Buying a San Carlos CA Home

San Carlos house for saleSo, you’re thinking about buying a San Carlos CA home? Congrats, they don’t call it “The City of Good Living” for nothing, you will not regret moving into it, but you might regret the home you buy if you’re not careful!

Most of the homes in San Carlos were built between the 1930s to the 1950s so these are older structures with older foundations and little thought went into drainage when the land was being developed. So, pick wisely or at least understand the upgrade/repair costs going into the purchase. The upside is not matter where you’re buying a San Carlos CA home, the school will be great!

Inspections & Disclosures

For the reasons above when you are looking at buying a San Carlos CA home look out for quality inspections. In our region most of the time the sellers will make inspections available to buyers. You should always have access to a general home and pest inspection, plus I also recommend a fireplace and foundation inspection. These 4 inspections combined will cost about $2,000.

Not all inspectors are the same. I highly recommend writing in a contingency for additional inspections if the ones furnished to you by the sellers appear to be of poor quality. Keep in mind that we live in an area of high construction costs, so many repairs to a home could cost tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars!

You also need to carefully review the seller’s disclosures. These should have details about anything the owner knows is wrong with the house. The key here though is that the owner may not know about significant defects, which is why good inspections are important.

Hills vs Flats?

You’re also going to have to decide whether you’re buying a San Carlos CA home in the flats of San Carlos or in the hills. The hills can get windier as you go North and some roads get really narrow and curvy. I usually always recommend getting a foundation and chimney inspection if you’re buying in the hills unless it’s newer construction.

Study carefully the history of slides or potential for slides in the area. Homes in the flats may be more prone to water building up in the yard and crawlspace, often French drains may be a necessary upgrade to the property so that the foundation is not damaged by water or growing mold under the house. There are also some limited areas where homes can flood during super heavy rains.

You’ll of course also have to make other decisions like the type of architecture, size of the house, single or multi-story, yard size etc. But the key is not buying a lemon of a house!


If schools are important to you, then the good news is that buying a San Carlos CA home means not having to worry about schools in general. San Carlos in known for having great schools all around. It also has the San Carlos Education Foundation which raises lots of money for local schools. SCEF Link

Real Estate Market

Buying a San Carlos Ca home often means being in a bidding war with other buyers. San Carlos is a desirable community that is often sought after. Sometimes when it’s a seller’s market buyers will try to outbid one another for homes. However, there are also slower periods where it becomes a buyer’s market and buyers can actually demand the sellers make concessions and even negotiate prices down. This is where a good real estate agent becomes especially important. Someone that can tell you what kind of market you’re in and the amount of attention a particular property might be getting from other buyers?

In this desirable city, as of 2023 it was difficult to find a condo for under $1,000,000 or a single-family home for less than $2,500,000. So, budget accordingly and have yourself pre-approved with a lender before you even start looking at homes.

Escrow: Who Pays?

Buying a San Carlos CA home means you’re in San Mateo County and here it is custom for buyers to pay for escrow and title fees which will be a few thousand dollars; budget for 0.5% the purchase price of the home. Who pays is not mandatory, everything is negotiable. In a slower market, a buyer may ask the seller to pay or split these fees.

More Info:

To view homes currently for sale in San Carlos CA visit

To learn more about Vabrato Real Estate visit

To find some of the best real estate agents in San Carlos CA visit


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