I am a recent fan of Eichler homes and just discovered this great website.
Does anyone have any experience with the rental market for Eichler homes? I currently work in Oakland, CA part-time and make my principal residence at a home I own in the Summerlin development in Las Vegas, NV. However, I anticipate full-time work to begin at my job in Oakland shortly, and will be entering the East Bay rental market later this year.
I would love nothing more than to rent one of these fabulous homes in Oakland or Castro Valley, even if only for a year or two. I am particularly interested in the Eichlers in the Greenridge Park area of Castro Valley - I really like that neighborhood and it is reasonably accessible to BART.
So does anyone have an idea if there is any kind of East Bay rental market for these homes? I am also interested in the square footage figures of the Castro Valley models. I don't really need too big of a house and am wondering what is the smallest model out there.
Thanks for any further info or advice that can be offered.
I have lived in the Castro Valley Eichler development since 2000 and only once have I seen a "For Rent" sign on an Eichler in our neighborhood. I am sure this because of the weirdness going on with Bay area housing in general. During this recession the selling price of houses has been increasing rapidly while the prices of rentals has been declining. Further, there is a concern that this housing boom could turn to housing bust at any time because the boom is unsupported by the job market which has been in decline since the "dot bomb" fiasco. In such an environment folks are more likely to want to sell their homes now at a good profit rather than take a monthly loss renting the home for what could be considerably less than their carrying costs (unless they bought a long time ago).
There are only 200 eichler homes in Castro Valley and 50 in the Oakland tract so it doesn't seem too likely to me that a rental here in the next few months - but who knows. I would be happy to let you know if I see a sign - but I wouldn't expect it to happen. We have a weekly Castro Valley paper, The Forum, but that would only be useful to you if you were looking for any old rental in Castro Valley as opposed to specifically, an Eichler.
Almost all the eichlers here range from 1750 - 2000 square feet, they all have atriums, mostly 4 bedrooms (some converted from 4 to 3 and there is one 5 bedroom model). If you were looking to buy you could definitely find one for sale at almost any given time.
If you want to rent a home in cool neighborhood I would look in Montclair in the Oakland Hills - there always used to be rental homes consistently there (I can't speak to what the market is like now). They are easy to find because the community has a local paper, The Montclairon, which comes out once a week and contains local rental listings for the community. And it is like living in the woods - yet 5 minutes from Monclair Village shopping area - which is really cute. There are great views and alot of the houses are in that 1960s-1970s "california hills" style which is a form of modern. Of course not every house is modern - but you could get lucky. But even if you don't - the views and location might make up for even a more traditional style house.
We lived there as renters for 4 years and we loved it. In the interests of full disclosure I need to say that the Hayward fault runs directly through Montclair Village (up the hill the houses are away from the fault and are on bedrock) and the area is vunerable to wildfire (Oakland Hills fire, 1991) and the occasional mudslide. And almost all the houses are on steep lots (hence the views). However, I personally didn't feel at risk safety-wise and was never concerned about this as renter, but felt it was a very strong reason not to spend megabucks to INVEST in a home in such an geographically risky area. So when we decided to buy a home - we looked in Castro Valley (btw, still not too far from the Hayward fault :). But if I were going to RENT a house again - I would definitely look again in Monclair !
Hope this info helps!
Thanks for the reply, wbisset, and the helpful info.
You are fortunate to live in such a great neighborhood. I've actually lived in the Bay Area for most of my 37 years, even lived in Castro Valley for a short time about 10 years ago, and I only just recently discovered the Greenridge Park area up in the Castro Valley hills with all of the Eichlers. I really like the location and atmosphere of that neighborhood.
I'm not sure if I will ever be able to afford to "buy" in the Bay Area, given the crazy housing market. But I should be able to afford the rent on a modest-sized home under 2000 sq. ft. in a nice area such as Castro Valley or the Oakland Hills, so I will definitely keep looking in those areas for a "modern" home to rent. If you do happen to see an Eichler for rent anytime in the future, please post.
My mom grew up in Montclair and I still have an uncle that lives up there, it really is a nice area. But I'm concerned about the fire danger up there, as well. It's just a matter of time before that area has another major fire. But I will pick up a Montclarion and see what is available.
It looks like I will have to lower my sights a bit and settle for a "regular" house or cottage to rent. I've been a bit spoiled down in Las Vegas and might have to get used to the idea of living in an older, more traditional home for awhile.
We have actually been toying with the idea of leasing out our home in the Balboa Highlands tract (Southern California) for an extended period of time? 6 months to a year due to a possible change of work circumstance. We would probably do it semi-furnished with some of our modern stuff to make it more attractive to the "right" leasor.
I am curious to know if anyone has ever done this kind of thing before?
Apologies if this has already been suggested and I missed it, but have you tried contacting some of the real estate agents specializing in Eichlers? There are some listed on this site. I'm guessing they might have a handle on people who might be considering renting...
It does somewhat depend on the area and the economy. We are in a beautiful area of San Jose, known as Willow Glen and in the last 2 years, have seen about four Eichlers coming up for rent. With the fall out of the dot-coms a few years back, and the continued softness in the economy, some folks have been forced to transfer for other work opportunities. When this happens, some sell their homes, but others choose to rent them. Someone already mentioned using a RE agent -- I would also contact the agents that advertise on this site, since they specialize in Eichlers and therefore really have their finger on the housing pulse around here.
Well the Castro Valley eichler neighborhood is really weird in this regard - but there really is no real estate agent who really dominates in our neighborhood - although I am sure all of them will tell you that they are Eichler "experts" and indeed bought or sold a few of them if they have been in business a long time.
Heidi Slocumb claims to be the Eichler expert for the entire East Bay, but in fact she is based out of Walnut Creek and that is where most of her business is. She does get 1- 3 listings each year in the CV (which may represent 10-15% of the total annual listings in the neighborhood in a given year) but she is not really a local agent. You are certainly could call her - her number is in the real estate section of this website. You could also call the Prudential Castro Valley office - they seem to have the most listings here as an office...