Thursday, October 18, 2007

My house search

San Francisco Bay Area is probably one of the hardest places to look for a home, especially if you’re looking to live in an area that is close to work. Most companies in the Bay Area are located in San Francisco, parts of the peninsula, and Santa Clara to north San Jose. Unfortunately, this is also where there is almost no new open land for construction.

I have been looking for a home to purchase for a while – mainly concentrating in areas such as Belmont, San Carlos, Redwood City, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, and Mountain View. Palo Alto is definitely a reach for me. 2 bedroom condos in downtown Palo Alto costs upwards of $1.4M. New construction near San Antonio starts at $900K.

What I have noticed is that the Bay Area peninsula has some pretty niche communities. Palo Alto homes start from $1M and goes upwards to $10M plus, while East Palo Alto next door is having trouble selling their brand new 4 bedroom homes at $700K. Of course, most of us who grew up here also know that East Palo Alto is a very dangerous place. Yes, the city is a far cry from when I was a kid – but it is still dangerous and will take a lot of investment and work to clean up the “trash” and make the community better.

The inside joke has always been the only national franchise that has consistently stayed open in East Palo Alto is McDonalds – and that’s because they’re located next door to the police station.

Overall, it looks like in general most of the Bay Area is insulated from the current mortgage crisis. I have heard of fire sales of brand new construction in Sacramento, yet people are still bidding over ask in areas such as Palo Alto and Cupertino.

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