Are you thinking of buying home in Oakland? Here are some things you may want to consider:
1. Find a local realtor. Unless you know the city well, your best bet is learning from people who know and live the city.
2. Take a walk. Everyone has different opinions. It's great to gather them from people you know but at the same time get feel by walking around, visit stores and restaurants, and talk to people who live the area you are interested in.
3. Have options. Do not focus on only one area you are interested in. There are similar neighborhoods since Oakland is a big city! Check various areas simultaneously.
4. Think future. Oakland is rapidly changing. Many high tech companies are moving there. That will for sure change its landscape. Whether it's good or bad, it's up to you to decide. :)
5. Zen mind. Do not get frustrated! It may take for a while to find your home. But you will, if you are patient and hopefully listen to your realtor. Most realtors work really hard to find a best possible home for you.
Finally, if you are going to make an offer....
6. Check past data. It's really wasting your time to check current list price since it does NOT tell any thing! Check the historical data , say the sale price of similar properties in the neighborhood you are interested in for the last three months. You will be surprised how far you may need to overbid in order to win a property.
And good luck to you! Let's get your sweet home in Oakland in 2016!!