In just a few years Oakland, San Leandro and other East Bay homes have become affordable to many first time home buyers. The median price of Bay Area homes has continued to drop from $720,000 in the spring of 2007 to the current $295,000 median price of homes sold in Feb 2008.  The majority of these homes have been REOs(bank owned) and short sale (pre- foreclosure) listings but these have also brought down the price of surrounding owner occupied homes as well. Additional changes in lending practices and the $8000 federal tax credit have also stimulated buying in many neighborhoods. Maxwell Park, Laurel, and Dimond neighborhoods have seen plenty of buyers looking to get into these areas.  Some houses are selling for over $200,000 less than they were just 2-3 years ago when prices were in the low to high $500,000. The houses haven't changed much, if anything, the owners improved upon the houses with updated kitchens and baths and other upgrades.
Multiple offers, some over asking, are becoming common on well-kept homes in these neighborhoods so a solid offer is critical to acceptance. All-Cash offers and no contingencies offers have become standard for many of the more desirable homes. It is not uncommon for investors and hopeful families to bid up a low priced home, a few homes in the low $100,000 have had over 15 offers in just a few days. Condos have also become very popular with first-time buyers because of the opportunity to live in a better neighborhood than a house would allow.
Posted by Bruce Wagg on
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