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Old 11-23-2012, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
32 posts, read 44,889 times
Reputation: 15

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I am considering buying a 1-bdr condominium about 2 blocks away from the 19th St Bart station. I realize that "single family homes appreciate more", "it's a lifestyle choice" and "etc"...but do you feel that now is a good time to buy in condo in this area? It seems that there are many positives including the relatively low price and the close proximity to BART. But I'm sure there are negatives too. Thoughts?
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Fremont,CA
137 posts, read 182,391 times
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Given the San Francisco rental market is insanely expensive, and that's spilling over into Oakland, which is increasing property values, I'd say it's probably a good time to buy.
Prices in the Bay Area aren't going to drop further I don't think, and mortgage interest rates can't go much lower. I think Oakland has a good future ahead of it, with more and more people being priced out of San Francisco.
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:56 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
17,271 posts, read 11,842,036 times
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The prices have been going up over the past 3 years. Amenities in Uptown also keep getting better. I think it is a pretty a good choice.
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:07 AM
 
1,015 posts, read 715,960 times
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It's impossible to really tell, but I think it is a good time to buy, yes. Downtown Oakland is the one part of the city that's growing in population, and as jade408 said, there are new amenities all the time. Transit is good, both to San Francisco and within the East Bay. You've got to travel a bit for a full-sized grocery store (there's a Whole Foods about a mile away) but other than that it's good.
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:12 AM
 
Location: OAKLAND CA
263 posts, read 399,730 times
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Great area with way more pluses than minuses. I think you will be happy living there.
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:43 AM
 
1,015 posts, read 715,960 times
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The only caveat would be if you wanted to have kids sometime soon. The Oakland school system is improving in fits and starts, but it's still sort of a spotty school by school situation. In that case, I'd be more cautious.
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
17,271 posts, read 11,842,036 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlite View Post
The only caveat would be if you wanted to have kids sometime soon. The Oakland school system is improving in fits and starts, but it's still sort of a spotty school by school situation. In that case, I'd be more cautious.
There aren't a lot of schools in the immediate area. There is a middle school by the Whole Foods but I have no idea of the rep. If you are having kids in the super near term (like tomorrow) then I'd look into different parts of town that have good elementary schools and middle schools. I have met a few young couples thinking about kids who live there now, but you really have 5 years to worry about the kids.

Currently, the mortgages and rents Uptown are very close right now, so you could definitely break even if you chose to rent out your condo when you got to a different life phase. [Which is what I'd probably recommend]. Or move of course.

Everyone I know who lives in Uptown is pretty happy. You can definitely live a car-free lifestyle, but the groceries are a little far. It isn't quite a 7-day a week area,, but it kees getting better. Sunday mornings are really quiet.
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:27 PM
 
Location: The Bay
6,915 posts, read 6,752,315 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
There aren't a lot of schools in the immediate area. There is a middle school by the Whole Foods but I have no idea of the rep. If you are having kids in the super near term (like tomorrow) then I'd look into different parts of town that have good elementary schools and middle schools. I have met a few young couples thinking about kids who live there now, but you really have 5 years to worry about the kids.

Currently, the mortgages and rents Uptown are very close right now, so you could definitely break even if you chose to rent out your condo when you got to a different life phase. [Which is what I'd probably recommend]. Or move of course.

Everyone I know who lives in Uptown is pretty happy. You can definitely live a car-free lifestyle, but the groceries are a little far. It isn't quite a 7-day a week area,, but it kees getting better. Sunday mornings are really quiet.
There's also OSA (Oakland School For the Arts) next to the Fox Theater and Lincoln Elementary in Chinatown.
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Lafayette, CA
2,518 posts, read 1,742,975 times
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Buying any housing in this market isn't a great idea.

- Low inventory
- Artificially cheap rates
- Multitude of tax laws that will have an effect on the market in 2013.

If you do want to buy, I'd wait until at least the Spring of 2013, or even later in the Fall. The housing market is way too volatile at the moment, and this is one of the biggest purchases of anyone's life.
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
32 posts, read 44,889 times
Reputation: 15
DocGoldstein, hmmm....perhaps you can clarify.
  1. Would you say that buying a house in the entire Bay Area is a bad idea or Oakland specifically?
  2. What are the effects of low inventory? Does this artificially increase the price of homes?
  3. What are the effects of artificially cheap rates? I've been pre-approved for a 3.25% 30-yr mortgate rate so that's good...I think. Are you saying that the artificially cheap rates in turn artificially inrease the price of homes?
  4. Could you tell me more about the tax laws that may affect the market in 2013?
Thanks!
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