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Orinda : Real Estate Advice

  • All46
  • Local Info8
  • Home Buying15
  • Home Selling1
  • Market Conditions2

Activity 46
Mon Aug 28, 2017
Mary C answered:

I apologize we have false foreclosure information listed on our home details page. This data is provided to us from Zillow foreclosures and we currently do not have the ability to edit or remove the information that they are sending us.

Please be advised that I created a new ticket request to Zillow Consumer Care to remove the Foreclosure status of the property. Once the status is removed from Zillow, it will automatically update to Trulia after 24-48 hours.

Thank you for using Trulia!

Consumer Care Advocate
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Wed Sep 14, 2016
Deanna asked:
My husband and I and our 3yr old daughter are moving to the Orinda area in the coming months. We are a fish out of water when it comes to the area as we are both born and raised…
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Mon Jun 6, 2016
Barbara Jerabek asked:
About 50% of the time when I click on the homes to view the rest of the pictures they won't open. It just stays on the first picture. Super frustrating. BJ
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Tue Mar 15, 2016
It should say "Taking this loan could end any state law protection you may currently have against liability for unpaid debt if your lender forecloses on your home. If you lose this protection, you may have to pay any debt remaining even after foreclosure. You may want to consult a lawyer for more information."

I do not check replies, so if you have a comment or question email me here:

Alex Greer
Loan Officer
NMLS #1056079
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Wed Jul 29, 2015
Mariah Bradford answered:
Absolutely yes. Frank Wojcik from San Miguel in Concord. He has decades in the business, and I have had to call him out against other companies in the past (when there was a major discrepancy between his report and another) and he has always "won". On several occasions I have seen him state that there are actually NOT any termites on a property when another company is calling for a full tenting and fumigation!!!! I use him to represent both buyers and sellers, because whether the news is good or bad, I completely trust that his report will be ACCURATE. ... more
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Tue Jun 23, 2015
Arpad Racz answered:

Your local agent for Orinda can look back in time at the MLS sales for a particular area.

Kind regards,

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Wed Feb 11, 2015
If it helps, I was contacted by Trulia to see if I wanted to pay to advertise.
I said..without the Blogs I was not interested.
The sales rep did not realize the Blogs were removed....
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Mon Dec 8, 2014
Tristam Bielecki answered:
Not returning calls is the biggest offense - I have tried getting showing appointments with Realtors that wont call or email you back. If they cant even respond to those requests - how do you think they will respond during escrow? ... more
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Sun Dec 7, 2014
Phyllis McArthur answered:
Yes, Adam I know.....The Agent who pays Trulia the MOST money for leads, gets to be at the top of the list....
1 vote 1 answer Share Flag
Thu Oct 16, 2014
Simon Watson answered:
If I had to choose its Orinda, for location, schools and value, no question about it.

Simon Watson
Keller Williams Realty-East Bay
(925) 286-7112
(510) 859-4773
BRE 01881304
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Wed Jul 2, 2014
Annette Lawrence answered:
Wed May 7, 2014
Steve Stahle answered:
Wed Apr 9, 2014
Jim Mcintyre answered:
Building or buying what you want is a function of a number of variables, Buying an existing house requires compromise, you probably won't find your "vision" of the perfect home. On the other hand, other than the changes you might want once you've bought it your done. Building a home requires a lot of patience and thought. If you buy a lot with expired permits you will be committing yourself to the vision of someone else. That might be as difficult as finding something already built that works.

So if the idea of building is attractive, design what you want. Getting permits is not that difficult. But you must be willing to commit 1-2 years before you actually move into the house. This number varies depending on the community and the person you hire to obtain approvals.
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Mon Feb 24, 2014
Ali Qureshi answered:
Did you end up buying a land and building a house? would love to hear the experience..
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Mon Feb 24, 2014
Ali Qureshi answered:

Everyone has a budget and a comfort line! I think it is a great strategy to buy a land and build from ground up. You not only input your taste in to the house but also make a great resale value. You are on the right platform, just look for realtors who have land experience. ... more
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Thu Feb 6, 2014
Chris Swim answered:
In answer to Stevens question, which is still relevant - Orinda home burglaries do remain a problem. As mentioned by other posters they are predominately, but not limited to, the exit streets from Highway 24 to the north and south. An example would be St. Stephens exit or the Charles Hill area. The Orinda police have decided to take things a little more seriously as of late and call in the CC Sheriffs department for some back-up. In our opinion, with some simple and obvious precautions, (burglar alarm, always locking doors and cars, etc) we should be able to minimize the risk of being a target. Orinda is a wonderful place to live and we enjoy the benefits that the large metropolitan areas around us provide.. but unfortunately, they also bring some crime with it. ... more
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Wed Jun 5, 2013
Linda Friedman answered:
Generally, there is never a plethora of rentals in Orinda, regardless of the time of year--it just does not have a large base of rental stock. However, as long as one avoids the "dead season"--November through January--it is usually possible to find something. I have found the best resource currently to be for virtually all types of rentals. And now it appears that Trulia is working on increasing the number of rental listings too. A small percentage of rentals is handled through the multiple listing service, and occasionally a very high price rental will be marketed through specific realtors.

Hope this helps!

Linda Friedman, Broker
Village Associates
Direct: 925-258-7114
Cell: 925-899-2336
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Sun Mar 17, 2013
Hector answered:
Orinda is a tiny city, the weather is the same in the whole city, its not as hot as Walnut Creek/Concord but less foggy and warmer that San Francisco. Orinda is a high income area with great schools, one of the best places to live in the country. ... more
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Sun Mar 17, 2013
Mike Linkenauger answered:
Sun Mar 17, 2013
Steven Ornellas answered:
Hi Mike:

(1) Should we expect to see more houses coming on the market during the summer months through fall and winter in this price range?

Looking back 2 years, for 3bed/2bath properties in Orinda, it’s been a little different each year: In 2007, May & July showed the highest availability. In 2008, it was May/Nov/Dec. From 2/07 to 2/09 availability of 3bed/2bath properties in Orinda is up 60% (but this only represents eight listings at the close of 2/08). Current listings stand at 10 for 3+bed/2+bath 650-850K (assumed negotiating down to 800K limit), and 5 for strictly 3bed/2bath.

Please see that provides a "Feb-07 to Feb-09" history for 3bed/2bath/650-850K properties in Orinda covering the following: a) Median Sold Price, b) Sold Properties, c) For Sale Properties, d) Under Contract Properties, e) New Properties Listed, f) Supply/Demand, g) Average Days on Market, h) Months Supply of Inventory.

I need to make a comment regarding the first chart you will see, the Median Sold Price chart. I typically advise Buyers to NOT use Median price reports for making purchase decisions due to the fact a “median” is defined as “the number separating the higher half of a sample from the lower half.” Most Median reports are of questionable usefulness because the sample data it too wide, which can be skewed by segments of market activity not matching your individual “target home.” For example, I’m sure you can appreciate the difference in data quality between an “all home sales in Orinda” versus “all single family 3Bed 2Bath home sales in Orinda”, which has been provided via the link above. However, there is an even more useful tool…

A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) always provides the best representation of market price/activity/trend direction - for the specific property details you search on. For example, we may want to add square footage to the “3/2” search criteria, or even place a requirement that our search only look at homes within a certain radius of a school or other important location. This “maps” your needs with actionable market information. Sure, this will reduce the number of results; however, the data will be truly meaningful, and search criteria can always be changed.

(2) How likely will it be for us to get financing with 10% down payment? (we both have excellent credit scores and I've heard the Obama administration upward adjusted the limits for conforming loans to $725K)

The FHA/Fannie/Freddie limit for Orinda is $729,750

Currently, the lenders are SLOWLY providing pricing for the new “Agency Jumbo” loans, but it’s been at slow pace. With 10% down you will be paying Mortgage Insurance (MI), whether the loan is FHA or non-FHA.

Personally, I would consider a mixed financing strategy of starting with an FHA loan (min down of 3.5%), and then possibly refinancing at a later time. Here's why: if housing trends continue (downward as I suspect they will at least until Q209 and probably longer), the market will evaporate any additional equity you pay in over the 3.5% down. With California's unemployment rate topping 10% and the global economy contracting, cash reserves are important from a financial security perspective these days. This situation will come to pass. When the market improves, and you are able to benefit from market-based equity appreciation, you can pay down the FHA loan balance - or, even better, look to refinance out of the FHA loan into a non-FHA loan product that recognizes market equity in calculating whether MI is required) thus removing the MI cost (see note on FHA's rules as to when mortgage insurance can be removed below). There is some “rate escalation risk” associated with this strategy of refinancing out of the FHA loan and moving out of the FHA loan has to make financial sense; however, since we have saved the 7.5% using the FHA loan upfront (of course you kept this unscathed in an interest bearing account) these dollars can now be employed to buy down the interest rate of any subsequent non-FHA loan product! By the way, FHA refinances (appropriately termed “Streamline refinances”) are easy. Definitely "food for thought..."

I like the FHA option due to all these benefits:
1) 3.5% minimum Downpayment.
2) Up to a 6% Seller Credit allowed for buyer's closing costs and Seller concessions (non-FHA max is 3%).
3) FHA requires that identified safety/health issues be corrected (definite plus in this market).
4) FHA allows up to $8,000 in financed energy efficient upgrades without negatively affecting borrower's debt-to-income ratio.
5) Cash reserves NOT required.
6) Upfront Mortgage Insurance may be financed.
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