When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

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tim1999
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When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by tim1999 » Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:58 pm

I am thinking of upgrading to a slightly larger home on a considerably larger lot in a much better area, but am having trouble pulling the trigger. My current home is too cheap!

Current home is worth about $130,000 and the new house would be around $250,000. Would probably put 20% down but would prefer no more than that to avoid selling taxable investments. Single, 30s, no kids now or anticipated. Commute in the new area would be about the same time, but a smoother/less frustrating ride. Not looking to take on roommates. Let's assume I earn around 100k and have no debt besides the current mortgage.

Cons of staying/reasons for leaving:
-While it is still pretty safe here in terms of crime, the neighborhood is changing. As the older folks pass away, their homes are being purchased by investors and rented out to some shady/noisy characters. Owners have become the minority vs. renters. The homes are not being kept up as well as they used to. This trend has accelerated in the last 2 years.
-I am really getting tired of being 20 feet away from my neighbors on either side. Having to shut windows to have a conversation in private inside, hearing everyone else, etc.
-I don't have kids, but the local schools are not good, and aren't getting any better. I have a feeling this discourages young buyers who can afford homes in better districts. New home would be in one of the top districts around.
-I could really use more garage and yard space for my hobbies and to host social activities.
-This will make me sound like a jerk, but I just feel out of place here on a socioeconomic level anymore.

Pros of staying/reasons for not moving:
-I'm 4 years into a 15 year mortgage and principal is getting paid down very quickly. I don't think I'd be comfortable with the size of 15 year loan payments on the new place. I also purchased this house 10 years ago when I was earning half of what I do now. If I were to maintain my current savings rate, I would have to cut back on leisure activities. I don't think I want to do that. It's like if I can stick it out here for a few more years, I will have more money to put down on something better.
-Overall it is dirt cheap to live here. Taxes are relatively cheap, the home uses very little in utilities, and the property is very low-maintenance in terms of time and money. I could not rent this house from someone else for what I pay in mortgage and taxes, even with the 15 year loan.
-I'm afraid of closing costs on the new place and the inevitable new furnishings, initial repairs, etc.

It is so difficult to get myself to consider moving when my current place is so cheap. What do you think I should do, based upon this information?
Last edited by tim1999 on Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

livesoft
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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by livesoft » Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:05 pm

I would move as soon as possible. When a neighborhood has mostly renters, the home values do not keep going up. That's my 2 cents.

Of course, you could become a landlord in the neighborhood yourself and buy up properties and rent them out.
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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by LeeMKE » Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:09 pm

+1 livesoft
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Nukeboilermaker
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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by Nukeboilermaker » Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:15 pm

I was kind of in a similar situation, but still had 12 years left on the 15 year mortgage and knew the house was 1-3 years away from needing a 10-12k roof (145k house). I'm also married with a daughter and pets and had the opportunity to cut my commute from 45min to 25min each way. We were also undecided on the direction of the neighborhood. We decided to sell and moved into an apt while we found/built our next home (we decided to build and have been in the apt for 3 months now).

If I was in your situation and the major ticket items such as roof, siding, windows have been addressed recently I would consider paying off the mortgage as you could probably be mortgage free faster than you anticipate. You then have the freedom to make the home a rental or find your next place and then sell your current home with no concerns of two mortgages. You are close to having much more home choice freedom then you realize (edit: this even gives you the option to sell by owner and save money). This option is not an easy one and requires more sacrifice (and gambling too).

Hope this helps!

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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by stan1 » Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:20 pm

#YOLO. I would put the house up for sale, or convert it into a rental if you want to be a landlord.

tim1999
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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by tim1999 » Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:31 pm

Edited a mistake in my OP. I'm 4 years into a 15 year mortgage (11 remaining - not 11 years into it).

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Watty
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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by Watty » Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:33 pm

Current home is worth about $130,000 and the new house would be around $250,000. Would probably put 20% down but would prefer no more than that to avoid selling taxable investments.
.....
I'm 11 years into a 15 year mortgage and principal is getting paid down very quickly.


Let's assume I earn around 100k and have no debt besides the current mortgage.
Double check your math, even after selling costs it sounds like you would have a lot more than 20% down if you put all your current home equity into the new house.

You can afford it and sounds like your quality of life would be a lot better. You might even end up retiring in that house and if you have lived there for a long time by then you will likely be established as part of that community.

I can't picture you buying your current house today if you didn't already own it.

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StevieG72
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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by StevieG72 » Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:43 pm

You mentioned no kids, how big of a house do you need?

I am in the same situation. My mortgage is sooooo cheap! Utilities are cheap! Property insurance is cheap!

I have 1 kid but send her to private school so that is not an issue. She could go to the best public schools anyway since her mom lives in the nice neighborhood.

I have passed up on some beautiful homes within my price range because I am not thrilled about increasing my cost of living. Bigger house will need more furniture, higher utilities, possible HOA fees etc.

I try to keep it in perspective, my house may be a shack to many but would also be a mansion for others!

Noisy neighbors suck! The good news is if they are renting they will probably move sooner rather than later. I had some young kids as neighbors for awhile and they were WILD. Rode little mini motorcycles around the neighborhood all the time, drove me nuts! They have since moved and I now have a nice single older women who I feel safe asking to look after my home while I am away on vacation.

You mentioned not feeling like you belonged in your current neighborhood. Have you read The Millionaire Next Door?
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.

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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by steadyeddy » Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:41 pm

Take your time finding the right house. Surely you can find a relatively small, efficient house even in a good neighborhood with large lots. Best of both worlds.

tim1999
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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by tim1999 » Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:05 am

StevieG72 wrote:You mentioned no kids, how big of a house do you need?
I am interested in something around 1,500 square feet. Current house is considerably smaller than that.
StevieG72 wrote:
You mentioned not feeling like you belonged in your current neighborhood. Have you read The Millionaire Next Door?
I have, and I can say with confidence that the folks now living around me (with the possible exception of some of the old timers who have been here forever) are not "Prolific Accumulators of Wealth" or whatever the term is. Most seem to be just scraping by, working lower-paying jobs that would make one struggle to pay the rent and support their kids. IIRC, the Millionaire Next Door folks generally had professional white collar jobs, owned businesses, or had highly skilled blue collar jobs (plumber, electrician, etc.) That doesn't describe anyone here now except possibly myself. If anything, I might become the "millionaire next door" if I stay here. I'm not sure it's worth it though.

tim1999
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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by tim1999 » Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:08 am

steadyeddy wrote:Take your time finding the right house. Surely you can find a relatively small, efficient house even in a good neighborhood with large lots. Best of both worlds.
That's exactly what I'm looking for. Unfortunately these homes are limited in number locally (very low turnover = low inventory) and tend to sell quickly unless they have some major flaw. Or they are overpriced and the sellers would rather have them sit on the market for a year instead of lowering the price and selling it in days. At least I've gotten the mortgage preapproval stuff taken care of with my bank recently so I can pull the trigger quickly if a good one comes up.

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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by Call_Me_Op » Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:34 am

When younger, I wanted a big house on a huge lot. Now I realize that a big house means higher taxes, higher maintenance, more to keep clean, etc. I have a modest-size, comfortable home on a small well-manicured lot that is easily affordable (and paid for).

If you are going to move, take your time looking and thoroughly research the new place. There's the devil you know and those that you don't. I can make a short list of things I do not like about my neighborhood, but the question is if I move to a place which doesn't have those things, are there other things waiting that I failed to anticipate? I have chosen to stand my ground and address the known problems. Neighbor produces smoke from his chimney? I purchased a pair heavy-duty air purifiers. They completely address the issue. Outside sometimes too noisy? I keep the windows closed most of the time.
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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by PowDay » Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:42 am

You live in a home that is 1x your income, and are unhappy. Moving to a place that is 2x your income seems completely reasonable to increase your quality of life.

If you lived NorthEast or West Coast, the conversation would be different, as you would be talking about 3x to 6x your income. Enjoy the benefits of low housing prices in TX :happy

ML 59
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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by ML 59 » Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:02 am

...Similar situation 15years ago. Once a neighborhood starts its decline, it just never gets better - only worse. I bought a nicer house in an area that is appreciating rather than declining. The old neighborhood is looking fairly rough these days, as many of the houses are now rentals.

You're young, you can, and interest rates are still favorable...

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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by Boomer01 » Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:15 am

I would also suggest moving. You already don't like your house and neighborhood and it will not get any better. The house you are talking about would fit very comfortably in your income range.

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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by Pizzasteve510 » Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:19 am

Removed personal info
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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by texasdiver » Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:32 am

I've been there. 30s and single with no kids. And a house.

If you are looking to NOT be single in the future, then another pro on the side of moving is that you will become more marketable if you have a nicer nest. Whether conscious or not, prospective mates will judge you by the home you have and the neighborhood you live in.

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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by dolphinsaremammals » Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:34 am

The neighborhood will only get worse. House values will fall, it will become unsafe.

Make sure a new house is one you actually want, and you aren't just fleeing, but I would move promptly.

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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by protagonist » Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:54 am

Cherokee8215 wrote: It is so difficult to get myself to consider moving when my current place is so cheap. What do you think I should do, based upon this information?
I think you should do what you want to do within what you believe you can afford, not what strangers tell you to do on a web forum. Not knowing a lot more specifics about your neighborhood or your lifestyle we would only be bloviating.

That said, you mentioned that the payments on the new house would be a stretch. That seems a bit baffling to me, since you make $100K/yr without kids or debts and the house you are buying only costs $250K. You didn't mention if you had a spouse who has an income as well, or your expenses, but under normal conditions I would think that would leave you a fair amount of leeway. I'd think you could pay off a $250K home in not much time, assuming you live relatively frugally, no?

Also- you said you did not want to sell stocks. But (though others here I am sure would disagree), with stocks as high-flying as they are these days, if it were me, I would probably take the opportunity to pay off my home by selling equities. Getting out of debt is one of the best things you can do for yourself in the long run, both psychologically and financially. Don't underestimate the psychological component.

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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by OnceARunner » Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:00 am

Cherokee8215 wrote: -While it is still pretty safe here in terms of crime, the neighborhood is changing. As the older folks pass away, their homes are being purchased by investors and rented out to some shady/noisy characters. Owners have become the minority vs. renters. The homes are not being kept up as well as they used to. This trend has accelerated in the last 2 years.
This would be enough for me to pull the trigger. I know you are proud of the equity you have built up (for good reason), but that equity won't be there any longer as property values diminish due to the worsening situation with the schools and renters. Get out and find a reasonably priced property where you can build equity in a more stable situation.

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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by Mitchell777 » Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:10 am

Move before you feel you are too old for the new home. I am experiencing some the same things in my neighborhood, although not due to rentals with a couple exceptions. It is unlikely to get better

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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by Ged » Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:18 am

Yes, move. You have good reasons to do so.

I'm in my mid-60's and I've seen people that over time should have moved when their neighborhood started going downhill. The end picture is not a pretty one.

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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by Valuethinker » Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:05 am

Move now before the neighbourhood deteriorates further. Location, location, location. In 5 years time, you might not be able to sell the house to anyone.

Your prospective house may be a bit too expensive, although in the long run that won't matter so much. You want the better location.

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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by rec7 » Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:18 pm

I have a friend who has lived in the same inner city neighborhood for 34 years the house price remained the same. It was inter city when she bought it. While houses in the better part of town went up 4 fold. So even if you don't lose money it can be hard to make money.

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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by dgdevil » Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:44 pm

Cherokee8215 wrote: -I am really getting tired of being 20 feet away from my neighbors on either side. Having to shut windows to have a conversation in private inside, hearing everyone else, etc.
This would drive me insane. I would move out tomorrow. You're young and successful, hopefully healthy and happy. These are the best days of your life, so celebrate in an appropriately more upscale fashion. A house of 1,500 square feet should be about right. The mortgage will disappear quickly with extra payments, if that's your thing.

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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by cherijoh » Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:01 pm

ML 59 wrote:...Similar situation 15years ago. Once a neighborhood starts its decline, it just never gets better - only worse. I bought a nicer house in an area that is appreciating rather than declining. The old neighborhood is looking fairly rough these days, as many of the houses are now rentals.
I don't agree with the NEVER in above post, but it can take a long time to turn the tide and it definitely is not guaranteed. I did a walking tour through a popular (and expensive) historic neighborhood a few years ago. It was led by a local historian, who showed us a laminated copy of the local newspaper from around 1980, that claimed the neighborhood was a perfect example of urban blight with drug dealers and hookers on every corner. By the mid 90s it had totally turned around and housing prices have been going no where but up since then. But there were definitely some very brave souls who purchased into a very marginal neighborhood during the transition period.

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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:33 am

cherijoh wrote:
ML 59 wrote:...Similar situation 15years ago. Once a neighborhood starts its decline, it just never gets better - only worse. I bought a nicer house in an area that is appreciating rather than declining. The old neighborhood is looking fairly rough these days, as many of the houses are now rentals.
I don't agree with the NEVER in above post, but it can take a long time to turn the tide and it definitely is not guaranteed. I did a walking tour through a popular (and expensive) historic neighborhood a few years ago. It was led by a local historian, who showed us a laminated copy of the local newspaper from around 1980, that claimed the neighborhood was a perfect example of urban blight with drug dealers and hookers on every corner. By the mid 90s it had totally turned around and housing prices have been going no where but up since then. But there were definitely some very brave souls who purchased into a very marginal neighborhood during the transition period.
There is momentum in these things.

A neighbourhood on the turn usually has:

- relatively affluent metropolitan area, with incoming jobs and rising incomes
- large white collar professional workforce in the metro
- proximity to desirable places to work, nightlife etc. (eg downtown, or near downtown) and a growing urban traffic problem ie the location is worth something
- good transport- good 'bones' as a neighbourhood, someone in the 19th or early 20th century found it attractive to live so the infrastructure is there
- probably quite attractive historic housing and buildings (Victorian, Edwardian, 1920s at latest)
- visible gay community: gay men are usually the first gentrifiers to an area (no kids, and less worries about their partners coming home at night)
Last edited by Valuethinker on Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:09 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:35 am

cherijoh wrote:
ML 59 wrote:...Similar situation 15years ago. Once a neighborhood starts its decline, it just never gets better - only worse. I bought a nicer house in an area that is appreciating rather than declining. The old neighborhood is looking fairly rough these days, as many of the houses are now rentals.
I don't agree with the NEVER in above post, but it can take a long time to turn the tide and it definitely is not guaranteed. I did a walking tour through a popular (and expensive) historic neighborhood a few years ago. It was led by a local historian, who showed us a laminated copy of the local newspaper from around 1980, that claimed the neighborhood was a perfect example of urban blight with drug dealers and hookers on every corner. By the mid 90s it had totally turned around and housing prices have been going no where but up since then. But there were definitely some very brave souls who purchased into a very marginal neighborhood during the transition period.
If a neighbourhood is going down, I'd generally not bet on it turning up. You need a step change in the prosperity of the metropolitan region, or some other factor. In places where zoning control allows the urban area to keep expanding (think Atlanta: ie counties surrounding that are anxious to have urban growth) it doesn't happen until the urban traffic problems become really suffocating (and people need to get downtown to work), and not always even then.

As you say, the turn can take a *looonnng* time.

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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:37 am

rec7 wrote:I have a friend who has lived in the same inner city neighborhood for 34 years the house price remained the same. It was inter city when she bought it. While houses in the better part of town went up 4 fold. So even if you don't lose money it can be hard to make money.
This I think has been the pattern in Buffalo, too. Prices have not matched inflation over the last 30-40 years, but the houses out in the county have done a lot better than the ones downtown. I hear some tales of a revival (the historic architecture is certainly there, Buffalo once had more millionaires than any other American city) and I really hope so, because Buffalo has taken it so hard on the chin in the last 50 years.

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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by Bustoff » Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:41 pm

Tell-tale sign that a subdivision is on a downhill slide is seeing more and more vehicles parked in the driveways instead of the garage. :shock:

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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by livesoft » Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:48 pm

I guess it really is too late if some of those vehicles are up on blocks?
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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by Ninegrams » Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:41 pm

Bustoff wrote:Tell-tale sign that a subdivision is on a downhill slide is seeing more and more vehicles parked in the driveways instead of the garage. :shock:
You mean some people still use the garage to park cars? How un-American :happy .

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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by tim1999 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:39 pm

protagonist wrote:
Cherokee8215 wrote:
That said, you mentioned that the payments on the new house would be a stretch. That seems a bit baffling to me, since you make $100K/yr without kids or debts and the house you are buying only costs $250K. You didn't mention if you had a spouse who has an income as well, or your expenses, but under normal conditions I would think that would leave you a fair amount of leeway. I'd think you could pay off a $250K home in not much time, assuming you live relatively frugally, no?
It's not that the new payments would be a stretch, they would just not be as cheap as I am used to. In recent years I've had a surplus of income given my low housing costs.

What I didn't mention in the OP is that my long term girlfriend (who does not live with me now, partially because the current home is tiny, located in the wrong direction relative to her workplace, and has limited parking) would move in to the new place with me and contribute some amount ($500/mo?) towards expenses. I want to be able to totally afford the new place on my own, but her contribution would be a bonus (and possibly reduce my total cost to near what my current home's cost is), and if we broke up and she moved out, it would not be an issue for me financially.

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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by Boomer01 » Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:37 am

So, what are you waiting on?

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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by celia » Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:29 pm

You have clearly thought out the pros and cons and explained them well. The "cons for staying" are things that will only change in the direction of getting worse. The "cons for moving" are things that are one-time costs or will diminish over time.

After summer is over it should be easier to find a new place, although fewer properties may be listed. Most buying/selling/moving happens during the summer when people have kids.
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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by rustymutt » Fri Aug 29, 2014 6:27 am

This is typical of neighborhoods. They tend to decline over time. A good HOA with enforcement is helpful.
Are you keeping up your yard, and home? Do the yards look like crap all the time, but not when you moved in?
Does the golf course next to you continue to water and control weeds, or just let it go.
Are small business owners shutting down the office in lieu of using the home front to save money?
Neighbors let their dogs run loose and poop in neighbor yards?
Are there more children, with seemingly less parental controls?
More and more homes being rented around you.
Do golfers use your yard as an cart path to the tee box?
Have weeds taken over in places, and nobody seems to care?
Trash days have trash blowing around from neighbors whom don't know how to pack a trash cart to not leak.

It's a thin line between great neighbors, and horrid ones.
Try to behave like a great neighbor, even if others aren't.
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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by Tycoon » Fri Aug 29, 2014 6:36 am

I have watched as some neighborhoods in the DFW area have gone through a renaissance. If one waits long enough perhaps the worm will turn. Or perhaps this phenomena is unique to Fort Worth?
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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by linenfort » Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:29 am

livesoft wrote:I would move as soon as possible. When a neighborhood has mostly renters, the home values do not keep going up.
...
+1
Valuethinker wrote:A neighbourhood on the turn usually has:
...
- visible gay community: gay men are usually the first gentrifiers to an area (no kids, and less worries about their partners coming home at night)
+1
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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by ML 59 » Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:23 am

I'll have to agree with the posters that disagreed with me. Never is a very definitive word and should probably never be used. {BIG Smile}

A better choice would be rarely (or seldom), ie:

“Once a neighborhood starts its decline, it rarely gets better - only worse.”

OP - What's the verdict? Are we throwing a BH.org virtual housewarming party yet? I'll bring the virtual beer! :sharebeer

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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by harrychan » Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:58 am

Seems you have a majority consensus.

Whatever you do, do NOT put your long time GF on the lien of the new house until you put that ring on it (cue Beyonce).
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by Ldevelopment » Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:13 am

Ninegrams wrote:
Bustoff wrote:Tell-tale sign that a subdivision is on a downhill slide is seeing more and more vehicles parked in the driveways instead of the garage. :shock:
You mean some people still use the garage to park cars? How un-American :happy .
This. Some people have so much junk in their garages.

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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by Valuethinker » Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:35 am

Tycoon wrote:I have watched as some neighborhoods in the DFW area have gone through a renaissance. If one waits long enough perhaps the worm will turn. Or perhaps this phenomena is unique to Fort Worth?
DFW is probably still experiencing fairly rapid population and economic growth.

A 'hood can turn simply because it is cheaper than a desirable neighbourhood that is adjacent. And you get lucky factors: a new principal turns around a failing school, thus attracting middle class parents. A change in law enforcement practices leads a drop in crime. Etc.

it's harder for a neighbourhood to turn in a city that is not growing, or not growing fast. And when hoods go down, they tend to build up a momentum. You get slum landlords etc. because nobody decent (new to the area) wants to buy in.

tim1999
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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by tim1999 » Sat Aug 30, 2014 2:53 pm

harrychan wrote:Seems you have a majority consensus.

Whatever you do, do NOT put your long time GF on the lien of the new house until you put that ring on it (cue Beyonce).
Agreed. She is doesn't waste money, but doesn't understand some of the legal aspects of personal finance. She suggested we buy the new place jointly, and I explained why this was a foolish idea when unmarried and she agreed.

Sagenick48
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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by Sagenick48 » Sat Aug 30, 2014 5:14 pm

Same situation as many of the above, the neighborhood my family and I had lived in for 90 (me 50) years started to go downhill, we got out. I drove through the neighborhood last week and while it is not a slum, it has not gotten better, after 15 years.

While you shouldn't count on your house as an investment, it can lose value. Plus, you stick your heirs with a house that can take forever (years) to sell.

You think your schools are bad? It can get worse, like busing 7 miles to a bad school.

Plus you have the social problems, vandalism, we had broken windows, garage break ins, car windows smashed, tires slashed, and cars sideswiped, one of my son's friends was shot, but the wound was superficial, the perp got off with a year in juvy. Enough said.
The market goes up, the market goes down.

Mudpuppy
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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by Mudpuppy » Sat Aug 30, 2014 5:25 pm

I'll chime in with a minority opinion here. I would ignore the issue of renters. Renters come and go. There were the wildest renters across the street from me last year (they liked to throw parties on the roof) and now that house is occupied by people who are spending the weekend tidying up the yard, planting color plants, and making the front patio into a cozy little seating area. And there's no guarantee you won't have annoying neighbors in a different neighborhood. The annoyances might change, but rarely go away. So take that out of the equation.

Let's focus on the other pros and cons. It sounds like the current house is cheap, but not well-suited for your long-term plans with your girlfriend. So what you have to ask yourself is if the new house would make you "house poor" or not, e.g. can you afford it. You mentioned that you might have to cut back on leisure activities to afford the new house and that raised a huge red flag for me. Make sure you focus on the financial aspect. You haven't given us enough to chime in on that here, but maybe you can make a "can I afford it" sort of post that lays it all out.

Valuethinker
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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Aug 31, 2014 2:52 am

Mudpuppy wrote:I'll chime in with a minority opinion here. I would ignore the issue of renters. Renters come and go. There were the wildest renters across the street from me last year (they liked to throw parties on the roof) and now that house is occupied by people who are spending the weekend tidying up the yard, planting color plants, and making the front patio into a cozy little seating area. And there's no guarantee you won't have annoying neighbors in a different neighborhood. The annoyances might change, but rarely go away. So take that out of the equation.
Yes but if a 'hood goes more towards renters it can be a bad sign. Lots of non resident owners means less care is taken for properties, it may be the socio-economic level of the inhabitants is declining. Again an exception would be a 'gentrifying' neighbourhood, where the renters move in because it is 'hot'.
Let's focus on the other pros and cons. It sounds like the current house is cheap, but not well-suited for your long-term plans with your girlfriend. So what you have to ask yourself is if the new house would make you "house poor" or not, e.g. can you afford it. You mentioned that you might have to cut back on leisure activities to afford the new house and that raised a huge red flag for me. Make sure you focus on the financial aspect. You haven't given us enough to chime in on that here, but maybe you can make a "can I afford it" sort of post that lays it all out.
It's a good point.

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Bustoff
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Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Post by Bustoff » Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:31 am

Valuethinker wrote: This I think has been the pattern in Buffalo, too. Prices have not matched inflation over the last 30-40 years, but the houses out in the county have done a lot better than the ones downtown. I hear some tales of a revival (the historic architecture is certainly there, Buffalo once had more millionaires than any other American city) and I really hope so, because Buffalo has taken it so hard on the chin in the last 50 years.
Went back to Buffalo to visit friends last year and were stunned at the amount of property taxes there. We looked at $200,000 house for sale that had property taxes of $10,000 per year.

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