Looking for a new home can be exhausting in of itself, but exploring what the Bay Area has to offer can be an entirely new challenge altogether. With property values shooting through the roof year after year, buyers must proceed with caution more than ever before.

Here are some ways to curtail the expenses (and hassle) that come with house searching in the Bay Area:

Look at New Home Construction

Several financial benefits that new properties can provide homeowners include:

  • Less Repairs. Existing homes may need the carpet replaced, walls repainted, or updated appliances. Cutting-edge features built into newly constructed homes not only eliminate the need for repairs but should also hold up better.
  • Equipped with the latest technology. New homes often include alarm systems, Internet wiring and cable already built right in, saving you plenty of time and money.
  • Less Maintenance. Brand new appliances, plumbing, heating and air should guarantee you a couple of repair-free years.
  • Advanced design. The building system and components are specifically engineered to work together and reflect the way we live today. Good-bye single-pane windows, hello to open floor plans and high ceilings.
  • No surprises. Buying a resale home carries the risk of discovering defects that may turn up shortly after moving in, even with an inspection. With new home construction, builders will often agree to handle the repair work for at least the first year.
  • Green appliances. New construction homes often include green systems and appliances that homes built years ago lack – high-efficiency stoves, water heaters, washing machines, furnaces, air conditioning units – all which help reduce the utility bill. It’s a better alternative than the significantly higher costs that may incur while retrofitting homes (we’re looking at you, Victorian homes) or purchasing individual appliances.
  • Mortgage Financing Perks. Many homebuilders have their own mortgage companies or may offer paying points, closing costs or buy certain rates for you.
  • No seller sentimental value. Resellers may hold an emotional attachment to their property and price it with more money and than its true value. Interested homeowners can gain bargain more with a home building company, which often has more financial wherewithal to absorb on loss than an individual seller.

Look Outside of San Francisco

It’s no secret that the tiny city of San Francisco (spanning only 46 square miles) has very little new housing stock. With the city in favor of limiting urban development in the midst of a technology boom and foreign investment in California properties, searching for a home can be extremely stressful. Interested homeowners may find homes requiring repairs worth thousands of dollars or in fierce competition with hordes of people eyeing the same house, not to mention the median home price is just over $1.1 million, according to Zillow.

Still set on moving into the Bay Area? Check out these two alternative regions to San Francisco: East Bay and North Marin County.

  • The East Bay region includes cities like Berkeley, Emeryville and Oakland. Recently, these cities have been courting tech startups by pitching themselves as cheaper, hipper alternatives to the soaring price of housing to San Francisco. Such efforts have been realized through a growing a startup scene, more jobs and predictions of a turnaround in the Easy Bay’s office sector.
  • North Marin County includes cities like San Rafael and Novato (which was named “Best Affordable Suburbs in California” by Business Week. The county boasts low crime rates, great weather, plenty of open space and easy access to San Francisco to enjoy its cultural hub.

Do you have more questions on finding affordable housing in the Bay Area? Or curious about new home constructions available to you? New Home Negotiators can help. Browse through our listings to find the best fit for you or give us a call at 800-529-4767 or click to schedule a personalized tour.


© Photo courtesy of Håkan Dahlström on Flickr Creative Commons