Contra Costa County real estate is booming, Orinda home sells for more than $3.5 million

Built in the Bay
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(CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Calif.) The seller's market continues in Contra Costa County as more homes were put on the market Monday morning. The vast majority of the nearly 1700 homes on the market in the county fell between the wide range of $500,000 to $1.5 million.

Contra Costa is a more disparate county than many others around the Bay Area. It stretches from the Caldecott Tunnel out to the delta and thus encompasses a wide array of different classes and neighborhoods. Two houses of equivalent size, on similar lots, with similar access to the freeway, maybe sell for drastically different prices.

This is in part because of the expansive nature of the residential sprawl of the county and in part due to the highly competitive housing market within the county.

For example, a six-bedroom, three-bathroom, 2,652 square-feet home on a 4,500 square-foot lot on Alhambra Avenue in Martinez was listed for $858,888. Compare that with the listing price of a three-bedroom, two-bathroom, 2,172 square-foot home on a less than half-acre lot on Post Street in Alamo which was listed at more than $1.9 million.

What accounts for the price difference? It's difficult to pinpoint one factor over another but rather a combination of factors. Alamo is significantly more suburban and is widely regarded as having a better school district. Alamo is also unincorporated and thus heavily patrolled by the Contra Costa County Sheriffs.

Additionally, Martinez still has a massive industrial quarter that makes up a large portion of the city's revenue and jobs. Alamo, by comparison, is rural and suburban.

The most expensive house listed in the past week is the aforementioned Alamo home. However, the most expensive home sold in the past week is another tier of house altogether.

A sprawling, custom-built mansion in the Orinda hills sold in just 11 days. It was listed by Dudum Real Estate Group and features a manicured pool house, separate garage/office suit, a bocce ball court, a pool and multiple patios staring out at the rolling hills of Moraga.

This magnificent five-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bathroom, 3,200 square-foot home sits on less than an acre and was built in 2013. It sold recently for $3.475 million.

According to Karen Guarisco, who listed the property, that price reflects both the limited market in Orinda, just seven homes according to Guarisco, and the continued appeal of the small, wealthy suburban enclave that sits just 10 minutes from downtown Oakland and 25 minutes from San Francisco.

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