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Home Buying in Contra Costa County : Real Estate Advice

  • All65
  • Local Info5
  • Home Buying37
  • Home Selling3
  • Market Conditions1

Activity 1,288
Wed Apr 17, 2013
Edward asked:
We are looking for homes that are "Move In Ready", some that need rehabbin. We are searching for 3 bed/1-2 bath, all systems
0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Tue Sep 22, 2015
Suzanne Looker answered:
Hi Lighthouse,

All of those are good questions to consider when purchasing a 'fixer'. Yes, your contingency period would allow you to do all your inspections and due diligence before your deposit is at risk. There is a lab in Berkeley where you can have the asbestos tested.

I advise you align yourself with a realtor and use their expertise to guide you through the whole process. It can get complicated when you are dealing with multiple issues in a remodel. For instance, you will need to make sure your architectural plans can be executed by a licensed contractor. We have lots of referral partners for you to check with.

Your realtor will show you comps that support a price appropriate for the condition of the home. We are in a highly competitive market and the assistance of a knowlegable realtor is essential to navigate through it.

I work the area and would be happy to assist you.

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0 votes 10 answers Share Flag
Wed Nov 25, 2015
Steven Ornellas answered:
Hi parnett30,

In January of this year I attended a Bay East Association of Realtors® "Housing Opportunities" round table event concentrating on Credit Repair and counseling.

The major takeaway: NEVER pay for credit repair!

Quite frankly, anything a "credit repair" company can do you can do yourself. Understand there are no quick fixes and the length of time to get your credit back into shape will likely be at least a year (depending on what issues you actually have).

One of the leading non-profit credit counseling companies in the US is National Budget Planners, which you can check out at

I would encourage you contact them today and get started with their FREE Budget and Credit Counseling

... more
0 votes 8 answers Share Flag
Thu Jul 11, 2013
Cassandra M. Bickel answered:
If you are going to get pre approved elsewhere, do it all within a 1-2 day window as each inquiry spaced out will ding your credit. If you are borderline on your scores, this could make the difference of getting a loan or not.

But I always recommend to my clients to get at least 2-3 quotes from reputable sources. And make sure that the lender (And REALTOR) you use is responsive and answers your questions. If they are dismissive to your concerns/questions it might not be a good fit.

Good luck and congrats.

Cassandra Bickel, REALTOR
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0 votes 14 answers Share Flag
Sun Sep 15, 2013
John Corten answered:
It depends on the size and location of the unit but generally speaking they are anywhere from about $275-360 per month. Right now it's a bit tricky to purchase there because of pending litigation but feel free to contact me for more information.

John Corten
Better Homes and Gardens | Mason-McDuffie Real Estate
2095 Rose Street, Suite 100
Berkeley, CA 94709
DRE # 01902004
efax 510.288.1399
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0 votes 4 answers Share Flag
Sun Apr 7, 2013
Chris Soukoulis answered:
Living in Discovery Bay is Awesome and looking at the water is even nicer ! The only downside I can think of is it gets a little hot in the summer. Lake homes are starting in the 400's and delta access homes are starting in the 500's these are todays prices , Once in a while you may find one a bit lower but there will be so many offers it will drive the price back up. Please visit my website at and have a look and dont hesitate calling me with any questions


Chris Soukoulis
Intero National Top Five Buyers
Agent and Top 10% Sales Volume

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0 votes 2 answers Share Flag
Mon Apr 22, 2013
Anna M Brocco answered:
The question is subjective, therefore consider a visit to the school, spaek to the superintendent, teachers, principal, etc., then determine if your comfort level can be reached; for school information see links below.
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0 votes 6 answers Share Flag
Sun Aug 25, 2013
Melissa Mccollum answered:
Those are really good places, you can also go through a mortgage broker that can place you with a bank that fits your needs as well. Your realtor should be able to help you with that! Have a great day! ... more
0 votes 20 answers Share Flag
Thu Apr 4, 2013
Pacita Dimacali answered:
BART may be the way to go to get to and fro the cities you mention.

Here's a link to the BART station maps showing which line stops/connects where

I won't even think of traffic as "bad" here. The only traffic I encounter is through the CAldecott Tunnel if one is driving -- and the BART riders are probably laughing at us when it swooshes by. the Berkeley/Albany where I-580 and I-880 merge -- again, when driving.
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0 votes 4 answers Share Flag
Thu May 22, 2014
Suzanne MacDowell answered:
Should be. Looks like you've improved your credit score. I think three years is if the house goes to foreclosure. I would advise talking to a local mortgage banker, someone who specializes in writing mortgages, to get their opinion and advice, but I think you will be fine. ... more
0 votes 11 answers Share Flag
Thu Apr 4, 2013
Dana Green answered:
I have created videos of the four quadrants of Lafayette on my website at The Burton Valley video shares why this cup-of-sugar neighborhood is so loved! I also recently posted a blog on the trails of Burton Valley too. I was born and raised in Lafayette and went to the original Burton School! Please call or email with any questions you may have -- 925.339.1918 and ... more
0 votes 4 answers Share Flag
Wed Apr 24, 2013
The Hagley Group answered:
I am happy to help you. Send an e-mail to and I'll send you a buyer's guide. My team is also happy to assist you. You will have 3 of us working on your behalf!
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0 votes 12 answers Share Flag
Sun Mar 31, 2013
John Walin answered:
tract house is $125-150/sqft and custom is $150-300/sqft
0 votes 2 answers Share Flag
Sun Apr 7, 2013
Bernard Gibbons answered:
Danville, in general, has a higher price per square foot than San Ramon and that will probably continue to be the case. East side San Ramon, that is Gale Ranch and Windemere are extremely sought after areas though. The prices here are undoubtedly driven by the high API scores in the Dougherty Valley schools.

Overall, I would expect both of these areas to be good investments over a long period and it would be impossible to predict which one would give the better return. A lot may depend on the individual home, proximity to busy roads, power lines etc.
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0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
Thu Apr 11, 2013
Sue Smith answered:
Hi Nathan
I recently have been helping buyers look in both areas and both my clients and I felt that Alamo Creek offered a better value. Alamo Creek is the only new construction in Danville and is a very desirable area. They have been building at a slower pace and have the school and pool right in their neighborhood.
Please call or email me for further information.
Sue Smith
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0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Thu Jul 24, 2014
Walter 'Skip' Kersten answered:
Gary there is a shortage of homes for sale all over Southern CA. Homes are selling very quickly.
Good luck,
0 votes 4 answers Share Flag
Fri Mar 29, 2013
The Medford Team answered:
How do you categorize "better"?

If you are looking for the absolute best API score:

California High – 891
Dougherty Valley High – 937
Dublin High – 880

If you want to see comments from parents to get their impressions:

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0 votes 4 answers Share Flag
Wed Mar 27, 2013
Dan Craddock answered:
Jack, I live in Portofino in Brentwood which is the same builder. We love it here. The purchase process was something to get used to. The Lexington Park homes are selling fast as is Portofino so I would recommend that you make up your mind quickly as prices are going up. If you don't have a Realtor already, I would be happy to assist you in a purchase of new construction as I have been through the process and can guide you along the way. Call me at 925-336-4938 and I'll be glad to answer any questions. Remember, that before you sign up at a new subdivision, make sure that you have your Realtor with you or you will lose the right to be represented. You can also check out a blog on my website regarding purchasing new construction. ... more
0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Mon May 8, 2017
Michael Ertem answered:
Wed Mar 27, 2013
Marge Bennett answered:
I think you should talk with either the tilte company who is handling the closing or better, a real estate attorney.
0 votes 7 answers Share Flag
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