Money and Main Street
5 of 9
BACKNEXT
Brentwood, Calif.
Brentwood, CA
See More Views:
1 2 2
Purchase price: $417,000
Price change from peak: -46%


When Len and Rebecca Bingham moved to the Bay Area a few years ago, they knew they couldn't afford to buy in that high-powered market. Still it frustrated them since they came from Alabama, where the prices were much more reasonable. "For the first year and a half or so we were trying to figure out how to get the hell out of California," said Len, an engineer.

Friends advised them that if they wanted to buy they would have to use an exotic loan product, such as an interest-only mortgage. "They said, `You have to do that out here,' but I refused," Len remembered.

Fortunately, not long after their arrival in 2005, home prices in suburban San Francisco started to tumble, and this year the Binghams found a 2,400-square-foot, four-bed, two-bath on a cul-de-sac in the Contre Costa County town of Brentwood. When the home was newly built - just a few years earlier - it sold for more than $700,000; the Binghams scored it for just $417,000 - a 46% savings. On average, home prices have fallen 22% in the county during the first three quarter of 2008, according to Zillow.com.

Best of all, the house was in very good shape. The previous owner had it custom built as an investment and only lived in it for about six months. The rooms were like new and the grounds were well planted and maintained.

"We live at the top of a hill and have views of Mount Diablo and the foothills from out front and back yards and west facing windows," Len said. "We are so blessed." - L.C.

NEXT: Elk Grove, Calif.
Last updated June 15 2009: 10:24 AM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
More Galleries
My part-time job is a dead end, but it's all I can find CNNMoney profiles 4 of America's 7 million part-time workers unable to find full-time jobs. More
Cool cars from the LA Auto Show There are some of the standout vehicles on display this year at the Los Angeles Auto Show. More
American Dream homes: Prices in 10 cities How much does the American Dream home cost? From $2 million in Los Altos, Calif., to $65,000 in Cleveland, here's what you'll pay for a 4-bedroom, 2-bath house, according to Coldwell Banker's annual survey. More

Special Offer

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.