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Your First Consideration When Buying An East Bay Home

Are you one of the fortunate people relocating to the East Bay for your career, family or retirement? If so, it's important to know that having the professional legal representation of a buyer's agent before, during and after your real estate transaction, costs you nothing.

What About Buying An East Bay REO Foreclosure?

If you're like most buyers today, you're looking for a deal. And since the Bay Area — like so many other places — was hard hit by the country's foreclosure crisis, there are many REO (bank-owned) foreclosed homes on the market. Because this oversupply brought home prices down, an abundance of deals are out there. And when you have Bob Lilley as your buyer's agent, you get a Realtor® with the economic and financial background required to negotiate successfully with the owner bank to get the East Bay REO foreclosure you want.

Is It Really A Good Time To Buy A Home?

The answer to that question is, "yes, but...." Let me explain.

Buying a home — just like selling one — can be fraught with emotion. But when you have Bob Lilley as your buyer's agent, you get a real estate professional who acts as your voice of reason. I'm the guy who helps you keep the big picture in mind and focus on the bottom line. How does this benefit you?

While it's absolutely true that today's Bay Area real estate market offers wonderful opportunities for homebuyers (and I want to help you find one), it's also true that real estate today should be viewed as a minimum five-year investment. So if you can't look me in the eye and tell me there's a better-than-average chance you'll be here for five years, I will advise you to rethink buying at this time. That's my "yes, but" answer.

On the other hand, if you think the chance of your living here for at least five years is above average ... You'd be very smart to buy an East Bay home for sale as soon as possible!

Which Is It — Buying A Place To Live Or Making An Investment?

Buying a home is both ... and here's why. Searching for an East Bay home for sale can easily cause "sticker shock" — even with the home-price declines of the last few years. And even when searching for an entry-level home.

If you're 25 years old and making $50,000 a year, $145,000 for a one-bedroom condo in Walnut Creek can be a sobering number. And if you're older and making more, $500,000 for a Walnut Creek entry-level home can also give you pause.

So why do buyers pay so much to buy a home in Walnut Creek or some other high-end East Bay city?

Because when you buy real estate, you're making an investment ... but it's unlike any other investment you can make. For instance, when you buy 100 shares of IBM, you get a stock certificate. If the stock goes up and you sell it, you make money. If the stock goes down and you sell it, you lose money.

At the end of the day, however, if it rains, you can't hold the stock certificate over your head and keep dry. Buying stock has a single purpose: it's an investment; it's your money working for you.

But when you buy real estate, you're buying more than just a place to live. You're buying a franchise in the community. What goes on in the community happens in your front yard, so to speak. You benefit from the community. You benefit from the easy commute, the infrastructure and other community assets.

The community can also have a financial impact on your life, either positive or negative. If there are more people coming into the community than leaving, your home's value will go up, increasing your net worth. When your home value goes up and it comes time to sell, you've gotten more than a place to live, raise your children and create lifelong memories. You've also made a profit on your home, which was your investment in the community.

Simply put, buyers are willing to pay more for a home in Walnut Creek or another high-end East Bay community because a home purchase there is also a good investment.

When you have Bob Lilley as your buyer's agent, you get an experienced Realtor® who knows the East Bay real estate market well and can help you assess a home's value for investment potential as well as assess the home's ability to meet your needs and lifestyle desires.

Is What You Say You Want In A Home Really What You Want?

Buyers come to me often saying they want the biggest house for the cheapest price ... and I understand that. But as your buyer's agent I have a responsibility to protect your interests. It's my duty to point out other important issues to be considered.

For example, if your children are pre-school age and that big house for the cheap price is in a less-than-desirable school district, it might not be the best choice for you for several reasons. Your children will eventually start school and you'll want to be in a good school district. You'll eventually want to sell the house, and homes in undesirable school districts have less resell value. Also, they have less lifestyle value because there will be more vandalism, more graffiti and such than if the home you buy is in a good school district.

Or consider this: if you're getting up in age, that two-story colonial at the cheap price might not be the best layout for you. Or perhaps the kitchen is on a higher level than the garage and all groceries have to be carried up a full flight of stairs.

Or you may work in downtown San Francisco or Oakland and want to know about the commute. As your buyer's agent, it's my job to suggest that you experience the commute for yourself. Come to the house at whatever hour you would drive to work, and make the drive. My suggestion is the same for public transportation: experience it for yourself; get on it and go. This way you can make up your own mind.

Or what if the next door neighbor has a rooster that crows every morning at dawn? Some buyers may love that rooster because it reminds them of their childhood days spent on the farm. But others may want to buy a hatchet and go have a chat with that rooster.

Buying an East Bay home can only be successful when you have a buyer's agent with the knowledge and experience to ask the thought-provoking questions that will guide you to discover what you really want in your East Bay home.

And when you have Bob Lilley as your buyer's agent, you get a Realtor® with over two decades of experience targeting all the issues you need to consider to make a good decision. Why do I go to so much trouble instead of selling you a home haphazardly?

Because when we sit down at the closing table and you're handed the keys to your new home, I want to know for certain that the home you bought is the one that's going to work best for you. This way, we both can get a good night's sleep!

So, if you're thinking of buying an East Bay real estate or a Walnut Creek home, call me at 925.932.0220 or email me. Rest assured I won't be off on a boat somewhere but will be available to take your call, call you right back or reply to your email promptly.

Robert Lilley

Bob Lilley
Owner & Managing Broker

Mobile: 925.787.3209
Office: 925.932.0220
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