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Archive for the ‘Condos’ Category

 According to current data two thirds of Millennials (born 1981-2000) say living in a walkable community is important, and they will pay more for what I call “the latte factor!” . In fact, the overall trend with all age groups in the EastBay is a preference for the car-free lifestyle . Walkable neighborhoods provide a desirable quality of life and data suggest that residents of these neighborhoods are happier, healthier and more likely to volunteer in their communities.

I recently worked with two different buyers who were looking to purchase in an urban area with good walkability. One buyer purchased a super 2 bedroom condo in the Rockridge area of Oakland; it’s a reasonable walk to Rockridge BART and all the amenities of College Avenue.

5335 Broadway Terrace Rockridge; entry

The second buyer was downsizing from a house in San Francisco, and looked for several months at quieter neighborhoods in Berkeley. Eventually my client realized the sleepy streets were not for him, and he still needed that urban vibe! He purchased a home on a busier Berkeley street , close to Whole Foods and the Elmwood shopping area.

Both buyers prioritized access to transport and resources.

2948 Florence St. Berkeley

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Condo Update!

We’re fortunate to live in an area where we have quite a wide variety of housing choices.
One option particularly attractive for first time buyers and move down buyers is the condo.
Condos run the gamut from large apartment like buildings, loft like units in warehouses, converted 4-plexes, and newer smaller buildings.
There are also houses which are technically condos due to zoning requirements. These come on the market reasonably frequently in Berkeley, and occasionally in Oakland. They are often a great option for buyers who want a house, at a small discount!

Sadly, this week we saw the end of spot approval for FHA loans on condos.
In order for buyers to obtain an FHA loan on a unit, the building will have to be on a list of FHA approved properties.
Since many first time buyers have less than 20% down, this will eliminate condos as an option for many of these buyers.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. It could mean some buildings will hold their value better than others. It may also mean opportunity for condo buyers with the 20% down, in buildings which are not FHA approved.

For buyers looking at condos, it would be a good idea to make sure you and your agent know which ones are FHA approved!

I’m always happy to answer any real estate related questions, and truly appreciate your referrals!

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