What are the 2012 Buyers Looking for in the East Bay?

Real Estate Agent with Red Oak Realty

Last year, even with gorgeous interest rates and discounted prices, it was tough to get home buyers off the fence. Getting a “bargain” became more importaa bit more willing to paynt than getting a good home. If the first two months of 2012 are a true indication, buyers this year seem to acknowledge that these phenomenal rates won't last forever and nor will these low prices. Buyers seem ready to buy this year!

CapucinnoIt seems the majority of buyers, especially the younger professionals, want to be near amenities: cafes, restaurants, bookstores, transportation. Mostly coffee! I so wish I’d patented my “latté factor,” rating properties by coffee strength. Along came Walkscore, a website that ranks location by proximity to amenities. The higher the score the better, and the closer to coffee! Gone are the days when the hills, with views, quiet and faculty neighbors, have caché. Now buyers want to be closer to BART and coffee! And they will pay more for the privilege. The hills are now a relative bargain! And as gas prices reach into the mid-four dollar range, the demand for convenience over the tanquility of the hills is likely to continue. 

Fortunately for me and my sellers, there still exist buyers, including young professionals, who want a retreat after a long day. My latest listing at 923CrestonRoad.com received a great response with over a dozen packages of disclosures requested, and three lovely offers received. With limited inventory right now, buyers need to be prepared for some competition, and to be ready with clean offers. They may want to consider limited contingencies, depending on the property and their personal situations. Of the offers received on my Creston listing, one offer had no financing contingency, and the successful offer had neither appraisal nor inspection contingencies. 

Interested in knowing more about how to be prepared for this competitive spring market? Let's get together for coffee! Just give me a call: 510.717.1799.

Posted by

Arlene Baxter, CRS, Green

Red Oak Realty -- "Seriously Local"

Berkeley Office, 1891 Solano Avenue

Cell: 510.717.1799  GreenBungalows.info   DRE#01209552

Comments (2)

Carlotta Remong
Berkshire Hathaway HS N.E. Prime Properties - Newport, RI

Arlene, it is amazing that  one of the key selling ingredients when one is searching for a home is the close proximity to a coffee shop and stores. Once upon a time it used to be a good school system which was the key selling point, not Star Bucks or Dunkin Donuts.

Feb 26, 2012 10:48 AM
Arlene Baxter
Red Oak Realty - Berkeley, CA
Listing/Buying agent, Historic to Green, 2012 REALTOR of the Year, Berkeley Association Berkeley CA & environs

Carlotta, truth is, most buyers want it all. They would like to be near the best coffee places, bookstores and restaurants in the areas with the best schools. But in Berkeley CA where I live, our elementary schools are on a lottery system. Some are terrific, some less so. Since buyers cannot accurately know which school their children will attend, they focus on what they can know with certainty: where is the best coffee!

Feb 28, 2012 05:08 AM