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Home Buying in 94611 : Real Estate Advice

  • All43
  • Local Info7
  • Home Buying16
  • Home Selling7
  • Market Conditions1

Activity 300
Tue Nov 5, 2013
Jackie Care answered:
I would recommend speaking with a mortgage broker and going over the various costs associated with buying a home. It's risky to be responsible for owning a home when you have very little financial reserves and equity even if its possible to buy with very little down. You may want to put together a plan to purchase and what you need to do to get there even if its not right away. ... more
0 votes 20 answers Share Flag
Fri Nov 14, 2014
Don Tepper answered:
No, though a lawyer can be useful.

In some areas of the country (as I understand it, the New York metro area, for instance), lawyers are almost always involved in the process. In other areas of the country, they very rarely are. If you feel more comfortable having a lawyer review the documents, by all means do so. And if there's anything particularly odd or unusual about the transaction, you definitely should.

Hope that helps.
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0 votes 7 answers Share Flag
Thu Apr 11, 2013
Ron Thomas answered:
Well, it's been Ok for 80 years.
And it's "Grandfathered" in.
You might want to a historical expert before you do anything; maybe This Old House would be interested, or HGTV.
0 votes 7 answers Share Flag
Mon Apr 8, 2013
Jackie Care answered:
The market is going up so many sellers are listing based on old data and buyers currently feel they need to overbid as thats been the trend in competition in a rising market. If a seller prices at a higher (maybe market) price then they may not get interest as buyers expect to have to bid more.
If it was a very recent sale in the same building then those are often the best indicator of potential value, and this is one factor
an appraiser would look at. We dont have a large amount of this type of housing in the east bay. Do make sure you qualify for this type of purchase, I believe it is probably based on income. I've heard of some fallout recently. Your buyers agent and your lender should be able to guide you.
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Fri Apr 5, 2013
Deborah Miller answered:
M2aj - I am in the NC Market, but I have had appraisers for a FHA loan require flooring be repaired, windows be painted (and I even painted the exterior of the windows) to get this completed myself. I have even had them state that the toilet tank lid needed replacing. Typically here a FHA loan may only have 3.5% down on the home making it have a larger loan and they will be stricter with that property than one that is conventional with more equity in the home. Even though you are in California I imagine you will have similar experiences. I would not overly worry, Generally your buyer's agent and the seller's agent are going to work toward getting what is required when possible so that the lender will fund the loan so that the sale will go forward for their clients. I hope this is helpful.

Deborah Rigsbee Miller, Real Estate Broker
Coldwell Banker
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0 votes 14 answers Share Flag
Tue Apr 2, 2013
Keith Jean-Pierre answered:
The most important factor is your mental state. Are YOU ready to purchase? If you are ready, I would suggest calculating the mortgage payment you are comfortable with. There are many different mortgage calculators, a quick search in Google or Bing will pop this up for you. After you determine that, you should speak with a mortgage representative to determine what you are qualified for. Once you do this, you can select an agent and get the process started. Let me know if you have any other questions. ... more
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Thu Mar 28, 2013
Simon Campbell answered:
The City of Oakland does allow rent increases above and beyond the CPI allowance. I checked on their site and this is what it says:

"The justifications that will establish rental increases above the current CPI limits are:

capital improvement costs
increased operating and maintenance costs
allowable annual rent increases not given to tenants in prior years ("banking")
mortgage costs
repair costs for casualty losses not covered by insurance
fair rate of return on investment for owners (as provided for under California law)"
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0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
Fri Feb 22, 2013
Gina Odom answered:
Hi soon to be landlord,

Below are a few links that should help you answer some questions regarding tenant-law. If you want to use a screening company to help you determine tenant credibility then I suggest using Saferent or a similar company. Or, if you want to save some money and screen yourself then you can just ask the potential tenant to submit a current credit report plus credit score with their application. Be careful and make sure you do your due diligence about being a landlord in Oakland. Tenants are typically favored and you want to make sure you do everything by book! If you don't want to take on the liability I would hire a reputable property management company. Good luck!
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Tue Feb 12, 2013
Joy Anna Mercedes answered:
I have a great contractor you can talk to. 510-502-7811

Sounds like a great idea. Do these rooms have closets or windows?
0 votes 6 answers Share Flag
Sat Feb 9, 2013
Tracy Butler answered:
Hi Beatrice, 6890 Gunn Drive in Oakland is open this Sunday, 1-5pm. List price is $1,185,000, 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 3115 sq. ft. If you'd like I can send you the listing of Sunday Opens that is provided to me each week, I'd just need your email to send it. Either way, good luck, the Montclair/Oakland Hills area is a great place to live!
-Tracy Butler
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0 votes 2 answers Share Flag
Wed Jun 25, 2014
Eric H. Wong answered:
Oakland's sewer lateral ordinance has been around for almost a year now. Either your agent or the title company should have warned you that you would need either an EBMUD certificate of compliance, or a sewer line inspection in order to close escrow.

Since it is a point of sale ordinance, this may count as a new material disclosure about the property, giving you the right to renegotiate the price of the home, or the terms of closing or even possibly, canceling the contract. You may want to try to get advice from your agent's broker, since, clearly, your agent has made a serious over sight.

If your sewer line does need to be replaced, there is also the mater of the EBMUD $4500 bond.

This may give you some answers;
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0 votes 12 answers Share Flag
Thu Feb 7, 2013
Claire Wills answered:
I definitely would, I would also recommend finding a qualified agent on Trulia that is around your area that could work for you on your behalf. I'm sorry you're dealing with such a headache. Let me know if I can help you with anything.

Claire Wills
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0 votes 12 answers Share Flag
Tue Feb 5, 2013
John Souerbry answered:
The biggest consideration is whether or not your investment numbers still work for you after you spend $10k (or more) on the roof. I'd ask for the complete cost of the roof as a credit, not just $3k.
Another huge consideration is if your lender (if you're not buying cash) will allow escrow to close with the current roof in place. If not, either the seller has to replace the roof or you'll end up having to do it. The risk is that if you spend money on the house and escrow doesn't close, you may have a heck of a time getting back what you spent on the roof.
If the seller won't discount the sales price by the cost of the roof or replace the roof himself, I'd seriously re-consider if I want such a deal.
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0 votes 8 answers Share Flag
Thu Oct 24, 2013
Laura Coffey answered:
First of all you are banking on the listing agent being experienced and putting together a solid package. If one document is missing the package goes to the bottom of the pile. The bank will never call and say they are missing something it's up to the agent.
Second of all the negotiators are mostly paper pushers with no idea what they are doing but getting all the packages and going over what they think the investor will sign off on. Each negotiator has hundreds to thousands of files they have in their own.
Once you get approval from one you have to get the other to agree. This all takes time because the subprime lenders seemed to have the files are all the same. If one of the lien holders is ING I would walk now if you don't have patience that lender is nightmare that takes months.
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0 votes 13 answers Share Flag
Wed Dec 5, 2012
Jodi Selene answered:
Transit score is part of a walk score, which is a wonderful tool for determining where a property is from vital services and places of interest, such as transit, libraries, cafes, stores, etc. For example, Berkeley - - is a very walkable city. San Francisco is the 2nd most walkable city in the U.S. And, yes, in our areas rail would be both BART and Amtrak.
Just go to and put in the address of the place you're interested in and you will see businesses pop up and score tabulated.
You can also google the address you're interested in and click on "get directions" and then write in the BART station. You will get the distance and most direct route.
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Tue Nov 27, 2012
Jackie Care answered:
You should check with your lender on all these questions. I'd suggest also speaking with your tax person/accountant on the second question, it may be a combination but probably depends.
In addition, Oakland has rent control and measure EE and a business tax and license required for
rental property. I don't know quite how renting out rooms is treated but I would highly recommend researching all these aspects so you go in with your eyes open and know where you stand legally!
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0 votes 6 answers Share Flag
Fri Nov 30, 2012
Ron Thomas answered:
You are looking at a Pandora's Box:
Foreclosed houses are sold at TRUSTEE SALES, which is also referred to as the Courthouse Steps. Usually, you can preview these houses with the help of a Realtor. They will be sold for CASH only! The will have gone through Foreclosure, so they should have all the LIENS taken care of; but not always, and you won't know until later.
The alternative is AUCTIONS which are handled by a private Auction company: These may let you arrange financing instead of CASH, but you probably won't be able to conduct Inspections, use any Contingencies, or protect yourself. These are the homes that they show on HGTV where the guys buy them, sight-unseen, and then open them up to find all the damage and problems inside.
And then there is the problem on the occupants; if the have a LEASE, then you cannot evict them until the lease is up.

You can do either, but both are real big Caviat Emptor!
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Fri Nov 9, 2012
Fred Shelton answered:
Visit As long as he can show stable income, they will be able to qualify him for a loan.
0 votes 2 answers Share Flag
Mon Apr 25, 2016
Eric H. Wong answered:
Earthquake insurance can double the cost of your home insurance, and the deductible is huge. Before you take the plunge, I would have a reputable earthquake retro fitter take a look at your house and see if any more strengthening can be done to make your home more quake resistant.

Money spent here may be more useful than money spent on insurance. Once you have done this, plus stocked up on emergency food, water, first aid kit and batteries, then you can look at insurance.
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