Housing prices in N. CA are outrageous, and climbing fast. House that sold for 189k in my little town 8 months ago are now going for 350k. I can't save money fast enough for a down payment because every time I just about have enough, the market zooms past me. How do people get started in this market - or should I just plan to rent for the rest of my life? "0% down programs" seem outrageously priced at 9% for the first 80% and 12% for the other 20%. Those rates seems ridiculous, but 10K in cash doesn't get me a second look from lenders - despite flawless credit and low monthly bills. Any ideas????
P--I feel your pain. We just bid on a house in Berkeley this weekend that was listed at $325k and which our agent told us went for over $500k. This for a 3 bed, 1 bath house with an out of date kitchen and bath, small back yard, and two houses directly behind the house on the next block that look like crack houses!The sellers bought the place in '95 for $207k according to homepricecheck.com. Guess they've made their life's fortune unless they also happen to be dotcom millionaires. We are boggled and can't fathom how long this type of insanity can go on--can it really be true, that no house will sell for below $500k anymore in the east bay? (the other house we bid on in Oakland, listed for $355k and much nicer also went for over 500.)All I can say is that the decline in tech stocks may be the only thing that can help bring housing prices back down to earth--as this is the fuel to the fire in the N. CA housing market (see an article in the April 3 WSJ that talks about this--pg A1).Hang in there and good luck.
We are boggled and can't fathom how long this type of insanity can go on--can it really be true, that no house will sell for below $500k anymore in the east bay? (the other house we bid on in Oakland, listed for $355k and much nicer also went for over 500.)While my anecdote is probably not helpful to you, there are houses in the East Bay that sell for much less than $500k. A friend of mine bought a house in good condition for $74k last year -- even with incredible appreciation she estimates it's worth, at most, $150k now. The catch, of course, is that her house is in West Oakland. (For the uninitiated, this is a neighborhood suitable for only the more rugged pioneers of urban gentrification.) In the last year, one (rundown) house on her block sold for $21k. No, I didn't forget a zero.In other (much nicer) parts of town, you can still get houses for around $200k-$350k, which is what properties in our neighborhood (South Berkeley/North Oakland) have been selling for over the last few months. I've watched a few friends trying to buy houses set themselves up for heartache, because they only wanted a property in Rockridge or North Berkeley. We'd rather wait until we're more financially comfortable to buy at all. In contrast, some of our new neighbors decided they'd rather try expanding their scope. There are cheaper houses in other neighborhoods.Institution
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