Sam, In general condo and town home prices are pretty low through out the Silicon Valley as compared to 2007-2008. They have not come back as much as single family homes have, and some complexes have been hit hard with short sales and foreclosures, tougher lending qualifications, and too many investors which makes getting loans more difficult, and financially unstable HOA's. So, I think the safest units to buy would be those built after 2009 or before 2000. These complexes are the least likely to have owners with bad loans.
The next thing to look at would be high scoring school districts vs lower scoring school districts. If you are getting a 3 bedroom unit then higher scoring school areas are going to give you a better return on your investment. These would be areas like Cambrian with Union or Cambrian schools, parts of Santa Clara, most of Mountain View, Cupertino, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Almaden, most of Campbell, and west San Jose with Moreland or Cupertino schools. If you are buying one or two bedrooms then staying close to a downtown area like Castro Street in Mountain View or Main Street in Los Gatos, or in central Campbell is a great investment. Another area to think about is the eastern part of Sunnyvale. There is tremendous new development going on there which is really increasing the school scores as children of silicon valley engineers and other professional move in. If you do want to look at new construction take a realtor with you the first time you go to make sure you can have your own representation, and check and make sure they allow investors.
DRE 01191194... more
Location, location, location. I think inherently there is nothing wrong with mobile home communities, however they are not considered to be on the same scale as a single family home community. Therefore the mobile homes tends to detract from the value of the single family homes. It does make the homes more affordable, but it also does affect the resale value. If you are considering this because you cannot find a home in your price range, wait a little bit. The inventory is very low as we get closer to the holidays. Once we are past Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, there will be a new crop of inventory to choose from. If you aren't working with a good agent, you should be. The better picks come and go quickly, so a good agent will help you locate, place a srategic offer, and get you into contract. That's what quality Realtors are all about. Consider it.... more
If your main reason for concluding FHA is better than conforming is you get to keep and invest a greater amount, then why not go even further down to a 3.5% down payment instead of 20% down?
With FHA you can put 3.5% or 20% down. But with FHA no matter how much you put down , you have to pay Mortgage Insurance (MI). No matter what, you'll have to pay MI for a minimum 5 years or 78% Loan to Value (LTV) whichever comes later.... more
When you are using any type of financing, and will be buying the home as owner occupied, then you will need to occupy the home within a certain amount of time. FHA & conforming (Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac) all have standard language that you must occupy the home within 60 days of closing.
VA financing (since you are "deployed" and are "Solider Nurse" I figure you may be trying to use a VA mortgage) also requires the veteran to occupy the property within a reasonable time, which VA defines as 60 days. More than 60 days, up to 12 months, can be considered reasonable if you can certify you will occupy the property at a specific date after the loan closing and there is a particular future event that will make that possible (such as you coming home from deployment). Now you do not need to maintain a physical presence at the property on a daily basis, however occupancy â€œas the veteranâ€™s homeâ€ implies that the home is located within reasonable proximity of your employment. If your employment requires your absence from home a substantial amount of time, then you must have a history of continuous residence in the community and there must be no indication that you have established, intends to establish, or may be required to establish, a principal residence elsewhere. Additionally occupancy by the veteran's spouse (but no other family member) can also satisfy the occupancy requirement.
If you are using a VA loan, and feel you meet the above exception that you will be able to occupy the home at a specific date & there is a particular event that'll make that happen, then you may be able to get VA financing. I've helped many veterans buy a home here in the U.S. using VA financing while overseas, if you need help let me know and I'd be happy to offer a 2nd opinion on your situation.... more
Well there's nothing wrong with Arcadia Terrace, but 350K might buy you a small house in some areas of Sunnyvale. Are you set on a condo? Arcadia is set up to have someone above or below you, and therefore has more of a feel of apartment style living. They have a good mix of 2 and 3 bedrooms, and do have garages down below, but it can be a trip to your unit with the groceries. But the units themselves are pretty nice. I'd say location isn't the most prime area, but it's it's own little community, so relatively insulated from the surrounding neighborhood of apartments. I just ran comps under 400K, and it is possible to buy a 3/1 for $350K but you have to be quick, well qualified, and be able to make a decision quickly because they do sell fast. Whatever you decide, wish you best of luck, and if I can help, please contact me. Sheila Benson 30+ years in Real Estate... more
Hello Dojey, Congratulations on your decision to become a homeowner, do you have any specific areas in mind? The most desirable neighborhoods with good schools and parks may not have a lot to choose from in the price range unless you go with a smaller single family home or a larger townhouse. I have worked with many first-timers. If you would like to email me your criteria through my Trulia profile, I will be happy to return you some listings. It is also important that you get preapproved for your mortgage loan if you are not paying cash. A preapproval (not prequalified) letter from your lender will be required to submit with any offers.... more
Exercise! Running up and down 3 flights of stairs every time you come and go will definitely keep you in shape, especially when you are carrying up the groceries and carrying out the trash. You will probably save money, have a quieter environment, and it sounds like a nicer unit. If you don't mind the stairs, go for it, it's cheaper than a stairmaster!... more
Great question. Once that is asked over and over, can I resale. If there was a crystal ball answer for that we would all be rich.
In this market what we need to look at is the market you are looking to buy in. How strong is the market? High rate of defaults? school districts? If the home is desirable, many people will look past items like noise or traffic. for example if the home is in a great school district, buyers will do whatever to get in there. so they may be okay with those issues. What I suggest is get with a Realtor that can work with you on potential investment properties for you factoring in items like school district, location, current market and condition of home. For the most part in the bay area with todays current home prices and interest rates, there isnt a bad investment. If you would like my help, please feel free to contact me.
Intero Real Estate
dre 01730220... more
Rental income in both areas are high. Downtown is hip but your going to pay more in a great location probably with a newer condo near downtown Mountain View. Sunnyvale west does not have a lot of new condos at all. Born, Raised, Live and Work in Sunnyvale I would select Mountain view if the numbers make sense??? I would have to see. A great place to buy right now for future growth is in and around downtown Sunnyvale. Investors are lining up to buy and complete this downtown and when that is done. I would say buy here. Or buy here in Sunnyvale before it is done for maximum return. Contact me without any obligation to run numbers and compare in real time with real numbers. Both a great investment.... more
My advice is absolutely take the 30 year fixed rate and hold onto the house forever. Pay off the mortgage and then it becomes a cash flow asset. That is great if you can cover mortgage, HOA, and taxes with rent. You will be more likely to rent to young professionals than empty nesters who are more often looking for single story homes, and are not a big rental pool since so many own homes.
My experience in negotiating on new construction is that they are much more likely to give you more for credits than they are to lower the price. I am not saying they will never lower the price, but they far prefer to pay for cost rather than change the price so as not to make future homes worth less. Closing costs will be more than 5K. You will need title and escrow costs as well as loan cost. You can ask them to buy down your interest rate instead of lowering the cost. Also, get all the upgrades you can from them like wood floors, air conditioning, better counters and cabinets if not already included. The washer/dryer and fridge are generally not included in the sale so have them put those in as well. You can probably easily spend 15-25K out of pocket to close so you can ask for that instead of a lower purchase price.
The answer is "of course," but only if you're willing to consider townhomes and condominiums as possible forms of housing. At present, we're low on inventory in almost every area of Sunnyvale, so there isn't much available at many different housing ranges. In about one more month, we should (hopefully) see more inventory becoming available as the school year draws to a close, which can also mean more choices and price ranges for you!
Check www.mlslistings.com, the public portal for the MLS or Multiple Listing Service here in Sunnyvale to see what's available. And find yourself a great Realtor who can constantly be looking at homes on your behalf!
Area Pro Realty-People's Choice... more
You can go to crimereports.com to get an update on the crimes in the neighborhood. This is an upcoming area of Sunnyvale, with lots of new construction. In the long run this could prove to be a wise investment. It is a very conveniently located neighborhood. How long do you plan to stay there, resale depends on so many factors.
They built Oak Valley in Cupertino and Vintage Oaks in Menlo Park, both very beautiful, high end single family home develops. In the past they have been very high quality builders.
DRE 01191194... more