Joshua - (I'm also in Oakland)
that Newport has been up (without dropping the price from 15) for monthsss - that indicates it is likely overpriced even for the bay (maybe others went and checked it out and discovered it isn't all that nice? maybe the overlap between Tobey Maguire/Spiderman/moped fans who have 15 hundo to spend isn't huge? maybe the right person just hasn't come around?). the price never coming down indicates the seller doesn't need to sell it and is holding off for max profit.
what level of experience do you have with these OR to what degree are you willing to read up and learn?
It looks like ~1500 is the money you have the budget to spend.... so you have a few options (depending on your willingness to work)
A) spend 1200 on a more reliable mode of transport like a scooter or motorcycle where you don't really have to do *much* work yourself. take the extra cash and pay yearly registration + pay to take it into a shop every so often for upkeep
B) spend 700 or so on a running *stock* puch or tomos (parts are easy to find) and take the cash and pay a local shop or person to do work for you... people here will def look down on you for this - it's kinda the antithesis of moped culture (i've never used any of these so I can't attest to quality of work > Motomatic Mopeds, Rockridge two wheels, Scooter Repair Center 510-222-5662, River City Motor Bike 916-807-2458, Bryce Rocket Cycles, some rando CL dude 408-391-1396). WHEN (not if) you break down on the side of the road you'll need to have a contingency plan if you can't self-diagnose/repair
C) spend 700 or so on a running *stock* puch or tomos and learn to work on it
D) many advise against this, but another option (that many people start out with) > spend 100-400 on a non running bike that you'll likely kinda butcher, but will learn a lot from. spend some of the remaining money on parts and TONS of your time tinkering... determine if this is for you. use the wiki, use youtube, search the forums here... when ALL else fails post questions in the repair section. there are bikes that pop up for cheap... if helpful (not all of these are up on CL currently) currently available in the bay right now there's a <$200 trac, a <$125 kinetic tfr, a <$200 puch maxi etc. let me know if you want contacts