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Home Buying in Berkeley Hills : Real Estate Advice

  • All28
  • Local Info2
  • Home Buying9
  • Home Selling0
  • Market Conditions2

Activity 6
Fri Dec 6, 2013
Cindy Davis answered:
Sometimes, the tried and true ways work...when in doubt, go check it out for yourself!
0 votes 8 answers Share Flag
Tue Sep 13, 2011
Bill & Elijah Fletcher answered:
Are you working with an agent? If not you will be better off if you find a good one. If you are paying cash which may be your only option, you don't need an appraisal. If you are financing there aren't many options. Sterling Bank is a possibility but may only be doing SF now. The value of any piece of real estate I determined in the market. Best bet for you is to talk with your agent. I'm sending this from my phone so please excuse the brevity and the typos.
Good luck
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Tue Sep 13, 2011
Kenneth Lee answered:

I've represented many buyers that are in that same situation. They had luck with Craigslist under the sublet section.

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Mon Oct 26, 2009
Steven Ornellas answered:
Hi Db,

Auctions are a different animal all together as compared to other distressed options (Short Sales and REOs). Auctions are a good option; however, strong stomach for mystery and risk is a prerequisite. Also, if you intend to flip a property, you had better have already assembled your “contractor team.” There are two types:

Trustee Sale – When a lender/servicer goes through the process of a non-judicial foreclosure the last step is the Trustee Sale on the County Courthouse steps. The amounts of seasoned investors at these events far outweigh the number of “newbies.” If you are looking for actual Trustee’s Sale auctions, they are published in the local newspaper on a weekly basis under “public notices.” Notices are also typically posted at the entrance of the County Courthouse. "Loans" need not apply: California state law requires liquid funds when your bid is accepted. The Trustee accepts cash or cashier’s checks (and nothing else). Most who do this on an ongoing basis will go to the auction with several denominations of cashier’s checks up to the amount they are willing to pay for the property of interest. Any set cashier's check overage will be returned to you. Condition of the property is a major concern, and you MUST individually perform a high level of due diligence to make sure you do not get stuck with a house that has major problems and existing liens.

Auction Company – Each auction company will have their individual process posted on their website to tell you about deposit requirements and how to view the homes (i.e. ). You have to have a cashiers check for deposit at a public auction. Seasoned bidders will have multiple cashiers checks of different denominations to make up a particular bid of a home. These auctions allow the bank(s) to unload lots of properties faster in this "bid-up" environment. It's really more of a pressure sales environment based on the premise that pitting buyers against each other results in higher selling prices for the sellers. Have a drop-dead figure for each property you bid on and once you reach it “walk away.” Although you do get some time to do inspections, this is really a process for someone who is intimate with eyeing defects and has some level of construction experience allowing them to walk into a house and know what it will cost to place it back into shape. You can pay to have inspections done, but this might cause you to bid up the price of the home during auction time so you don't waste your money paid for the inspections. Really, there's no reason to be in an environment whose sole purpose is bidding-up a property's price in these times.

Best, Steve
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Fri Oct 15, 2010
Eric H. Wong answered:
Berkeley is a very special case with very strict rental laws. Essentially you will only be able to evict if you intend on living in the property or the unit, and even within that there are protected classes like the elderly and the disabled.
You can get help and advice from the Berkeley Property Owner's Association;
They are one of the best resources for land lords in Berkeley.

Good Luck
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Tue Sep 22, 2009
Cameron Platt answered:
There are many fantastic areas to live within a mile or two of the UC Berkeley campus, from North Berkeley to Elmwood to the Gourmet Ghetto to Oakland's Rockridge district.

It would be very helpful to know their preferences for proximity to transportation, shopping, etc. If they want to contact me directly, I can suggest lenders to work with, as well.

Prices will vary by neighborhood, but a 3-bedroom home is likely going to run them at least $650,000 on the low end in a safe neighborhood.

Best regards,
Cameron Platt, JD, CRS
Platt Inc. Real Estate
(510) 708-4137
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