The Low End

The low end in local Real Estate…what a funny idea. Who knows what it is? It’s certainly different from town to town around here too. In the last week or so I’ve seen a few houses NOT get multiple offers, or any offers for that matter, that would have month ago. Even in San Carlos for crying out loud! The areas down here have been blistering hot for quite a while this year and it sort of seems like folks went on vacation or something in August. Not a big surprise…I went on vacation too. What IS a surprise is how strong the entry level is…particularly with houses.

What IS the entry level we ask? In Palo Alto it’s probably a million. In San Mateo it’s probably $650,000 for a house and $500,000 for a condo. In Foster City an entry level house is probably $900,000 now and a small 2 bedroom condo is probably at least $550,000. So, what do you do if you want to buy a house and you can only afford under $600,000? You travel. You go to San Jose, the East Bay or you go to Daly City, South City or Pacifica. In 2009 I recall there being over 200 active single family homes on the market in Daly City alone. Half of them were short sales or foreclosures. You could buy a house for around $350,000…without competition. Now, today, Daly City is the hottest of the hot. It seems like everybody who wanted a house and couldn’t get one out of the fog belt is fully compromising and buying in Daly City. I sold a fantastic townhouse in Foster City last week with no competition at all. Also a house in San Carlos…same story. I also wrote three offers on houses in Daly City that were all listed for $549,000 and got 12, 14 and 18 offers. In Daly City right now it’s exactly what it was like in March around here. The low end for houses is $550,000 and it sure is HOT!

The market is SO emotional and has so many ebbs and flows. It’s fascinating to me that one area can ebb and the same time another can flow and they’re in such close proximity.



  1. Can we still find an entry-level house in foster city under 1 mil? There are a couple of small sfh (~1800 sf) for sale this week close to $1.2 mil. Similar homes were priced at $890k a year ago.

  2. Jim Minkey says:

    It’s really true, but I just know that if a house comes up on Chesapeake or the neighborhood around Boothbay Park it should be under a million. Having said that there’s that house on Winchester listed for $1,249,000! So who knows?

  3. Tuck Chang says:

    Just curious why do you think that the Boothbay Park area would be one of the places where the houses should be under a million? Full disclosure, I do live in the Boothbay area but would be curious as to your impressions as a realtor about the different areas in Foster City and how they stack up.

  4. Jim Minkey says:

    Sounds like an upcoming blog post idea? I have nothing against that area…it’s just that the houses are smaller and on slabs. It was FC’s starter home area. Maybe they will be over a million…it’s just that 1250 sq ft houses (in some cases) arguably are worth less than a mil to me.

  5. Tuck Chang says:

    I didn’t know that about the Boothbay area. Nice to know some history. Certainly, there are some smaller houses around here.

  6. 476 chesapeake just sold for $1.1m….crazy price for a small sfh and probably another $50k to modernize it.

  7. Not sure home owners like such craziness. Paper gain vs. hard property tax dollar. But it is good to be a seller nowadays though.

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