Few metropolitan areas in the US are home to three major cities. The Bay Area can comfortably say it’s one of them, playing host to three of the 50 largest cities in the US, per the US Census Bureau.
For the past couple of years, we’ve been hearing that city dwellers are dispersing to the suburbs and beyond, as work-from-home options became more widely accepted. But other new-home buyers are not only finding — but seeking — new-home lifestyle opportunities in, or within easy access of, the Bay Area’s major cities.
For some, after decades of raising a family followed by the pandemic-induced stay-at-home lifestyle, a new place closer to the action might hold considerable appeal. Others have never wanted to leave the city or closer proximity to the coast or the bay.
And in many cases, the move to a new construction townhome, condo or other multifamily communities can also mean a lifestyle upgrade. To meet the need for new construction and to recover some cherished landscapes and views in the Bay Area, new-home communities are rising in former commercial areas, on hillsides and tucked into or along waterways.
In San Francisco, Lafayette, Santa Clara, Foster City and more, buyers find these new-home communities close to the hills or the water while only minutes from BART or Caltrain lines that offer easy rides into the Bay Area’s main cities.
And, given the scarcity of land for building, this new construction comes in the form of condominiums, townhomes and luxury high-rise communities.
Let’s explore the many benefits buyers are enjoying about new construction closer to cities.
Ease of ownership
New condominium, townhome and high-rise communities blend the advantages of both city life and single-family comfort, giving buyers a balance of urban convenience and suburban comfort.
Each condo, townhome or high-rise community offers distinguishing amenities and features. Among them are high-quality finishes that buyers in the early stages of development can choose for themselves.
Meanwhile, community associations ensure that owners are always happy with the quality of construction and that shared areas look inviting and that features are in working order.
Most homes include one- or two-car parking; electric vehicle charging is a built-in standard. There’s no lawn mowing, gutter cleaning and grounds upkeep; all that’s included with the purchase.
Certain communities have on-site concierge staff; others provide transit to nearby shopping and corporate centers; still others are strategically located steps from BART or Caltrain and popular retail, grocery, attractions and places of work.
From private terraces on individual units overlooking nature or bustling neighborhood life, to fitness and entertainment centers, rooftop parks and enclosed community parks, the amenities of multifamily new construction delight buyers of all ages and stages.
Other amenities, which may vary by community and builder, include on-site retail and dining; pools; fitness centers with equipment and class schedules; game rooms; clubhouses or clubrooms; indoor or outdoor conference-style spaces; children’s playgrounds; bike-share stations; community gardens; dog parks and even designated outdoor quiet areas.
A variety of offerings
Just as with single-family detached homes, builders are cognizant of the varied needs of buyers in their higher-density living communities.
Within each new condo, townhome or high-rise community, home configurations include floor plans ranging from one or two bedrooms and one or two bathrooms to up to four bedrooms and four bathrooms.
Some are multilevel units with rooftop access; others are penthouse-style units with one or two levels and private rooftops; still others are lower-level entry with elevator access to upper floors.
Among the most surprising features might be the sizes; homes can range from 1,400 square feet for a one- or two-bedroom unit to nearly 3,000 square feet for a four-plus-bedroom unit.
In other words, buying new construction in a brand-new condo, townhome or high-rise community doesn’t mean buying less living space. Instead, buyers can enjoy just as much or more living space. Likewise, they may realize that — given the amenities and closeness to the city or transit — they don’t need to buy as much house as they once thought they needed.
Get on some interest lists
While some projects are just breaking ground, others are well into the final stages of home selection and sales.
Your best bet for learning what’s available now and what’s coming soon is to show interest. Community representatives want you to find the right fit and will help you learn the timing and steps to take to acquire the new home of your dreams.