If you were house hunting 25 years ago in the City of Manteca along the Woodward Avenue corridor the pickings were slim to none.
There were a cluster of homes on acre lots midway between Airport Way and Union Road. The remaining homes were small older farmhouses that still stood after 80 years among what was seemingly an endless sea of almond orchards and were being rented out by growers.
It wasn’t until 1999 that the first tract home popped up south of the 120 Bypass.
More than 50 percent of the buyers back when Atherton Homes started the Woodward Park neighborhood surrounding the future 52-acre park of the same name in 1999 were Manteca residents.
They were cashing in on rising equity triggered by a boom in housing demand by buyers heralding from the Bay Area snapping up resale homes in the Mission Ridge, Shasta Park and Trailwood neighborhoods among others. They made enough equity to make 20 percent plus down payments and income to cover higher mortgage payments.
Existing city residents were eager to buy Manteca’s first legitimate foray into McMansion territory with two-story homes from 3,500 to 3,800 square feet on lots 60 percent larger than the typical new tract home lot of 6,000 square feet at the time in Manteca.
Those McMansions started at $320,000 back in 1999.
Today some 4,000 plus homes later the Woodward Avenue corridor is ground zero in Manteca for both and new resale homes.
A home on Tannehill Drive with 3,774 square feet featuring four bedrooms and three bathrooms on an 8,917-square-foot-lot has an accepted offer of $990,000. The home was built in 2001 and sold for $347,000 new.
About three miles to the west in the 2600 block of Woodward Avenue past McKinley Avenue a new home is in escrow for $899,000. It’s a smaller home at 2,258 square feet with four bedrooms and three bathrooms — the same as the home built in 2001 on Tannehill Drive. The lot, though, is bigger with nearly 14,000 square feet.
The biggest difference are the buyers.
Virtually none of the buyers of resale homes above $1 million and just the price of a used late model sedan below seven figures already reside in Manteca. Neither are the buyers of new homes in Manteca now flirting with the $900,000 mark.
They are almost all fleeing the Bay Area in search of affordable housing as defined by prices west of the Altamont Pass.
While many are using equity from the sale of a home they owned for years to make down payments as high as 40 percent, most are putting down 20 percent.
Based on 4 percent for closing costs added in for a 30-year fixed mortgage at 3.75 percent that comes to $237,600 down. It leaves a monthly payment of $4,940 or $59,280 a year.
That is more than 80 percent of the median household income of $72,196 in 2021.
Mortgage companies — depending on a borrowers’ debt loads that includes car payment and revolving debt — view 25 to 35 percent of household gross income going toward housing costs as do-able. Based on that the median household income of Manteca’s million-dollar home buyers are in the neighborhood of $150,000.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com