STOCKTON, Calif. — Near Stockton's Miracle Mile sits a 1904 Craftsman-style two-story, two-bedroom, two-bath home on a quiet, neighborhood street.
"Big dining room," said new homeowner P.J. Bell.
Bell is a content writer for a healthcare company. Her husband, Marshall Won, is a retired parking valet who worked for more than 30 years in San Francisco. They sold their San Francisco home for $1.6 million and bought a nearly 2,000-square-foot home near Stockton's Miracle Mile in May for $398,000.
It's a steal by Bay Area standards.
"If we were still in the city I would still be working. Both of us. We would both be working, yeah," said the couple sitting on their couch.
Some of what has attracted the couple to Stockton is the city's tree-lined streets, as well as some of the friendly neighbors they've encountered. They say Stockton is slower compared to the hustle and bustle of the Bay Area.
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Property investment firm RealtyHop reported the city saw its median change in asking price drop $4,999 during the past month. Even so, that ranked Stockton third in the country for that small of a difference for the average listing price.
Veteran broker Michael Blower of Gruper Real Estate says while Bay Area buyers continue to flood the Central Valley for cheaper homes, a lack of inventory, including new homes, is also keeping prices up.
"Typically, you have new homes and the people that are buying those homes are selling their previous home. So, when you don't have that influencing the market I think that's going to be part of that," said Blower, who is also a past president of the Central Valley Association of Realtors.
Blower says right now properties under $300,000 in Stockton are getting multiple offers. Above that price point, there is less demand.
In the case of this newer Stockton homebuying couple, they put in an offer the first day they saw their home. You might say it was a case of "buy at first sight."
"No complaints. None so far. We're liking it."
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