No. of Recommendations: 0
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.


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