One of the fascinating features of Oakland, CA, is a very friendly microclimate that is about 10 degrees warmer than San Francisco. In addition, there is an excellent plan of affordable homes for those considering buying a home in Oakland, CA.
While affordable does not necessarily mean ‘cheap,’ the competition of buying the home of your dreams is real here. Hence the need to first connect with an experienced home agent and be prepared to close the deal. Mainly if you are a first-time buyer, you need better understand the peculiarity of the city of Oakland.
Top 3 Peculiar Factors for Owning a Home in Oakland
Despite the competition of buying houses in Oakland, CA, it is still a lot more affordable than San Francisco. Comparatively, buying a home in Oakland is almost half the median price in San Francisco homes.
In other words, acquiring a two-bedroom apartment in Oakland is equivalent to a tiny studio apartment in San Francisco. Meanwhile, you can even live in Oakland and keep your job in San Francisco, which many people currently do. The distance between the two cities takes just a 22 minutes drive.
Closing costs could be higher when buying homes in Oakland, except the buyer considers the total amount. Usually, these accrued fees occur because several other expenses add up to the overall closing costs.
However, there are a few innovative ways of lowering the charges as a buyer. For example, closing a deal towards the end of the month can save the buyer against the previous month’s interest.
The reason is that the lenders usually charge payments in arrears. In addition, you can request from the seller to reduce some of the flexible and under-control costs. However, the latter part is uncommon in Oakland due to the high competitiveness in the real estate market.
5 Top Tips in Buying a Home
The number one step to acquiring a home in Oakland is to connect with the right real estate home agent. Not only do you need a licensed realtor with a deep knowledge of Oakland, but also an agency with many years of buying and selling homes in Oakland.
Meanwhile, Oakland is also very close to San Francisco and Silicon Valley, housing many tech centers. Therefore, a top buyer’s agent is an essential part of a buyer’s route to navigate home buyers with some accompanying features.
You always need a local agent to get you familiar with the neighborhood with all its qualities.
Generally, in negotiations, the asking price of a property or the product depends on several factors. Meanwhile, the real or actual value of a home in Oakland is only one of such factors. Therefore, what you need to determine the matter is the assessed value.
Oakland is known for its low inventory of available homes for sale. As a result, buyers are ready to offer more than the asking price to win the deal by all means. In response, without an efficient and experienced selling agent, the sellers may struggle to make a profitable deal.
Therefore, before bidding begins on the property, a professional agent can recommend the actual value to the buyer. Moreover, with the knowledge of the market trends and needs, he can also estimate the potential future home worth.
Home financing is another crucial aspect of a home purchase that you should hold dear. Not everyone is fit for a 30-year home loan, making the method gradually out of vogue. Therefore, in the journey of buying your own home in Oakland, think of more creative ways.
Some of the available options include targeted home loans of military veterans, teachers, new doctors, or public workers. Besides, you can consider first-time buyer loans, home improvement or renovation loans, or tax credits if you qualify.
Conducting a thorough physical inspection of your Oakland home is a necessary action for both parties, the buying and selling. For instance, the three most important areas to check include the home’s seismic, electrical, and plumbing parts.
Moreover, ask questions about the home systems whether you find them in perfect shape or not. With an upgraded seismic component of the home, the buyer must factor in the total budget.
The buyer often focuses more on the down payment that they easily forget about the closing cost. In contrast, the expenses of the closing stages can also take a chunk of your home budget.
For instance, the closing costs may include title insurance, taxes, appraisal, lender, and recording fees.
Homebuyers are therefore required to pay accrued costs in the closing stages between 5 to 10%. Moreover, the competition in the market is another reason you should focus on the home’s total cost.
Depending on which side of the divide you are, buying or selling, closing costs are substantial in home sales. It is part of the costs that buyers should take care of apart from the down payment. On the other hand, the home seller takes care of the agent commissions.
Typically, the closing costs cover the associated fees with the mortgage or outright purchase but vary from state to state.
- Property-related fees
- Mortgage-related fees
- Appraisal fee
- Inspection fee
- Title search and
- Title insurance
- Application fees
- Credit report fees
- Legal fees
- Origination fees
- Underwriting fees
- Local fees
Buyer Closing Costs
Buyers looking to invest in homes in Oakland, CA, must begin to consider the associated closing costs. Therefore, below are some of the typical fees that contribute to the closing costs
The loan fees comprise points, appraisal, prepaid interest, credit report, and processing fees.
These fees protect the buyer in the case of tax liens or other risks of the property sale. Also, title insurance protects your ownership of the home as the buyer with multiple policies.
The buyer also needs to cater to the associated fees for the preparation of the mortgage loans.
The buyer and seller, 50/50, usually split the total escrow charges on the cost of buying a home. Unlike some people’s erroneous belief that closing costs are all about escrow fees, it is not. However, the escrow fee is one of the different closing costs that an escrow company charges for handling escrows.
The Bureau of Conveyances is responsible for mortgage recording and deed, so buyers need to prepare ahead.
The transfer of title, which indicates ownership, also attracts a tax within a specified city or county. Also, while the seller caters to the county tax, the buyer and the seller usually split the city tax.
This insurance is part of the premium that the buyer pays at closing.
A typical hazard for buying homes in Oakland is the fire attack. Furthermore, the lender or seller may require you to pay up to a year upfront.
Buyers should also care for issues like inspections
Notary fees occur when the buyer signs the closing documents at another place apart from the escrow office.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Ideally, California’s housing cost attracts a closing cost between 2 and 5% of the home purchase price. Factors that determine the actual cost include total home price, discounts, transfer taxes, and other factors.
It would help plan for a closing cost between 2 and 5% of the purchase price as a buyer. For example, if you buy a home for $300,000, the closing cost can be any amount between $6,000 and $15,000.
Oakland’s average median sale price is about $756,800, while the medium home value is $801.072. In addition, the homeownership percentage of Oakland real estate is about 63.9% for about 161,483 households.
Oakland is a perfect environment with lots of natural beauty with a cultural diversity that houses many celebrities. Moreover, Oakland is the largest city in the East Bay region; it is worth exploring. With an elevation of 43 ft., Oakland is in the 13th percentile for safety, especially for the northeast part.
As of October 2021, Oakland is a seller’s market, as it favors those who are willing and ready to buy. In addition, it implies that more people are looking to buy a home than the number of available homes.