Not everyone can afford a single family house, or wants one. That’s why people buy condos or townhouses. There is a difference between the two. If you buy a condo, it is like owning an apartment but you own your four walls and a share of the rest of the building and grounds surrounding it and your homeowners association dues pays for water, garbage, fire insurance and the upkeep of the building. If you buy a townhouse, you own the building and the land it sits on but the building is sitting right next to another townhouse. You pay a homeowners association to take care of the common grounds surrounding your townhouse. Insurance, water, garbage and the like is on you.
Last week there were 106 condos or townhouses for sale. We call these Class 2 properties (there are 5 classes of property). Nothing sold last week. The Median price is trending up and is currently $529,000. Average days on the market is up and price per square foot is down. It is a Cold! Buyers Market according to Altos Research.
You can buy a condo in San Mateo for as little as $350,000 or as much as $4,980,000. Yes, that is four million nine hundred and eighty thousand dollars. Therefore, why is the median so low? Well, most condos are way, way below that one. Generally condos are 2 bedroom 2 bath units and around 1100 square feet. Townhouses are usually 3 bedrooms and 2 and a half baths and are around 1500 square feet or more.
The market action tells us that its been a Cold! Buyers Market for a long time but there is a little trend up. We have a lot of condos for sale and too few buyers for them. The peak of the market for condos was in 2006.
Gone are the days of 100% financing to get into a condo with one or two exceptions. Yes, there are some exceptions. If you go through the ACORN program you can qualify for a 100% loan. If you have lived in the County or work in the County you may qualify for HEART. So, its worth your time to investigate these programs. CalHFA has a great first time buyer program. The Bank of America and Wells Fargo do too. Home ownership still might be in your grasp if you seek it out.
The condo Median price is trending up and that is probably due to the new condos priced above the median. This is where that $4,980,000 condo is effecting the price.
San Mateo has some very expensive condos in the downtown area. These are quite large, too. There are also several new condo developments that are priced in the high $600,000s and on up. These also effect the median price.
Want more information? Just ask.