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Real Estate: California/size of home purchase


Hi John,
Could you please shed some light on a debate we are having during our home search in the East Bay of California. We are currently looking at a 4000 sq. ft. home with 5 bedrooms and 3.5 baths. The price has been reduced and one of us thinks we should jump on it because of the great price and that we could make money on it when reselling. I, on the other hand, think it's too big for just 2 people and I am concerned that for a number of reasons, people are no longer buying "big" houses. My concern is also that when it comes time for us to sell, we may not find a buyer due to it's size. What is your view on these issues and what size house is typically the best seller? Also, what is the best exterior to have on a house in the Bay area....wood, stucco, or ? Thank you very much for your kindness and help with our dilemma.

Hi Cindy - The East Bay is a big area with many neighborhoods that are great places to buy.  There are also a lot of areas that have low prices and are not likely to appreciate for many years - if ever.  I'm a member of the local REALTOR association, so I'm very familiar with most of these areas.
For every couple who wants to downsize there is a growing family looking for more space.  The re-sale potential for any house is based on its location.  The East Bay has some great areas for schools (Lafayette, Orinda, Walnut Creek) and those neighborhoods tend to be in demand year round.  But there are also neighborhoods that are still going down in price and won't be expected to go back up for a long time.
A 5 bedroom home in a good neighborhood is likely to increase in value more than a smaller home.  4,000 square feet is a great size, but again the neighborhood is most important.  If you tell me where you're looking I'd be glad to tell you if I think it's an area that is likely to appreciate.
Building materials are generally not critical, though I have managed rental properties on the bay in Foster City and Alameda and found that durable siding and composite roofs hold up better than stucco and wood shingles that close to the water.
I hope this is helpful, please let me know if you'd like further help.

Real Estate: California

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John Souerbry


I'm a independent real estate broker specializing in luxury homes, land, properties in probate or trust, and real estate investment in Northern California. My geographic focus is Silicon Valley, East Bay, and North Bay/Wine Country.


I have experience in buying/selling residential and commercial real estate, property management, financing, and preparation and sale of properties in probate or trust.

National Association of REALTORS(R); California Association of REALTORS(R); Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS(R); Bay East Association of REALTORS(R)

My web site blog includes current market information and my "Real Estate Jargon" series that explains real estate industry terms.

BS, Business Administration MBA, Global Management

Past/Present Clients
I have worked with individuals holding one or two properties and with clients and estates holding over 40 properties of many different types (apartments, condos, single family homes, land). My latest transaction was a listing of 2.45 acres of land for development in Palo Alto, CA that sold for $15,580,000 (November 2012).

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