My House Search in 2021

[ bay-area  belmont  san-carlos  house  mountain-view  ]

This post is my review of house search from Sep to Oct of 2021. I have checked 88 houses and most of which I have paid a visit. I was looking for a new house as my office has been moved to north and the long commute from my current house makes me to move somewhere north. As a result, I mainly considered the area from Mountain View (north of 85) to Belmont.

This figure visualized the houses I have checked:

Screen Shot 2021-11-21 at 7.43.18 PM

I started my search assuming the market will cool down after Aug, which turns out to me untrue. The price keeps increasing and even at faster pace. If I set my criterion more feasible, I should have bought the house earlier and at a lower price (<=2.0M).

My original criterion is:

  • at least 3b2b;
  • must be in Mountain View (north of 85) to Belmont;
  • in a quiet and safe neighborhood, e.g., at least >1000 feet from free way;
  • in a safe neighborhood;
  • price <1.8M and HOA<500 if town house
  • need to have a yard and no apartment.

Those conditions are optional but welcomed:

  • single family > town house;
  • good school

It turns out:

  • it is almost mission impossible to get a SFH in Mountain View, San Carlos and Belmont under my budget. I had two offer missed by <100k;
  • Redwood City is not cheap when the neighorhood is good. But Redwood city generally doesn’t have good school;
  • I don’t like Redwood shore as it is too close to US-101 and its HOA is insanely expansive;
  • I don’t like Foster city as it is expansive and I am not comfortable with its foundation;
  • New houses usually have very small lot and have small or no yard at all;
  • Old houses usually has issues on termites and (small) cracks on foundation. But those are mostly minor issues.

Then I gradually increases my budget to 2M and then finally to 2.5M, as I realized for every 100k increase, it increases monthly mortgage payment by about $100. My final criterion is like:

  • at least 3b2b;
  • must be in San Carlos or Belmont;
  • in a quiet and safe neighborhood, e.g., at least >1000 feet from free way;
  • single family house only with a yard
  • price <2.5M
  • good school for at least elementary and middle school

Some nice to have conditions:

  • lot size >=6000 sqft and on a flat lot;
  • not too far from US-101 or too deep in the mountains.
Written on November 21, 2021