Condo or townhouse in East bay

6 Replies

Hi Bigger pockets crew I'm from the Bay Area and considering to buy a condo or town house in the east bay with my fiancée. I’m looking into using this as our primary residence as a newly weds (will get married in May) and will be our starter home. I already have a SFH I bought with my sister also in the Bay Area but this one is just for me and the future wife. We will keep the SFH with my sister and family. My budget is a little tight at $350K and knowing that my target area Fremont, Newark, Union City are prime areas i may end up getting a condo or townhouse that need some tlc. I also wanted to have some equity build in to grow wealth, and I can have a good friends contractor to help fix the place. I just don’t buy into the idea of paying $500K for a top class condo or townhome. Wanted to get insight from you folks if this is feasible and if you have any leads off market that will help me land my starter home. Thanks in advance!


There are no condos in Fremont, Union City, or Newark for sale, or that have sold this year in the 350K price range. There are currently 3 for sale in the east Bay under $350K. One is in Oakland, one in San Leandro, and one I forget. 3 have sold this year under 350K. One in San Leandro, one in Hayward, and one in Oakland. Have you ever thought about buying in a mobile home park? For $350,000 you could get a 3 bedroom in one of the cities where you are targeting and rent out 2 rooms so you may even be able to live for free. They are becoming more and more attractive for younger buyers who have limited budgets for this area.

Thanks @Marcy Moyer for the quick reply. I can up this to $400K max and I saw a few properties in Red fin. My timeline is until May so thanks for looking out for deals. I appreciate everyone here in BP trying to help, that makes this community amazing, you guys are rockstars!!!!

@Fernando Enrile I would listen to @Marcy Moyer . We're frequent visitors to the Bay Area (dad went to Berkeley, sister/brother-in-law work in Silicon Valley) and know the area. 

You would be hard pressed to find anything at the $350K mark. I don't think you'll get a top-class condo for anywhere near $500K (it will be significantly more). 

You will get into bidding wars on properties under the $400K mark you see on Redfin. Realtors will list for ridiculously low prices in order to start a bidding war. This is a tried and tested strategy that is widely used (and abused) in ultra-hot real estate markets (see: Toronto and Vancouver). 

@Fernando Enrile

Maybe look into buying a multi-family property (1-4 units) and that way you can use the rental income to help yourself qualify - the multi would need to be owner occupied (house hacking). You can also take advantage of FHA financing for a very low down payment.

With all that, you still have to find a deal that pencils or is at least something you are comfortable with. 

@Omar Khan thanks very much for the warning on the bidding war, I won't fall into this as I'm sticking with a max $400K budget. I'm not in a rush and the math has to work

@Jonathan Pflueger , good call on the multi, just need to find an awesome  deal so I'm reaching out to folks here in BP. 

Thank you both! 

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