By Betty Yu

VALLEJO (KPIX) — It is one of the few places in the Bay Area where people can shell out less than a half million dollars to own a home: Vallejo.

A 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom home, just under 2,000 square feet at 1201 Valle Vista Avenue, is on the market for $475,000.

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That’s about $10,000 more than the median sales price in Vallejo, according to Coldwell Banker Solano Pacific realtor Linda Daraskavich.

“Bidding wars have pretty much gone away. Houses are staying on the market a little bit longer so it’s great for buyers right now. The interest rates are still very good,” said Daraskavich.

Daraskavich says her clients, priced out of most Bay Area cities, say the affordable prices are the main reason they are now looking to buy in Vallejo.

“We’re getting younger people starting families, middle-aged, kind of getting ready to retire,” she added.

The Bay Area housing market has softened, compared to this time last year. Coldwell Banker Solano Pacific says, currently, the average home in Vallejo stays on the market for 45 days. A year ago, it was 14 days.

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“I paid in the low 200s and I got a 2-bedroom condo up in the Glen Cove area,” said Vallejo native Colton Souza.

Souza just became a first-time homeowner. He works as an HVAC technician and uses the ferry occasionally.

Realtors say the ferry terminal has become a big draw, particularly for those who work in San Francisco, about 30 miles away.

Vallejo has had a reputation for crime but residents say things have got better since the city filed for bankruptcy in 2008.

“I’ve definitely seen it improve. It’s got its faults like any town does, some more than others. When you say you live in Vallejo, there’s a bit of a stigma with that,” said Souza.

Vallejo native Mika Todd hopes to one day buy property in her hometown.

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“I feel like it’s improved a lot, especially with having — when they started filming ’13 Reasons Why.’ I feel like downtown Vallejo was more known and I think the shops are still here,” Todd said.