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Would a condo or a single family home, in terms of long term ROI on a $500k budget, be reasonable in Walnut Creek in the Bay Area?
I bought a townhouse in Walnut Creek over 500k in 2017. Since 2015 when this question was answered, Walnut Creek has become a much desired area, particularly due to the the horrible traffic commuting to San Francisco and Silicon Valley. It’s. safe and the downtown is busy at night with young people ( and older people too).
It’s never been undesirable but it has gone more upscale as part of their general plan.There is Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART train) in Walnut Creek that goes to San Francisco and Oakland, to SFO ( airport). Apts are going high end with $3000 and up rents for one bedroom apts. Many more apts are going up so possibly there might be an oversupply if the hot economy crashes. Rents are no longer affordable for many here. There is a Bart Station in Walnut Creek that goes to Oakland, Berkeley and San Francisco which is faster than driving particularly during rush house.
It also has easy access to 680 freeway going south to Bishop Ranch in San Ramon and Hacienda business park in Pleasanton and also to San Jose. Highway 24 west that goes to Berkeley, Oakland and San francisco. The most popular area for young people, (all people actually) within walking distance of downtown. You can walk to Bart if you need from the downtown area.
Some places charge HOA fees of over $500 with underground parking only. One I looked at had underground parking with a very small unit. It had an Asian King which is much larger than a standard King size bed that was permanently put into the floor that would be expensive to remove. It took up most of the small bedroom. It was remodeled with mini-kitchen.with high end appliances. They boasted they were going to fence in the trash containers with the homeowners dues so we wouldn’t have to look at the receptacles. On the plus side, it was walking distance to downtown and close to a modern public library that has events, close to main roads.
Walnut Creek has many restaurants and upscale shopping as well as a high end Nordstrom with couture designer items, Neiman Marcus as well as Ross and Target in town and other shops in Broadway Plaza include Macy’s.. All sorts of restaurants and any price point.
Walnut Creek, Danville, San Ramon and Dublin are getting more upscale as we speak as more businesses are moving east to avoid the high rent/lease rates closer in to job hubs. Although housing is not really affordable, it is compared to the San Jose, Peninsula, San Francisco 101 corridor time, it is. More and more employees work out of their homes at least a few times a week so they may not have to slog the commute on a daily basis. 2017 saw a rise in home and condo prices . Pleasant Hill was more affordable but because it has a remodeled downtown, restaurants and movies and parking is easier, prices have also gone up. Look into Concord for somewhat more affordable housing but Walnut Creek is more desirable. Concord has also revitalized its downtown and added more shopping. Prices sure beat San Francisco, the Peninsula and Silicon Valley. Oakland was affordable but now it’s the place to be for those in their 20s and 30s in particular because it’s so close to San Francisco without as many ugly high rises that have popped up everywhere in San Francisco.
It’s hard to predict the future but since you asked this question, prices have certainly gone up. What goes up will come down eventually but like the rise in the stock market, it’s hard to time the next recession but there will be one. At the same time, since the job market is strong in some sectors that may not be the case in a recession and since it is hard to time the market, prices could continue to rise if growth continues and wealthy buyers from other countries are willing to pay cash to have a residence here.
Here’s a link for the condos for sale. Since your under 55, ignore listings that say Rossmoor, an over 55 community. You can look at houses on Zillow or
My condo has gone up in value since I purchased it in 2017 but those numbers are hypothetical until it sells and I am not planning to move anytime soon.