Reply
Regular Contributor
El-Searchero
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎01-05-2012
0

Lamorinda Real Estate

I've been keeping an eye on prices in Lamorinda -- mostly places where we're likely to find an old fixer like Lafayette's Burton Valley or Knickerbocker in Orinda (as well as townhomes in Moraga) -- for the past year or so. I've been seeing a decent share of 3/2 or 4/2 1950s ranchers in the realm of ~1500sf getting flipped for huge profit or sold at $500/sf.

 

We're patient and waiting for the right opportunity, but inventory is super-low and there's a ton of people in the market. The schools there are our draw, but I also think the new Caldecott Tunnel bore is going to help push prices in Lamorinda and WC up a bit in the next few years, as more people realize the commute to East Bay and SF isn't so bad.

 

Anyway, it's hard to compare apples to apples with so few properties on the market, but last summer a place like this sold for $625K:

 

http://www.redfin.com/CA/Lafayette/3320-S-Lucille-Ln-94549/home/958674

 

Whereas just a few months ago, something similar sold for $785K:

 

http://www.redfin.com/CA/Lafayette/3231-Camino-Colorados-94549/home/1339981

 

Like I said, it's hard to compare apples to apples, but I've seen both places and without being about to look at inspection reports, both are fairly similar cosmetically. 

 

Now, there's madness like this before and after -- this place sold in July at $625K:

 

http://www.redfin.com/CA/Lafayette/3219-Rohrer-Dr-94549/home/1951325/ebrd-40580669

 

And flipped back on the market a few weeks ago listed at $925K (fresh coat of paint, granite, stainless, cabinets, etc):

 

http://www.redfin.com/CA/Lafayette/3219-Rohrer-Dr-94549/home/1951325

 

Yep ... that's a $300K premium for the flipper's facelift! And I suspect they'll get something close to asking! 

 

Right now, seems like there are a few houses each month in Lamorinda in the $600K range. Most are livable-ish or need $10-50K worth of work to get their groove back. But those homes are getting snatched by the cash buyers and flipped. Stop me if you've heard this one before...

Silver Regular Contributor
Fishmarty
Posts: 681
Registered: ‎08-25-2012
0

Re: Lamorinda Real Estate

[ Edited ]

El-Searchero wrote:

 

We're patient and waiting for the right opportunity, but inventory is super-low and there's a ton of people in the market. The schools there are our draw, but I also think the new Caldecott Tunnel bore is going to help push prices in Lamorinda and WC up a bit in the next few years, as more people realize the commute to East Bay and SF isn't so bad.

 

___________________________

If you are looking to invest and have the money, or you are looking for owner occupy, I wouldn't do this waiting thing.

 

Given the current economy and that 'everyone tries to buy and to play landlord' scheme, I bet that price will go up not down. This reminds me of the years 2003-2004, with price range ~ 450k at Fremont. And you know what happened after!

 

Yes the sky will fall one day and market will crash for sure. You have to wait for at least another 7 years for the closest possibility.

 

And don't forget the government is still very busy printing paper money. When the market crashes next time, peak home price will not be the same as in 2007! Look at the vege price you have in Lucky today.

 

Right now the home price is still affordable. Two years from now it will cost you a fortune to buy one.

Silver Contributor
WCreeker
Posts: 429
Registered: ‎03-30-2011
0

Re: Lamorinda Real Estate

Just a note -- a few years back we were looking in Burton Valley.  Family members who had lived there and a few real estate agents we talked to all kind of steered us away from Lafayette Valley Estates (where the Lucile Ln. house is).  I can't remember why now, but it is clearly the lowest priced area in Burton Valley, so be careful comparing house prices there to other BV areas like Camino Colorados (It might have had to do with underground springs and ground movement, that is definitely an issue in certain parts of Lamorinda, but I just can't remember).

 

I live in Walnut Creek, and prices have definitely gone up in the last year.

Regular Contributor
El-Searchero
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎01-05-2012
0

Re: Lamorinda Real Estate

Yes I've noticed lower prices in Lafayette Valley Estates ... anyone know why? It's all built on a slight hillside and has narrow streets, but it also has nice older trees and a kind of 1950s frozen-in-time charm. 

Gold Super Contributor
norcalnative
Posts: 3,270
Registered: ‎05-04-2009
0

Re: Lamorinda Real Estate

Morning and afternoon school traffic is pure stupidity in those areas seems far worse this year. No idea why. Glad we didnt buy there.

 

As for fixers our agent sold one last year to a group of local people who tore it down building a new home with plans on selling for return on investement. The last true fixer I've seen that sold to an actual home owner who fixed it was in Moraga in 2010. House was a horders house not kidding they hauled 6 semi dump truck loads out of the house. New owner spent nearly 8 months rebuilding the house, roof, floors, walls, everything!!! Sunk around $250K into it they are more or less break even at todays values.

Regular Contributor
jennifleur
Posts: 64
Registered: ‎12-22-2010
0

Re: Lamorinda Real Estate

I think you might've missed the boat.

 

We bought in Lamorinda last summer.  Paid well under $700k for a cosmetic fixer, with some soil issues that will need to be resolved (we need the grade stabilized, landscaping, and  a new driveway).  New roof, but old windows.  1980s kitchen and baths, but totally livable.

 

We refinanced a few weeks ago and the appraisal came back $140k more than we paid.  I saw the Rohrer listing and saved it as a favorite because I'm very curious as to what that will go for.  I don't think they will get a penny over $800k for that place.  The comps just don't support it.

Gold Super Contributor
norcalnative
Posts: 3,270
Registered: ‎05-04-2009
0

Re: Lamorinda Real Estate

The end of the flat prices in Lamorinda was December 2009. Prior to that houses were either not moving ie over priced and sellers were not budging or they were selling for considerably less than the original listing price. By Febuary 2010 prices were creeping back up as was the competition. Much smaller - not updated home across the street from us sold this summer for 1.1 one day on the market. We paid less than 1 mill for a much larger updated home in 09 - which had been on the market for over a year.

 

Different market today for sure not to mention the inventory is so low that many people are bidding up the prices a considerable amount out of fear that they could actually not find a home in the area due to lack of inventory.

Regular Contributor
jennifleur
Posts: 64
Registered: ‎12-22-2010
0

Re: Lamorinda Real Estate

We didn't have much competition last summer.  We bought $30k below asking with only one other offer (from another young family) on the table after 40-some days on the market. 

 

Our struggle was uping our price point.  Not in terms of can we afford it, but we thought the market was still a little inflated.  Apparently not.  We wanted to pay $550-$575k, but there was nothing in that price point that was livable and had open common areas (so we wouldn't have to move walls when we update) or on a main road. 

 

I agree today's market is different, inventory is very low.  With the exceptionof the $925k listing above, I don't see crazy prices on the kind of houses that me and probably the OP would be eyeing: starter homes that should be priced around $600k.

Silver Contributor
WCreeker
Posts: 429
Registered: ‎03-30-2011
0

Re: Lamorinda Real Estate

We sold and bought in 2011.  There were 4 offers on the house we were selling (really only two viable ones, 2 were lowball) and there were 7 offers on the house we purchased.

 

Most everything in Walnut Creek that is under 800K is going for over asking (these are your typical 3/2 ranchers).  I was shocked that this one went so much over asking:  http://www.redfin.com/CA/Walnut-Creek/1253-Lindell-Dr-94596/home/1968984

 

If this type of house is going for this much I'd imagine the Lamorinda ones are going for quite a bit more.

Regular Contributor
El-Searchero
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎01-05-2012
0

Re: Lamorinda Real Estate


jennifleur wrote:

I saw the Rohrer listing and saved it as a favorite because I'm very curious as to what that will go for.  I don't think they will get a penny over $800k for that place.  The comps just don't support it.



I'm curious to see where the selling price ends up. I get what they're thinking -- because they're probably basing their price off 3231 Camino Colorados as a comp:

 

http://www.redfin.com/CA/Lafayette/3231-Camino-Colorados-94549/home/1339981

 

They've got to be thinking that if the minimally updated house linked above was $785K for a 3/2 at $514/sqft, surely they can get $541/sqft for a 4/2 for a nice-ish flip just one street over. 

 

They may as well try ... with limited inventory and a quick-rising market it's hard to find good comps. Why not set your own market!

 

This place from 8 months ago now looks like a bargain ($746K for a 6/3 3,000 sqft):

http://www.redfin.com/CA/Lafayette/426-Castello-Rd-94549/home/1599057

 

Also nearby, you had these places last summer, both rough around the edges:

 

$595K for a 4/2 REO

http://www.redfin.com/CA/Lafayette/3260-Camino-Colorados-94549/home/1367026

 

$578 for a 3/2 short sale:

http://www.redfin.com/CA/Lafayette/406-Castello-Rd-94549/home/1813610

 

Like I said, I'm curious to see what they get for that Rohrer house. I don't think it's worth $925K, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it settled for something around $850-875K.