What to know about the East Bay real estate market
For many, owning a home can be a lifelong dream come true, and for good reason. The ability to buy a home is a huge accomplishment that should be celebrated; however, purchasing property can also be intimidating, and it is important to understand both the home-buying process and the community you’ll be joining before you buy. Every market has its intricacies, and we have your guide to what you should know before buying in the East Bay
What You Want and Need
In addition to deciding when to look, it is also important to know what you want to look for before you begin the buying process. Real estate in the East Bay
is varied and provides options in many shapes, sizes, styles, and price points. There is a wide range of beautiful homes for every budget and taste, which can quickly become overwhelming, so narrowing your search by deciding on an ideal price, the number of rooms you need, the kind of layout you like, and what you’re looking for in a community can help make the process that much more manageable.
In recent years, the East Bay has become a seller’s market thanks to its popularity as a San Francisco suburb as well as its desirable real estate offerings. With such high demand, sellers hold an advantage since they often have multiple buyers interested in their property, affording them the opportunity to engage in a bidding war and drive the price above listing. At certain times of the year, this trend is stronger, particularly in the summer months. In general, houses that enter a contract in the East Bay tend to have a lower median price in January and February, so that may be the best time to buy.
Timing Isn’t Everything
While market fluctuations at certain times of the year may help you strike a better deal, don’t let a market graph or price tag fool you. Low numbers on a chart or listing price may be due to properties being less desirable or priced with the intention of attracting bidders to drive up the price, so be sure to investigate, visit, and thoroughly vet each property you visit no matter the listing price. You may be paying less, but you also run the risk of getting less or ending up with a property in need of expensive repairs and improvements.
Culture and Community
Finding your dream home is often about more than just the property. It usually involves the perfect combination of neighborhood feel, accessibility to desirable amenities, commuting distance, nearby local schools, and more. The East Bay is full of many different cities and neighborhoods, from Oakland
, that all have different things to offer. Therefore, it is important to do your research and explore different areas that will provide what you’re looking for in a community and home.
Check Comps in the Area
Enlisting a real estate professional is key in your East Bay real estate search, but it is also important to educate yourself and check out comparable properties in the area you are looking in. While each home will be individually priced, buyers—especially those looking for the first time—should explore what other nearby and similarly-sized homes sold for to get a better valuation on an offer price. This research will only add to your understanding of your target neighborhood and the home-buying process overall.