6 Things to Know Before Buying a Home in Palo Alto


If You’re Ready to Buy in the New Year, Work With a Palo Alto Real Estate Agent and Follow These Other Five Tips.

Are you considering buying Palo Alto real estate in 2021? This California city has a historically strong real estate market due to the number of tech companies located in and around the city and its ideal climate.
Even though there is uncertainty surrounding the market during the pandemic, now could be the ideal time for you to buy. Here are six things you should know if you’re considering a Palo Alto real estate purchase in the new year.

1. You Need Your Own Palo Alto Real Estate Agent

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can find, make an offer on, and buy Palo Alto real estate without working with an agent. The seller’s agent is always looking out for the seller’s best interest and will not negotiate on your behalf. Add to this the fact that you don’t have to pay for a buyer’s agent’s services—they make their money by receiving a portion of the sold home’s selling price.
An experienced Palo Alto real estate agent knows the market and will be able to identify properties you might be interested in as soon as they are listed. He or she will also help you craft a competitive offer and handle the requirements of a bidding war should one occur. An agent will even hook you up with other industry professionals like mortgage professionals, home insurance providers, and home inspection companies that you’ll need to work with to complete your transaction.

2. Palo Alto is Currently in a Seller’s Market

A seller’s market occurs when there are more prospective buyers than Palo Alto real estate inventory. That means that now is not the time for buyers to casually shop for a home. If you are interested in Palo Alto luxury homes, you need to be very clear on precisely what you want and your budget for getting it. Agents see 15+ offers on homes soon after they hit the market, and these offers are often well above the listing price. In a competitive market like this, buyers need to be ready to act with pre-approval letters from their lender, money saved up for a down payment, and a set budget for how much they’re willing to spend.

3. The Mortgage Rates are Unbeatable

Mortgage interest rates hit record lows in 2020, falling below the 3 percent mark. While these low rates can’t last forever, most real estate insiders believe they will continue at least through the early months of 2021. What does this mean for those considering Palo Alto real estate purchases? Don’t wait to make a purchase! If rates jump by just 1 percent, it could mean hundreds of extra dollars on your monthly mortgage payment. Though the market may be competitive for Palo Alto luxury homes, you will be able to afford more houses than usual with these low rates. Work with an experienced agent so you can find the right home as soon as it hits the market and put in a competitive offer that seals the deal.

4. A Slow Shift Back to the City is Possible

Though the market is competitive in the Palo Alto area, there has been a trend in the past year of people moving out of the city limits to settle in less crowded suburbs. This is due to soaring prices as well as the ability to work from home. Those who no longer have to worry about commuting have been opting for less expensive homes with more space in areas like Orinda, Moraga, and Lafayette.
However, this trend may soon change—many tech companies in the city have indicated they will no longer allow employees to work 100 percent remotely or implement a partial pay cut for those who want to continue working from home. This will bring thousands of employees back to the city and cause Palo Alto luxury homes to become even more desired. If you’re in the market to buy Palo Alto real estate, now is the time to do so.

5. Palo Alto Real Estate is a Great Investment

If you’re thinking of purchasing real estate as an investment, you can’t find a better market than Palo Alto. With its strong entrepreneurial spirit and history of innovation, the city will continue to grow and prosper. The limited inventory is also a plus when it comes to investing in Palo Alto luxury homes. Though it may be more challenging to locate a property you’re interested in and more unlikely to find a deal in this type of market, the strong market means your investment will undoubtedly increase in value.
Limited inventory is not just a product of the current atmosphere, either. Palo Alto has some of the lowest inventory in the nation due to strict zoning laws and the fact that it’s a mere seven by seven miles. No matter how the market changes in other parts of the nation, Palo Alto real estate values are likely to continue to climb.

6. Buying Can be Cheaper Than Renting if You Plan to Stay

Many potential home-buyers opt to rent in a competitive seller’s market until inventory opens up and prices decrease. This makes sense for those who only plan to stay in a condo, apartment, or home for a few years. This is due to the enormous upfront costs of buying a home, including a down payment, closing costs, and recurring costs like maintenance and repairs. If you plan to stay in your home for five years or more, these costs will even out and make owning less expensive than renting. However, if you’re still unsure about the future of your work situation or are considering a relocation, it makes sense to rent Palo Alto real estate until you’re more sure of your future housing needs.

Ready to take the leap and buy one of the Palo Alto luxury homes on the market? Work with an experienced real estate agent like Brendan Callahan to locate the home of your dreams and conduct a successful transaction. 

Work With Brendan

Brendan exhibits his genuine passion and solid dedication. He works personally with each client to ensure that they receive exceptional counsel and guidance.