Buying Oakland Investment Property

By: Hamid Grinage

When considering whether or not to buy Oakland investment property, there are several factors that make Oakland a perfect choice for the right investor. Everyone has heard the term "location, location, location" and the Bay Area has always been considered a great location to be in. There are several characteristics Oakland has that make it a truly unique city. Being the eighth largest city in California, Oakland has a population of just over 400,000. It's the only city in California with the "big three" sports teams: the Oakland A's, Oakland Raiders, and the Golden State Warriors. The Port of Oakland is the fourth largest container port in the US and among the top 25 in the world, and Newsweek ranked Oakland among the top ten technology cities in the country.

In addition to these qualities, Oakland's geography offers a central location to several of California's vibrant hubs. San Francisco is 15 minutes away, Silicon Valley is 45 minutes, and the world famous UC Berkeley campus lies just a few miles to the north. The climate in Oakland is ranked #1 in the US according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration local climatalogical data.

Oakland's "Just Cause" Eviction Ordinance (Measure EE) and Rent Control

Perhaps the biggest downside to being a landlord in Oakland is Measure EE, better known as the "Just Cause" eviction ordinance. This ordinance makes it a little tricky when it comes to evicting tenants. One of the most controversial sections of the ordinance makes it unlawful to evict a tenant solely for the purpose of selling the property. The proponents of the ordinance claimed that because of housing market pressures in the Bay Area, tenants need some sort of protection from being evicted without good reason. Oakland is also under a Rent Control Ordinance that limits the amount that rent can be increased every year to 3%. Of course any prospective Oakland real estate investor needs to be aware of these regulations. For more information on Measure EE and rent control visit the Rental Housing Association of Northern Alameda County.

APOD and NOI

In terms of residential income property (2-4 units), one does not only consider the purchase price alone. The price an investor will pay for income producing real estate is set by a property evaluation analysis of data based on several different appraisal techniques, one of which is the "Income Approach". The Annual Property Operating Data or (APOD) is a simple spreadsheet program designed to provide information about the properties net operating income or (NOI). NOI is basically a representation of the properties income and it's expenses. In other words, the NOI is a representation of the annual return the property delivers to the owner.

So since the NOI represents the investor's annual returns, the information and data entered in an APOD are the fundamentals upon which an investment property is judged for value. The APOD may or may not have been prepared by the listing agent of the property in question, and it should include information about the NOI, the spendable income from the property, and the income tax consequences the prospective buyer will likely have during the first year of ownership.

When looking at investment property, it's obviously a good idea to own property in an area where people want to be. As long as there is a demand for housing in an area, you can be assured that you won't have too hard of a time keeping your property occupied. If you already own Oakland investment property, you have enjoyed appreciation of over 100 percent in the last five years, which is remarkable by any standard. While appreciation is no longer as strong as it has been in the previous several years, Oakland real estate will always be a good investment for those who have a solid strategy for long term success. The key is to make an informed decision by knowing all the issues involved.

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