Buying a home in today's market

Compared to last year this is a completely different market for many reasons. If you are currently house hunting in the Oakland and Berkeley neighborhoods and are either tracking the market or bidding on homes, you are seeing multiple offers, aggressive bids that favor the seller.   The areas that experience the most competition are, Rockridge, Elmwood, Crocker Highland, and Piedmont as well as scattered properties throughout Oakland and Berkeley that have a "wow-factor" about them.  Twice in the past month, I have witnessed people dropping their appraisal contingency to get into contract.  This means:  A person offers $800,000 on a home, the appraiser deems the house to be worth $750,000, by dropping the appraisal contingency, the buyer is saying they will buy the house regardless of the appraised value.  If they are getting a loan this would mean in the example above that they would have to put an extra $50,000 down. Many people are tired of waiting for the "bottom" of the market and want to be homeowners now.  They want a place of their own.  They may want to take advantage of low interest rates and they know that renting has no long term return on their investment.  When supply is down and demand is high you will likely not underpay for a home, but there are ways you can make a smart move.  A few of my tips were published in the San Francisco Chronicle last Sunday.  Please contact me for more.  (click on image to enlarge)