Author Topic: HCOL city (Bay Area) - Buy and where?  (Read 1378 times)

FITortoise

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HCOL city (Bay Area) - Buy and where?
« on: August 26, 2017, 11:19:29 PM »
Hello MMM forum,

I am considering buying a place in the Bay Area, and need some advice.
1) Neighborhoods to consider?

Neighborhoods I'm considering right now:
- San Mateo
- Union City
- Oakland (but it's so big!)

2) Buy or rent?
Situation: Right now rent is about $2,500 for a studio in the city. Want a bigger space for the family, plus: do I want to keep renting for many more years?

3) What type of place?
Situation: Open to 1-bed or 2-bed condo, townhouse, or small single house (small house is particularly attractive because want to avoid HOA fees, and actually "have" your own walls.

For those who are familiar or recently bought in the Bay Area, I would appreciate hearing about your experience and any recommendations (for realtors, too!).
If there's an existing thread, please feel free to share. It's an important financial and life decision (particularly on the slow and sure journey to FI), I want to think through this. Thank you in advance.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 01:22:46 PM by FITortoise »

FINate

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Re: HCOL city (Bay Area) - Buy and where?
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2017, 11:56:49 PM »
2) Buy or rent?
Situation: Right now rent is about $2,500 for a studio in the city. Want a bigger space for the family, plus: do I want to keep renting for many more years? I will have 20% down for a $500-600k place (or more if wait longer to buy). I plan on staying in the area for several years (things can change if an awesome opportunity arises, or if family situation requires a location change, but not planning on moving in the next few years).

IMO, don't buy in the Bay Area unless you plan on sticking around for 10 years or more. It's cheaper to rent in the short term. If you plan on staying in the area long term then it makes sense to lock in a cost of living which will eventually be cheaper than renting as rents increase over time.

jamesbond007

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Re: HCOL city (Bay Area) - Buy and where?
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2017, 02:44:40 PM »
Have you looked at Fremont? Still a lot of affordable Mid 500 range town homes/condos available.