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Home Buying in San Bruno : Real Estate Advice

  • All67
  • Local Info3
  • Home Buying31
  • Home Selling5
  • Market Conditions2

Activity 18
Wed Dec 4, 2013
Rick Shaffer answered:
I have seen this request/requirement before and I have also seen where the ender is willing to pay for the second appraisal (it would be worth asking)
0 votes 12 answers Share Flag
Mon Nov 12, 2012
Michael Cheng answered:
Odds are very, very low on a VA loan. If we go from the very top, even all cash buyers have pretty low odds of winning on a property. That's followed by conventional buyers with 50% down. Then, you have the conventional buyers with 5-10% down. If they all fail to win, then you may have a chance. At least you have a decent chance if you're only competing against FHA buyers. ... more
0 votes 9 answers Share Flag
Sun Nov 11, 2012
Was it an FHA or conventional appraisal?
0 votes 4 answers Share Flag
Tue May 1, 2012
Lee Ginsburg answered:
Crestmoor 1, 2 and 3 are the most desirable areas in San Bruno. The weather is good, schools are good. Close to transportation and shopping. It is not in the direct flight path. HOmes are well kept.
Weather in the Crestmoor area of San Bruno is much different than in the Westlake area of Daly City.
Please let me know if you would to see some Crestmoor Homes. My number is toll free at 877-Lee-Sells.
Good Luck
... more
0 votes 2 answers Share Flag
Sat Nov 10, 2012
Laura Coffey answered:
It means they have a contract, have opened escrow, and are not taking back up offers.
0 votes 6 answers Share Flag
Mon Apr 30, 2012
Femarie V. Tapper answered:
Hi VPBC2008.

I'm not sure if they are highter. The homes that were built in the Skyline Plaza off of San Bruno Ave were just as expensive and I don't think they were built as well.

Other than that, my husband and I have a listing that is coming on the market on Thursday at 107 Alden Ct. It's one of the homes at Merimont. Go to and take a virtual tour. It will be listed for $828,888. As far as location, it's probably one of the best because there is no neighbor behind it, or on one side of it and no house in front of it. Lots of privacy. It has a landscaped yard and highend curtains that the others do not have. It's 2100 Sq Ft.

It will be open this Sunday. If you would like to see it sooner, please let me know.


Femarie and David Tapper
... more
0 votes 6 answers Share Flag
Mon Sep 6, 2010
Anna M Brocco answered:
If looking at RealtyTrac ads--keep in mind that RealtyTrac's information may not always be accurate and oftentimes misleading--you could be looking at a lis pendens property--notice of default--or some kind of filing fee--some of those properties may not be for sale yet, and some may never be, if the default is satisfied by the owner. If you are interested in pre- foreclosures, work with an agent--he/she will have access to reliable information--also don't overlook traditional sales as some may turn out to be a much better bargain than some of the pre-foreclosure properties. ... more
0 votes 2 answers Share Flag
Fri Jul 23, 2010
Christopher Pohlman answered:
Hi Salina,

Of my clients who have purchased in San Bruno, the majority have found the Rollingwood and Claremont Areas of San Bruno the most desirable. These are West of 280 between the highway and 35. Many question this location because the notoriety of 35 with the fog but for the most part, the weather is comperable to the areas Millbrae adjacent.. While these are a bit north of your target area, the homes tend to be larger with very nice lots, and of course Rollingwood School nearby. The prices trend slightly higher but these areas have been holding value recently because of those reasons and the easy access to 280 for business commute.

Let me know if I can answer any additional questions for you!

Christopher Pohlman
DRE #01838445
1.888.669.8881 Toll Free
650.288.9033 Cell
... more
0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
Tue May 18, 2010
Don Tepper answered:
Your concern is legitimate. And, in fact, that's occurring quite often.

Let's look at a simple example. Assume that a condo complex has 100 units. And assume that a few years ago, the condo fee was $100 per unit. That fee was enough to cover the maintenance, the management, and contributions to the reserve funds. So the condo complex had a balanced budget of $10,000 a month (100 units @ $100 each).

We'll assume there's no inflation. The costs have remained at $10,000 per month for the last few years.

However, let's assume that 20 of the units are no longer paying their HOA fees. In some cases, the owners have abandoned their properties. In other cases, they just can't afford to pay.

So, only 80 unit owners are paying their condo fees. That means that while the condo's costs are running $10,000 a month, it's only bringing in $8,000 a month (80 units @ $100). That situation is not sustainable. It'll soon run out of money. So it will raise the condo fees to $125 a month in order to bring in the needed $10,000.

As I say, that's happening a lot.

So, what do you do? First, you'll want to inspect the financials of a condo before buying in one. I don't know about your area, but where I am there's a requirement that the condo documents be provided to the potential buyer for his/her review, and the buyer can terminate the offer if the documents aren't acceptable. With the concern you laid out, you want to see what the condo's expenses and income are. You want to see how many and what percent of the condos are current on their condo fees. You want to make sure the condo still has reasonable reserves. Your Realtor can help you with all that.

There's also an issue when the percentage of units unoccupied or rented out exceeds some number. (I don't know what that is.) In those cases, it can become difficult or impossible to get financing to buy. The lenders are concerned about exactly the same thing you are: The long-term stability of the condo complex.

I don't know the San Bruno area. However, we do have areas like that around Northern Virginia. But the test for how desirable an area is--commuter-wise, areas of employment, etc.--is to look at foreclosures and occupancy rates. There are some areas in Northern Virginia that have barely been touched by the real estate downturn. And those are areas with easy commutes and good local employment. There are other areas that have been hard hit. Those typically are areas farther out and areas that really had over-inflated prices during the bubble. Those areas will recover, too, but it'll take awhile. A good local Realtor can tell you what the effect has been on San Bruno.

So, hopefully that's some frank, honest commentary. Your concerns are legitimate. You have to investigate the particular geographic areas and even the specific condo complexes to determine how much you really have to be concerned about.

Hope that helps.
... more
0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Sat Dec 12, 2009
The Laugesen Team answered:
Dear Chowdowfoo,

Very simple process, first you need a pre approval letter from a qualified lender, verification of funds, approximate purchase price so one can locate a property for you, and another thought, don't just limit yourself to a foreclosed home, there are some great buys out there. How do you feel about purchasing a short sale, (a property where the loan amount is higher than the value) the process is longer, and sometimes in the end you don't end of with the property, however in San Bruno there are a few of those on the market right now.

You will want to work with a seasoned agent who can quide you thru the process. Last final thing you need is patience, with everything in life that is good, one needs to be patient.

Good luck to you and if you are not currently working with a seasoned and successful agent, please feel free to contact me. I would love to move you into your next home.

Happy Holidays!

denise laugesen
#! Producing Agent
Cashin Company
Direct: 650-403-6225
Cell: 650-465-5742
... more
0 votes 4 answers Share Flag
Tue Nov 10, 2009
Fiona Santos answered:
Hi Kelly,

Your budget may be a little too low for that area. I searched for that price range on the MLS and there are none. The cheapest active listing in San Bruno is listed at $344,900 and that's an REO. For the neighboring cities, the cheapest is in Daly City for $299,000. If you're really set on that price, you have to consider looking a little farther such as Redwood City - the cheapest is at $217,000 or the east bay if you don't mind crossing the bridge.

If you're not working with a realtor, please let me know if I can assist you.

Fiona Santos
(415) 513-8876
... more
0 votes 7 answers Share Flag
Mon Oct 19, 2009
The Laugesen Team answered:
Dear Posi Guy

when buying a foreclosure you would want an agent that is experienced in this area, as it is a time consumming project and reguires patience and experience. Also you would want the ability to inspect the property, as many foreclosed homes reguire work, lots of times the previous owners have removed appliances, bathroom fixtures, light fixtures etc..... Also most important, have loan approval and be ready to go. these banks will not carry the financing. If you have any further questions, feel free to give me a call or if you are not working with an real estate agent, I would love to represent you in this transaction.

Good Luck
Denise Laugesen

Cashin Company
# l Producing Agent
direct line: 650-403-6225
Web :
... more
0 votes 5 answers Share Flag
Sun Jan 13, 2013
David Tapper answered:
Hi Richard, you are correct. For years, a lot of buyer chose S.C. because they could get in with little or no down payment. They were also great buys for first time home owners and some elderly.

Over the years there have been assessments to improve the building, but there are no "problems" that I know of.

You will always have a pretty large turnover whether the market is doing well or not because there are so many units there.

Ask yourself this question, what esle can you buy for the same amount of money? Although it get's a bit cold, it's very nice with multiple pools, tennis, and rec room.

If I was buying one, I would prefer to get in buildings 4 and up to stay away from the noise from 280.


Dave Tapper
Cashin Company
... more
0 votes 9 answers Share Flag
Mon Apr 20, 2009
April Tavares answered:
Hi Peter,

I think everyone needs to take a balanced approach and take stock of their own situtation. The media swings both ways and often leans towards dwelling on the negative as it usually sells better.

Take a look at this article printed in the San Jose Mercury news just two weeks ago, March 31, 2009.

The headline reads: Tech offers relative job security, statistics show. Here is an excerpt:

"Despite layoffs at tech stalwarts like Google, IBM, Microsoft and Electronic Arts, the impact of the recession on the tech industry is likely to be far less severe than on other areas of the economy, recent labor statistics suggest.

That's good news for California, which has close to 1 million high-tech jobs, according to TechAmerica, an industry lobbying group that is releasing a report today on the high-tech economy.

Last year, as the recession took hold, the tech industry as a whole added 77,000 new jobs, while the private sector as a whole lost about 800,000 jobs, according to the Cyberstates 2009 report.

Gains in the software industry alone, which added 86,200 new jobs, more than made up for job losses in manufacturing and communications, which together cut 36,000 jobs. Indeed, even in the fourth quarter, when pink slips were handed out around the country, 12,600 new jobs in software opened up, according to the Cyberstates 2009 report."

All the best,
... more
0 votes 4 answers Share Flag
Mon May 4, 2009
Patti Phillips answered:
John, technically in California if the same company or broker has the listing it is "dual agency", however, in many cases the listing agent may not even know the buyer's agent- so it is really not a problem. If you like the agent, and feel confident in her/him I would suggest making them your agent.

Patti Phillips
"Advice You Need, Attention You Deserve"
... more
0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
Fri Jan 16, 2009
Harold 'Mac' Mccarthy answered:
West side San Bruno, means its west of El Camino and as a general rule for the peninsula west of El Camino is always considered the nicer part of town. This is also the case in San Mateo, Millbrae, San Carlos and Belmont. West of El Camino generally has better schools and higher values. If your looking to buy or sell in west side San Bruno, I would contact Dave Tapper 415-370-7195. He's been a top agent in San Bruno for years. He also lives on the west side of San Bruno and can shed more light on the area. ... more
0 votes 2 answers Share Flag
Tue Aug 19, 2008
Cristina Weglinski answered:
There are some preforeclosure houses in SSF and San Bruno area. Ican send you some listings so you can check the prices, # of BR's and the status of the house.
0 votes 6 answers Share Flag
Fri Oct 16, 2009
Jon answered:
Eric at Home 'N Spec ( 650-342-3710. Very experienced, thorough and accommodating!
0 votes 4 answers Share Flag
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