Here’s how to find an affordable house in SLO County
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Looking for a cheaper home in San Luis Obispo County? You might want to search a bit off the beaten path.
Single-family home prices in the county have hit historic highs in 2019 — the May median was $640,000, according to the California Association of Realtors.
The county’s median household income is $67,175, according to U.S. Census Bureau data gathered from 2013 to 2017. Most local workers can’t afford to purchase a home anywhere close to the median price.
There are a few options for homebuyers shopping for houses in the $300,000 to $400,000 range, but they’re likely located in the northern, southern or eastern edges of the county.
A survey of homes in this price range on real estate site Zillow shows houses for sale in Paso Robles, San Miguel, Shandon, Nipomo, Oceano and Heritage Ranch near Lake Nacimiento.
The two-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bathroom house is part of a planned unit development, similar to a condominium complex. It was built in 1986 and has 1,110 square feet, a fireplace, granite countertops and front and back porch areas.
The home’s downsides include a Jack-and-Jill bathroom that connects the two upstairs bedrooms and the lack of yard space. But George said it’s perfect for first-time buyers who want to break into the housing market.
“This is a great property for someone that is buying for the first time, and a couple of years — two, three years — it positions them well in their equity to move to another home,” she said.
Buyers always have to balance what they want in a house with what they can afford, George said.
“My first step is always to inquire if they’ve seen a lender, to basically look at their ability to buy,” she said. “And, at that point in time, let’s see if we can get you in a game plan. It may not happen today, and it might be three to six months, but most times, we’re able to cross the threshold if everybody’s doing what they’re supposed to do.”
Natasha Mercurio, a real estate agent for Richardson Properties in San Luis Obispo, said buyers need to keep an open mind when looking for a home.
Those who want to end up in an area like San Luis Obispo may not get there with their first houses, she said. Buying property and getting into the market is the most important first step.
“In most cases, this is not going to be your forever home,” Mercurio said.
Here are four additional houses that may be worth a look if you’re shopping in the $300,000 to $400,000 price range.
Address: 1661 15th St.
Size: 957 square feet with three bedrooms, two bathrooms
Year built: 1961
This single-level home in Oceano comes with granite countertops, a three-car driveway and fenced front and back yards with drought-tolerant landscaping and fruit trees, according to Zillow.
It’s been on the market for 59 days, and the price was recently reduced by $20,000.
Address: 540 Linnet Lane
Size: 1,040 square feet with two bedrooms and two bathrooms
Year built: 1996
This Nipomo house is located on a dead-end street and features a two-car garage, a fenced backyard, hickory flooring and stainless steel appliances. It’s been on the market for nine days.
Address: 844 Avenida Vista
Size: 1,398 square feet with three bedrooms and two bathrooms
Year built: 2017
This San Miguel house was built just two years ago as part of San Miguel’s 60-home Jazzy Town development.
It comes with vaulted ceilings, stainless steel appliances, a two-car garage and a fenced-in backyard. The house has been on the market for six days.
Address: 4655 Silver Saddle Lane
Size: 1,534 square feet with two bedrooms and two bathrooms
Year built: 1979
This house is located in Heritage Ranch, a private community near Lake Nacimiento.
It features a large living room, separate dining area, patio and fenced-in side yard. The property also includes a separate workshop attached to a room that could function as a mother-in-law suite.
The house has been on the market for 40 days, and the price was recently reduced by $7,100.