Can You Buy Anything in San Mateo County for $200,000?

Real Estate Agent with Engel & Völkers - Carlsbad Village DRE# 01343201


I have a question for you today:  Can you buy anything in San Mateo County for $200,000 that is in an area you might want to live in?  The answer is, YES!  Last year I wrote about a client looking to buy something for no more than $350,000 and I took on that challenge, and yes it was a challenge.  We did find some condos that were available and some, not all, but some were inhabitable, too. Almost all of them were bank owned.

This year my challenge is now $200,000 and so far we have found several condos in that price range in communities that offer loads of ammenities for the residents and are in fairly good condition.  I'm talking about San Bruno's Shelter Creek and Daly City's Crown Colony.  Both of these complexes are FHA approved, too.  Sure, we are looking at Short Sales or REO's (Bank Owned) properties but these are 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom condos, not studios.

If you are currently a renter in San Mateo County and are paying $1800 a month for your apartment, why are you doing that?  If you have money in the bank, a good job, and plan on staying in the area for a while you may very well qualify for an FHA loan that allows you to put down 3-1/2%, or about $7000 for a $200,000 condo.  Your payments will be about $1800 and that includes your property taxes, insurance, and home owners association dues.  If you qualify, you may also use the $8000 first time home owner's tax credit for your closing costs.  Now, there are strings attached to the first time home owners credit, so your lender needs to explain whether you even qualify by income, but if you do, it is free money!

Think of it, you can own your own home for the same money you pay for your rent.  Home ownership offers amazing tax savings bringing down your costs below what your actual payments are and these include tax deduction of the interest on your loan and on your property taxes.

If you are an investor what are you waiting for?  This is a cash positive position to be in on some of these. Shelter Creek does not allow investors but Crown Colony does.


Comments (1)


1800 is a little high for a !BR. I know you wrote this a few months ago, but i am renting a place for 1050 (a roomy 1 bedroom apt) in Millbrae (super convenient and safe area) that is at least 150 sq ft more than those dark Crown Colony shoe boxes they call a 1 BR. Today on Craigslist there were some postings for 750sq ft apt's for 525 a month.

If I was making 100k a year, I'd consider buying, but I'm not. Renting is still smarter. I can still go out to eat and take modest vacations, invest, and still afford health insurance.

Jan 28, 2010 01:49 AM