The November/December issue of Walnut Creek’s newsletter, In a Nutshell
that five below-market-rate condominiums are available at 555YVR, the boutique residential development at 555 Ygnacio Valley Road.
But is there a backstory to this? Another blogger, WC Varones
, who has been following the trials and tribulations of Walnut Creek’s luxury Mercer complex and now of 555YVR points out that whe 555YVR first opened, it was asking $700,000 for two-bedroom units and around $500,000 for 1-bedroom units. At the time it opened back in the spring, I myself asked
whether, in this economic climate, a luxury condo development would sell well. By November, the Mercer, for example, had begun leasing out units to fill those that had been left unsold.
Now, according to the Nutshell
, and SFGate’s On the Block blog
, 555 YVR is offering three 1-bedroom units for $133,000; one 2-bedroom unit for $148,000; and one live/work unit $135,000. The units are made possible through the City’s Below Market Rate program. Prospective buyers must be income-qualified, first-time home buyers within the past three years, and they will be selected through an application process. According to SFGate, household incomes of applicants cannot exceed $46,350 for one person, $53,000 for two, $59,600 for three and $66,250 for four people. But if you want to take advantage of this deal, you need to move fast. Applications must be turned in to 555 YVR by no later than 5 p.m. November 10.
This sounds like good news for people who, like Yours Truly, have jobs in low-paying professions. I’m not the sole breadwinner, but if I were, our family would most definitely qualify.
At the city-sponsored Community Conversation I attended, I expressed the view that the city needs housing that a fair number of people who work here can afford. By the way, according to the 2007 US Census, Walnut Creek’s median household income was $73,000. That’s not too far above the median household income that would qualify a family of four for one of these units in 555YVR.
The WC Varones blog, which initially tipped me off to this new affordable housing opportunity in Walnut Creek, raises the questions of what prompted this move. The blog notes that, based on this report on SFGate, that developments in other affluent communities in the Bay Area, such as in Marin County, are suddenly making affordable housing available to first-time homebuyers.
First Marin County, now Walnut Creek. Both communities — neither of whose populaces are usually seen to be lacking in the greenbacks department — have recently announced plans to accommodate lower income residents.