor who can give you an idea of where to look in a certain price range, and to also give you the info about the condition and situation about each property. This way, you will know what to expect.

As they say, if it's sounds too good to be true...
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Sat May 2, 2009
Freeman answered:
I will immigrate to Oakland this year.
I will buy a property to for self-use.
I think (not sure)I am not qualified to apply loan .
I must pay full cash,right?
If I buy a second property for investment,any difference compare to self -use?
If my age is over 55, any benefit from government to the buyer like me?
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Tue Apr 28, 2009
Bryan Furse answered:
The answer below are good; follow their advice.

I would only add that it's always best to figure out the math and be able to compare apples to apples, so take some time and look at the bottom line and see where it leads you! ... more
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Tue Apr 28, 2009
Freeman answered:
Dear Nina Daruwalla,
Personal home use or as an investment property,what's the big different?
If age over 55, can be save more money? any benefit?
We don't have property in USA. Will move to USA from oversea(new immigrant) soon.
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Wed Nov 12, 2008
Old Town Oakland has been improving over the past few years. Mainly due to the revamping of the night life and restaurant scene. The benefit to Old Town is the convenience of being able to walk or take BART from home which is becoming more and more popular.

I am a third generation Oaklander and second generation Oakland Realtor and have watched many neighborhoods change and one of the greatest changes is in areas near transit. i.e.. Rockridge and Adam's Point / Lake Merritt. Rockridge was a lower valued neighborhood that didn't transition until the late 80's. Lake Merritt became popular the last 10 years.

As for the condo. It would depend on which condo complex. Some, lack charm or have poor location which have huge effects on the current and re-sale values. If you are curious about a particular property I am more than happy to give you a more specific answer.

On a more fun note. Old Town has some awesome spots to check out which is also why the popularity will increase.

Levende East, The Trappist, Pacific Coast Brewery, Luka's Tap Room , Cafe' van Kleefs and some other great restaurants.

Hope this gives you a little better of an idea.

Tiffany Copland
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Sat Nov 8, 2008
Ms. K answered:
NO Andrew. Please check out the website called, PATRICK.NET. It contains excellent and refreshing information that we home buyers just NEVER see. It has opened by eyes because this man invokes pure math and history on what home buyes must know. We home buyers never see this kind of information and it's really a shame. Good luck to you on holding off on buying. Hold off and stay the course on savings right now. 2008 was a bad year to buy anything and all of 2009 will absolutely certain to be the same. Remember my advice. A year from now, you'll be thanking your lucky stars to didn't buy anything to flip; and of course, you'll remember me.
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