San Ramon, with its outstanding schools and community services, has become a magnet for young families looking to buy their first home.
But a challenge for many of them is their ability to afford one in our wonderful – but expensive – community.
Here is a quick look some of the most affordable homes and townhouses in San Ramon.
The least expensive house (not a townhome or condo) in San Ramon at this moment (the market is in constant flux so this will change at any time) is listed at $439,000. It is a 1,330-square-foot single story home with three bedrooms and two full bathrooms.
The next affordable home is listed at $444,999. It, too, has three bedrooms and two full bathrooms and has about 1,382 square feet of living space, not including the garage. The latter of these homes lies on a court – a desirable location.
But it should be noted, both of them are also “short sales," meaning that the owner cannot cover the amount of the mortgage with the proceeds from the sale.
Consequently, and this is important to keep in mind, the owner does not have a strong financial interest in getting the highest possible price for their home. All of the proceeds, such as they are, will go to the bank.
Because of this lack of a financial incentive to maximize the selling price, these “short sale” homes are usually listed at or below market. Many times these homes will sell for “below” market price.
Buyers, who are always looking to make a great deal, must enter into these contracts and escrows with no expectations on the final sales price (the banks may re-negotiate the price if they feel it is too low) or how long it might take to close (usually three to six months).
A review of the San Ramon real estate market shows that the seven least expensive detached single family homes for sale are all short sales or foreclosures.
The least expensive “normal” home is listed at $499,000.
If a buyer cannot afford a single family home, then there are townhomes and condos. The least expensive three-bedroom, two-bathroom townhomes or condos start at just $166,650.
It should be noted, however, that townhomes and condos have homeowner association dues, ranging from about $150 to $300 a month. These dues cover the maintenance of the exterior of the home, the grounds, community pools and insurance.
This $166,650 townhome has 1,317 square feet of living space. In fact, there are six three-bedroom, two-bathroom condos/townhomes for sale for under $400,000 in San Ramon.
It should be noted that all of them are short sales or foreclosures. Of the 19 townhomes for sale for under $490,000, all but one is a short sale or foreclosure. This presents an opportunity to make a great buy, but it is a laborious process with some risk attached to it. It might not ever close escrow (bank can refuse the offered price and proceeds to foreclosure) or the bank can attempt to re-negotiate a higher selling price than was first agreed to by the owner.
With historically low interest rates still available and many reasonably priced homes on the market, there is an opportunity purchase a home. It just takes a lot of homework, some luck and plenty of patience to bring it all together.