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Friday, May 2, 2014

Is it a good idea to buy a home in the Bay Area?

My parents are REALTORS®, so when the California Association of REALTORS® approached me about promoting home ownership in the Bay Area, it was a "no duh" type of match.

The one hitch is that buying a home in the Bay Area is super expensive. So I'll acknowledge up front that not everyone can afford to buy in this market, one of most expensive markets in the country. For some it makes a lot more sense to rent. I certainly welcome your thoughts about home ownership in the comments section.

I rented in San Francisco for 8 years after college and am kicking myself for not buying something there when it was less expensive. That would have been a fabulous investment. We ended up later buying on the peninsula, closer to my husband's work.

Here's what we love about the Peninsula, and the easy day trips from it:
The shoreline - at Foster City
Easy access to the East Bay via the San Mateo Bridge

My kids love the snails at our place, even though they eat a lot of my plants.

We love having three aquariums in a day's drive (California Academy of Sciences, Monterey Bay Aquarium and Aquarium of the Bay)

Drinking from a toilet? You can do that at the Exploratorium

Tilden Park in the East Bay

Lots of Redwoods.  

The beach...at Santa Cruz

The Santa Cruz Boardwalk and its famous Looff carousel where you throw rings into the clown's mouth

Back to home buying. Not that you'd be buying a home to spur on the economy, but the National Association of REALTORS® says that one home purchase stimulates the economy by $60,000. I can see why, between the commission, the various inspection fees, mortgage fees, the moving costs and the changes you make once you moved in (I'm sure we helped the economy a lot more than that when we bought our place!). We loved our REALTOR®, who really knew the area we were looking in, and was able to guide us in location as well as advise us in negotiating, based on her long experience.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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