When should I buy next? And what!

I was just unexpectedly given an inheritance gift and am already thinking about buying my next investment property! Wanted to get the perspectives of the lovely smart readers of this forum.

My situation: I own two condos in San Francisco. The first one is a 1-bedroom that I bought for a very good price in the depths of financial crisis. I’m currently renting it out. The second one is a 2-bedroom that I just bought a few months ago and am happily living in. I got a pretty good price for it, though of course things are so much more expensive now.

My first idea is buying a small single-family-home in Oakland or Berkeley to rent out. Perhaps somewhere I can live in a few years when I want a backyard. It feels a bit risky to buy now especially given I just bought a place. So perhaps shoot for late summer or fall of 2017? I’d have a downpayment of about 150K. I like the idea of diversifying beyond the city of san francisco.

My other idea is to buy a second-home up in Guerneville or somewhere near Russian River or Napa. Perhaps start off using it as an investment property and rent it out, and then make it into a second home later. It looks like I can get a small shack up there for quite little money.

My third idea is to buy something near downtown Benicia. I don’t know why I like that idea, I just do. I feel like I could live there eventually and have a cute retreat, as well as a doable commute to San Francisco 3 days a week.

My fourth idea is to buy near Richmond BART station. Strictly an investment property. It’s gotta go up sometime right??

I have so many ideas and can probably only afford to do one in the next couple years! What do you all think? And in the meantime, what should I do with the 150K?

IMO second homes are never a good idea. Especially in this age of AirBnB. About Benicia, commute to SF will be brutal.

If you are planning to buy sometime in 2017, I think it’s best to just put the money in your savings account.

The market seems to have peaked in many respects, so I would just hold cash and enjoy the holidays!!! Moderation in all things…

Wait a month…If Trump wins there could be some good buys after the crash…If Hillary wins watch the stock market. Then watch the spring RE inventory. .if it stays low prices will keep climbing. …As long as BA unemployment stays low local prices will rise…


Timing aside, if OP wants SFH and not condos or TH’s, choices are pretty limited in Bay Area proper. So Richmond may make sense, although I don’t know that market that well. One area I am watching is the Oakland/San Leandro border. The price-rent ratio for SFH’s works for me.

Yeah I would prefer a SFH to diversify. Interesting about San Leandro/Oakland border. I don’t know that area too well either.

Thanks for the advice everyone. I will stay patient, watch and see what happens.