Investing in a single family home in Hayward, CA

8 Replies

I am relocating to California from the mid-west, where we are used to living in newer, bigger homes and we cannot live comfortably in the small, older, expensive homes in the peninsula, SFO city or near Silicon Valley. My job requires me to be equidistant from downtown SFO and Silicon Valley and so I am considering investing in Hayward, CA. Seems affordable, centrally located with options to commute either direction. If school district is not a concern anymore, are there any reasons why I should not invest in Hayward, CA if I am looking at it as a 5 year investment?

Check out Cherryland. It's technically not in Hayward or San Lorenzo, so it flies under many people's (such as fellow house hunters) radar.  Suggest connecting with @Taj Olmedo .

I think Hayward is a good bet.  It's a very do-able commute to Silicon Valley.   I live and own apartments there.  One small snag to investments - Hayward does have rent control.  But it applies ONLY if you have at least 5 units in Hayward.

Don't know if it matters, but Hayward has a large Indian community.

Thanks @Chris Mason

Hayward is a great city to invest in. It is in the heart of the Bay Area and is between San Fran and the Silicon Valley. There is new construction as well as more established communities. As a Hayward resident and Realtor I enjoy the diversity of the community, not just with the people but also in geography. There is a shoreline and a ridge line within about 2 miles of each other. Hayward is still affordable compared to surrounding cities but offers the same features. I would love to connect with you Raj to give you more info about Hayward. 

Thank you Chris, Jerome & Taj for your responses. I am curious why new homes are much cheaper in comparison with other neighborhoods that are much farther east from the bridge (such as Walnut Creek or Dublin or Pleasanton). Check the new construction by KB Homes (Element) 2000 Sq. Feet available for upper $600K. Is it the school district, is it crime rate? I can't seem to be able to tell. Thanks for further clarifying in advance.

I have been continuously investing in Hayward for the last 10 years.  In fact, almost my entire investment portfolio is now in Hayward & San Leandro.   I really like the value Hayward provides compare to the rest of the bay area.  

I have never bought new construction but I am pretty sure you can't get 2000 sq ft home for upper $600K in Hayward right now.  Most likely it will be a condo and that too at 1500-1600 sq ft at that price.  For a 2000 sq ft new construction home - it will be $900K+.  That said, Hayward schools are not considered good (compared to Walnut Creek, Dublin, etc.) and that certainly plays a big role in the difference of pricing.  

Originally posted by @Raj Ramachandran :

Thank you Chris, Jerome & Taj for your responses. I am curious why new homes are much cheaper in comparison with other neighborhoods that are much farther east from the bridge (such as Walnut Creek or Dublin or Pleasanton). Check the new construction by KB Homes (Element) 2000 Sq. Feet available for upper $600K. Is it the school district, is it crime rate? I can't seem to be able to tell. Thanks for further clarifying in advance.

 Racial makeup of a community does affect pricing. I wonder why a person earlier would bring this up...... It's politically un-acceptable. 

@Raj Ramachandran - I live in Walnut Creek and am very familiar with Pleasanton/Dublin as well. I can tell you that I agree that Hayward is a good investment based on location and pricing. The reason why Walnut Creek and Pleasanton/Dublin are more expensive is because they are low crime areas with good schools, also when you go there the feel is completely different from Hayward. For example Walnut Creek has two Whole Foods, Neiman Marcus, Maserati/Bentley dealerships and tons of restaurants in a walkable area. Pleasanton has one of the top school districts in the state and has the offices of a few large software companies. Hayward feels more like an industrial area and does not have many areas where you would take a leisurely stroll.

All that being said, although I do own a rental property in Walnut Creek and mostly invest in Sacramento, if I were to invest in the East Bay today I would pick Hayward or Pleasant Hill when considering ROI. Based on the fact that you work in SV and need a place to live I would definitely pick Hayward.

Thank you Rohit. That was very well written. I recently had the opportunity to visit Hayward and completely agree with your view. I have temporarily moved to a rental apartment in Fremont (needed a very centric place to comfortably get to SFO downtown or SV) and will continue my research. Since I have relocated from St. Louis, my first priority is to buy a primary residence (waiting to sell my house). Since my kids have gone to college, I don't have to pay the premium of a great school district (such as Pleasanton) and may be able to wait out the time Hayward requires to catch up.