I think the best way to start your search for a home (after you have spoken to a mortgage broker and have been pre approved) is to find an agent that you trust. Once you have done that have your agent send you links to homes in your price range and take you out to see them. Oakland has many pockets so it is hard to just state the best neighborhoods. With all the bank owned homes, as well as conventional homes, it is a great time to buy. I have found my buyers some great homes in your price point. Everyone has their own comfort level, so it will be your decision as to the safety level of the neighborhood. If you are not sure about a neighborhood it is a good idea to talk to neighbors, drive by in the evening and weekends, and check online stats regarding crime. If you would like to talk about your options please contact me.
Good luck!... more