Buying the most expensive house on the street?

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texasdiver
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Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Post by texasdiver » Fri Apr 15, 2016 11:41 pm

My wife and I are actively home shopping in advance of relocating to a new state. We know the area we are moving to generally, but not so much the specific neighborhoods.

Last week I was out there on business and or real estate agent showed me a couple houses, two of which were nearly identical (same builder and floor plan). We like the floor plan, it would suit us well so it's more a question of neighborhood. The one in the more upscale neighborhood sold that same day with multiple offers over the listing price. In that neighborhood it is a fairly average sized house surrounded by many that are larger and more upscale. Most are view houses with daylight basements on downward sloping lots so they are bigger than they look from the street.

The other house in a slightly more modest neighborhood is still sitting there for sale. The thing is, my wife and I really like the more modest neighborhood better. It is still nice mind you, just a bit more modest with a bit smaller lots. But it feels a lot more friendly with a lot more kids on the street and I see a lot more people out and about walking dogs, jogging, etc. The more expensive neighborhood feels older and more insular and I see few if any kids. In this neighborhood the lots are flatter and so most of the houses are smaller without the daylight basements. But there is one part of one street on a hill with downward sloping lots where the builder was able to put in daylight basements. A few of those houses are larger than the rest because they have the 3rd floor finished daylight basement even though the basically look like the surrounding smaller houses from the street. Those few houses are the most expensive in the neighborhood because of the extra square footage even though the look the same from the front and we have our eye on one of them.

I guess for future resale we'd be better off buying the same house in a fancier area. But we aren't buying for resale. We are buying a place to raise our kids and want younger friendly neighbors not fussy older insular ones. Any of the rest of you find yourselves making the same decision? We are flying back out in a couple of days and about to pull the trigger.

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bertie wooster
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Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Post by bertie wooster » Sat Apr 16, 2016 1:02 am

If it's a good place to raise your family then buy. But since you don't know the area well I would rent one year (I realize that's a pain, moreso with a family).

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Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Post by Pharmacist » Sat Apr 16, 2016 1:36 am

Why pay more for the same house to put it in a neighbourhood that you don't like as much? Seems like a no brainer. You could invest the savings and crush any monetary disadvantages in resale anyways not to mention pay less nominal interest on a mortgage.

texasdiver
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Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Post by texasdiver » Sat Apr 16, 2016 2:09 am

bertie wooster wrote:If it's a good place to raise your family then buy. But since you don't know the area well I would rent one year (I realize that's a pain, moreso with a family).
It's not just the hassle of moving twice. The kids are already disrupted enough losing their friends and moving to a new school across the country. Don't want to make them do it twice in the reasonably likely scenario that we end up renting and buying in different school boundary zones. Rentals are pretty sparse in the areas we are shopping. We do know the area well enough I think. But still trying to figure out the nuances of different neighborhoods.

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Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Post by livesoft » Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:44 am

I believe Teresa Ghilarducci gave the advice to buy the best house on the block because you would less likely to be trying to keep up with the Joneses. You would be the Joneses. "You'll feel like the King of the block."

http://time.com/money/4105649/buy-bigge ... st-advice/

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ResearchMed
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Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Apr 16, 2016 7:29 am

texasdiver wrote:My wife and I are actively home shopping in advance of relocating to a new state. We know the area we are moving to generally, but not so much the specific neighborhoods.

Last week I was out there on business and or real estate agent showed me a couple houses, two of which were nearly identical (same builder and floor plan). We like the floor plan, it would suit us well so it's more a question of neighborhood. The one in the more upscale neighborhood sold that same day with multiple offers over the listing price. In that neighborhood it is a fairly average sized house surrounded by many that are larger and more upscale. Most are view houses with daylight basements on downward sloping lots so they are bigger than they look from the street.

The other house in a slightly more modest neighborhood is still sitting there for sale. The thing is, my wife and I really like the more modest neighborhood better. It is still nice mind you, just a bit more modest with a bit smaller lots. But it feels a lot more friendly with a lot more kids on the street and I see a lot more people out and about walking dogs, jogging, etc. The more expensive neighborhood feels older and more insular and I see few if any kids. In this neighborhood the lots are flatter and so most of the houses are smaller without the daylight basements. But there is one part of one street on a hill with downward sloping lots where the builder was able to put in daylight basements. A few of those houses are larger than the rest because they have the 3rd floor finished daylight basement even though the basically look like the surrounding smaller houses from the street. Those few houses are the most expensive in the neighborhood because of the extra square footage even though the look the same from the front and we have our eye on one of them.

I guess for future resale we'd be better off buying the same house in a fancier area. But we aren't buying for resale. We are buying a place to raise our kids and want younger friendly neighbors not fussy older insular ones. Any of the rest of you find yourselves making the same decision? We are flying back out in a couple of days and about to pull the trigger.
Are both houses priced the same?
If so, then probably (not definitely) the "fancier" area would have better resale potential, given that the two homes are themselves just about the same.
But it's hard to understand why you'd pay the same in the first place.

About the "larger" homes because of the daylight basement... they may "look the same" from the street, but that's not how you or others would value them in terms of price... unless someone is purchasing based solely upon "drive-by appeal", which is, of course, silly.

Also, it's a bit confusing. It sounded like the house in the nicer neighborhood already sold.

Finally, don't purchase a home in a neighborhood you don't like.
It's not likely to work out well.

RM
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Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Post by cherijoh » Sat Apr 16, 2016 7:31 am

I would be hesitant to buy the most expensive house on the street if the higher price was based on upgrades and features that were not related to useable space. That can limit the potential pool of people willing to pay more than for an equivalently-sized more modestly-priced house. Have you looked at the price per square foot of this house compared to its neighbors?

Was the realtor able to give you any insight as to why the other neighborhood was considered more desirable? Sometimes there are concrete reasons - shorter commute to the business district, better school district, lower crime rate, proposed construction project (a desirable one in the popular neighborhood or less desirable one in the unpopular neighborhood) and sometimes it is just because it is trendy or for snob appeal. It sounds like you like the vibe of the second neighborhood better, but I'd try to make sure there isn't anything that would come back and bite you as a transferee.

You mention rental houses being sparse. But what about apartments? My next door neighbor was transferred by her employer. She and her daughter rented an apartment for a year in this school district, while they took their time finding a house. I think they ended up putting some stuff in storage while they were in the apartment, but they weren't forced to make a snap decision based on what houses were on the market within a very short window.

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Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Post by Frisco Kid » Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:06 am

What you are seeing in the two neighborhoods is a generational gap among owners. I find your use of the word "insular" interesting. My wife and I are early 60's and certainly NOT insular, however we are in a later stage of life than some of our younger neighbors who have kids. That being said, many of us can do without all the noise and commotion of kids constantly playing outside. Keep in mind also that people by nature associate with others that have common interests, etc. If there is a large age gap between yourself and your neighbors you are much less likely to bond. Just my 2 cents...............

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Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Post by letsgobobby » Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:25 am

Texasdiver, I think you're ok buying the more expensive house in the situation you described.

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Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Post by texasdiver » Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:31 am

ResearchMed wrote:
texasdiver wrote:My wife and I are actively home shopping in advance of relocating to a new state. We know the area we are moving to generally, but not so much the specific neighborhoods.

Last week I was out there on business and or real estate agent showed me a couple houses, two of which were nearly identical (same builder and floor plan). We like the floor plan, it would suit us well so it's more a question of neighborhood. The one in the more upscale neighborhood sold that same day with multiple offers over the listing price. In that neighborhood it is a fairly average sized house surrounded by many that are larger and more upscale. Most are view houses with daylight basements on downward sloping lots so they are bigger than they look from the street.

The other house in a slightly more modest neighborhood is still sitting there for sale. The thing is, my wife and I really like the more modest neighborhood better. It is still nice mind you, just a bit more modest with a bit smaller lots. But it feels a lot more friendly with a lot more kids on the street and I see a lot more people out and about walking dogs, jogging, etc. The more expensive neighborhood feels older and more insular and I see few if any kids. In this neighborhood the lots are flatter and so most of the houses are smaller without the daylight basements. But there is one part of one street on a hill with downward sloping lots where the builder was able to put in daylight basements. A few of those houses are larger than the rest because they have the 3rd floor finished daylight basement even though the basically look like the surrounding smaller houses from the street. Those few houses are the most expensive in the neighborhood because of the extra square footage even though the look the same from the front and we have our eye on one of them.

I guess for future resale we'd be better off buying the same house in a fancier area. But we aren't buying for resale. We are buying a place to raise our kids and want younger friendly neighbors not fussy older insular ones. Any of the rest of you find yourselves making the same decision? We are flying back out in a couple of days and about to pull the trigger.
Are both houses priced the same?
If so, then probably (not definitely) the "fancier" area would have better resale potential, given that the two homes are themselves just about the same. But it's hard to understand why you'd pay the same in the first place.

About the "larger" homes because of the daylight basement... they may "look the same" from the street, but that's not how you or others would value them in terms of price... unless someone is purchasing based solely upon "drive-by appeal", which is, of course, silly.

Also, it's a bit confusing. It sounded like the house in the nicer neighborhood already sold.

Finally, don't purchase a home in a neighborhood you don't like.
It's not likely to work out well.

RM
Yes, the first house sold fast. Apparently they had a bidding war of multiple bidders and sold for way over the listed price. Owners were in a big hurry to sell because they were relocating and it was holding up their purchase of a new home on the other side of the country. So I don't know what it actually sold for but it was probably under-priced for quick sale and/or to generate multiple bids. The second house in a bit more modest neighborhood is still for sale at about the same price as the first one was listed for (but didn't sell for).

This isn't a question of which of the two houses to buy. More a general question about buying a larger house in a neighborhood of mostly smaller houses that feels more comfortable to us. Or buying the equivalent size house in a neighborhood of larger and more upscale houses where it might be one of the smaller and more modest ones.

The two areas are only about a mile apart and both are nice so no real commute differences. If anything the more modest neighborhood is more conveniently located. The fancier neighborhood is more hilly so more pricier view houses, although not all of them have views. I think it is really more a question of the age or generation of the owners. My wife and I are not really that young anymore, but our kids are as we had kids a bit older in life than the average. And so I guess we are gravitating towards the younger area. I think we are going with our instinct to pick the neighborhood that seems more friendly and younger and not worry so much about resale value or following the "rules" of real estate. The whole area is already fairly affluent. We're just talking about picking a more median area in a very affluent zip code vs one of the most affluent areas in that zip code.

The smaller cheaper homes in the neighborhood we like sell really fast. Like in less than a day with multiple offers which makes it nearly impossible to buy one long distance unless we are willing to do it based on the pictures and a face time tour by our agent. People really want in there and it seems to be mostly younger families with kid the same age as our kids. It is the few bigger and more expensive houses that sit longer because I think they are priced out of the range of most who are shopping that area. Which makes it easier for us to buy one in this market actually.

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you have your answer

Post by daveatca » Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:17 am

texasdiver wrote:I guess we are gravitating towards the younger area. I think we are going with our instinct to pick the neighborhood that seems more friendly and younger and not worry so much about resale value or following the "rules" of real estate.
You answered your own question.
Go for it.
You live in a home and it is not an investment.

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Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Post by midareff » Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:46 am

"But it feels a lot more friendly with a lot more kids on the street and I see a lot more people out and about walking dogs, jogging, etc. The more expensive neighborhood feels older and more insular and I see few if any kids."

A real neighborhood with real people. That would be my pick.

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Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Post by Ninnie » Sat Apr 16, 2016 11:32 am

Not buying the "most expensive house on the block" doesn't generally refer to the situation you're describing.

That means not buying a massive home surrounded by smaller ones, i.e. a home that stands out and is in a different range.

Having better features, etc. like what you describe is always going to apply to the top percentile of homes in a neighborhood and is a nice thing. You pay accordingly, of course, assuming you value those extra features.

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Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Post by investingdad » Sat Apr 16, 2016 5:34 pm

You buy the house that makes you happy, as long as you can afford it, period.

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Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Post by Herekittykitty » Sat Apr 16, 2016 5:46 pm

midareff wrote:"But it feels a lot more friendly with a lot more kids on the street and I see a lot more people out and about walking dogs, jogging, etc. The more expensive neighborhood feels older and more insular and I see few if any kids."

A real neighborhood with real people. That would be my pick.
Mine too. For the reasons listed by the OP.

In addition financially it will likely be more comfortable over the years living in the less expensive neighborhood, and the ability to spend less and save more and build wealth could be enhanced. Maybe not, but could be. Even if not, though, I would go with the "real neighborhood with real people."
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Re: you have your answer

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Apr 17, 2016 12:25 pm

daveatca wrote:
texasdiver wrote:I guess we are gravitating towards the younger area. I think we are going with our instinct to pick the neighborhood that seems more friendly and younger and not worry so much about resale value or following the "rules" of real estate.
You answered your own question.
Go for it.
You live in a home and it is not an investment.
+1

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Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Post by Leemiller » Sun Apr 17, 2016 5:00 pm

In my neighborhood you wouldn't know by driving around that the demographics are rapidly changing or that we have tons of neighborhood events both for adults and for the kids. It is likely you'd think mine is more "insular" just driving around. We bought a cheaper home in a pricey area but the keeping up with the Joneses argument is an interesting one.

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Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Post by 6miths » Sun Apr 17, 2016 6:52 pm

Agree with others. The house in the less upscale neighbourhood doesn't sound like it really is anomalously large and the neighbourhood sounds more vibrant. It was a point of discussion in one or two of the Millionaire Next Door series that you are much better off in the long term to not buy into the upscale, 'Keeping up with the Jones'' neighbourhood. We stayed out of the upscale neighbourhood and it generally served us well. Good luck.
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Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Post by Watty » Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:21 pm

texasdiver wrote:In this neighborhood the lots are flatter and so most of the houses are smaller without the daylight basements. But there is one part of one street on a hill with downward sloping lots where the builder was able to put in daylight basements. A few of those houses are larger than the rest because they have the 3rd floor finished daylight basement even though the basically look like the surrounding smaller houses from the street. Those few houses are the most expensive in the neighborhood because of the extra square footage even though the look the same from the front and we have our eye on one of them.
What is the typical price per square foot for the bigger and smaller houses in that neighborhood?

It could be that the larger houses are priced about the same or even less expensive per square foot than the smaller houses.

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Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Post by Ninnie » Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:36 pm

Not relevant to OP, but just because you are in an upscale neighborhood does not mean you have to "keep up with them". We punch above our weight with our house. It is precisely because the rest of our lifestyle is more modest that we can afford to do this. Yes, I drive possibly the oldest car on the block. It's really not a problem.

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Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Post by texasdiver » Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:02 pm

Watty wrote:
texasdiver wrote:In this neighborhood the lots are flatter and so most of the houses are smaller without the daylight basements. But there is one part of one street on a hill with downward sloping lots where the builder was able to put in daylight basements. A few of those houses are larger than the rest because they have the 3rd floor finished daylight basement even though the basically look like the surrounding smaller houses from the street. Those few houses are the most expensive in the neighborhood because of the extra square footage even though the look the same from the front and we have our eye on one of them.
What is the typical price per square foot for the bigger and smaller houses in that neighborhood?

It could be that the larger houses are priced about the same or even less expensive per square foot than the smaller houses.
One larger house we are looking at backed against greenbelt with views: $160 per square ft.
Smaller house across the street that is more nicely remodeled but without views or greenbelt lot: $180 per square ft.

Most of the difference in square footage is the finished daylight basement. They look pretty similar from the street.

The larger houses in the neighborhood aren't selling nearly as fast despite lower price per sf because I think they are priced out of reach of most of the younger families who buy into this area. The smaller houses despite costing more per square foot go fast in a matter of days. I think what is happening is that the smaller houses are right up against the upper price limit for the majority of shoppers so there is a lot of competition for them. A lot of families with kids and modest means are really stretching to get into the area for the schools. People who's budget allows for buying one of the larger houses have a lot more options in other neighborhoods that are a bit universally higher end.

In any event, we are talking about somewhat subtle distinctions between what are all very nice neighborhoods in one of the nicer suburbs and highest rated school districts in the entire Portland metro area. It's not like we are talking tract housing against a freeway or warehouse district.

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Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Post by Iorek » Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:15 pm

investingdad wrote:You buy the house that makes you happy, as long as you can afford it, period.
This.

As a side note, I never agreed with people who choose a house based on expected resale, but maybe it's because I've never lived someplace with a really slow RE market. I figure if a house has a feature that makes it less attractive to some buyers then you are probably getting a better price when you buy, so as long as there's someone who's willing to buy what does it matter if you also have to give them a better price when you sell.

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Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Post by Saving$ » Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:33 pm

In the situation you describe, the larger house in the more modest neighborhood is probably a great investment, as well as a great place for your family. Many of those families buying the modest houses will experience income increases in coming years, and want to move to a larger house. Yet many of them won't want to leave the neighborhood, school, kids friends, etc. So your larger house will then be in demand, because the larger house is easier than adding onto or remodeling the smaller house. Eventually, the smaller homes value will not keep up with the market increases, because they will become scrapers - people will buy them for the lot only, and tear them down to build large homes, at which point your currently larger house will be a house in the middle... and so the RE cycle goes...

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Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Apr 18, 2016 2:27 am

The 'hood is fine- it has the right locational combination for you (commute, schools, crime etc.).

Therefore, buy the house which makes you happy. Because you only live in this world once. 5 or 10 or 20 happy years where you live is worth something.

It doesn't sound like it's way OverTheTop for the 'hood.

Other factors will sort themselves out, eventually. Not the best house on the street is a rule of thumb rather than an absolute "thou shalt not".

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Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Post by WhyNotUs » Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:14 am

texasdiver wrote:
One larger house we are looking at backed against greenbelt with views: $160 per square ft.
Smaller house across the street that is more nicely remodeled but without views or greenbelt lot: $180 per square ft.
Below grade space is typically appraised at a lower cost per sf, that likely accounts for the difference in sf cost. Basements, in most cases, are cheaper to build. In addition, once a house gets over a certain size, the per sf cost tends to drop. Both factors are considered by appraisers and based on local market.
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Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Post by Lynette » Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:26 am

I would also recommend buying the house in the more modest neighborhood provided the schools are good.

As for resale, I don't know if you intend to live there in retirement but remember neighborhoods change. In 1993, I bought a house that my friends described as the best on the street. This is no longer the case. In my short street about 50% of the houses have been completely torn down and replaced by +$1 million mansions.

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Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Post by texasdiver » Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:49 am

Thanks guys.

We'll likely just follow our instincts. We fly out for our hopefully final house hunting trip this coming weekend. We are taking 3 days to visit and see everything we can and then will just pull the trigger on whatever feels the best. We have already narrowed down our search to just one specific suburb and school system in the greater metro area so that will probably mean only 15-20 possible houses to see of which perhaps only 5 will meet all our criteria. It is a hot market but also kind of weird. Stuff at the cheaper end is going super fast. Clean presentable houses under $500,000 (that is the cheaper end for this area) go in a day or two, often with multiple offers. Stuff above $600,000 goes a lot slower. I'm guessing that a whole lot of local buyers are basically maxed out to get into the lower end so there is a whole lot more activity there. In a sense you get more for your money by paying more and have more time to look things over and think.

I hate buying into this kind of market but it is what it is. We delayed our relocation back to the west coast until now so that our oldest could graduate with her friends in the school system that she grew up in. We probably should have relocated last year or the year before but didn't want to force the oldest child to spend her senior year of HS in a brand new school in a brand new state. The younger kids are in elementary and middle school so this is our window of time to get out of Texas regardless of what the housing market is like. My wife is already under contract to start her new position in June so we gotta get some kind of roof over our heads.

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hand
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Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Post by hand » Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:13 am

texasdiver wrote:Thanks guys.

We'll likely just follow our instincts. We fly out for our hopefully final house hunting trip this coming weekend. We are taking 3 days to visit and see everything we can and then will just pull the trigger on whatever feels the best. We have already narrowed down our search to just one specific suburb and school system in the greater metro area so that will probably mean only 15-20 possible houses to see of which perhaps only 5 will meet all our criteria. It is a hot market but also kind of weird. Stuff at the cheaper end is going super fast. Clean presentable houses under $500,000 (that is the cheaper end for this area) go in a day or two, often with multiple offers. Stuff above $600,000 goes a lot slower. I'm guessing that a whole lot of local buyers are basically maxed out to get into the lower end so there is a whole lot more activity there. In a sense you get more for your money by paying more and have more time to look things over and think.
Good Luck.

When buying, I assumed there would be some drop off in demand for housing just above ~20% down plus a conforming mortgage ($417k in many non-HCOL areas) as many buyers would struggle to come up with more than 20% down or qualify for a jumbo mortgage. For this reason, I guessed that houses priced to sell in the price bracket above $521k ($104k down + $417k), were likely to have lower demand, and perhaps represent a better value - interesting learn of your experience with houses <$500k vs. >600k.

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Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Post by Leemiller » Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:33 am

Duplicate post.
Last edited by Leemiller on Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Post by Leemiller » Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:33 am

6miths wrote:Agree with others. The house in the less upscale neighbourhood doesn't sound like it really is anomalously large and the neighbourhood sounds more vibrant. It was a point of discussion in one or two of the Millionaire Next Door series that you are much better off in the long term to not buy into the upscale, 'Keeping up with the Jones'' neighbourhood. We stayed out of the upscale neighbourhood and it generally served us well. Good luck.
I read that section of the book somewhat differently. My recollection was that they were emphasizing location and older established neighborhoods that would hold and increase value well. For my area certain inner suburbs are like this but not all of them. I think it means not to buy into a new and expensive housing development but instead live in those places that are already desirable and hold value and therefore may very well be upscale.

Maybe I missed something!

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Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Post by texasdiver » Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:40 pm

hand wrote:
texasdiver wrote:Thanks guys.

We'll likely just follow our instincts. We fly out for our hopefully final house hunting trip this coming weekend. We are taking 3 days to visit and see everything we can and then will just pull the trigger on whatever feels the best. We have already narrowed down our search to just one specific suburb and school system in the greater metro area so that will probably mean only 15-20 possible houses to see of which perhaps only 5 will meet all our criteria. It is a hot market but also kind of weird. Stuff at the cheaper end is going super fast. Clean presentable houses under $500,000 (that is the cheaper end for this area) go in a day or two, often with multiple offers. Stuff above $600,000 goes a lot slower. I'm guessing that a whole lot of local buyers are basically maxed out to get into the lower end so there is a whole lot more activity there. In a sense you get more for your money by paying more and have more time to look things over and think.
Good Luck.

When buying, I assumed there would be some drop off in demand for housing just above ~20% down plus a conforming mortgage ($417k in many non-HCOL areas) as many buyers would struggle to come up with more than 20% down or qualify for a jumbo mortgage. For this reason, I guessed that houses priced to sell in the price bracket above $521k ($104k down + $417k), were likely to have lower demand, and perhaps represent a better value - interesting learn of your experience with houses <$500k vs. >600k.
That very well could be the case. I hadn't though about the jumbo loan thing but I do see a number of listings priced between $515k and $520k and perhaps that isn't a coincidence.

Carefreeap
Posts: 2429
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 7:36 pm
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Post by Carefreeap » Mon Apr 18, 2016 3:06 pm

texasdiver wrote:
hand wrote:
texasdiver wrote:Thanks guys.

We'll likely just follow our instincts. We fly out for our hopefully final house hunting trip this coming weekend. We are taking 3 days to visit and see everything we can and then will just pull the trigger on whatever feels the best. We have already narrowed down our search to just one specific suburb and school system in the greater metro area so that will probably mean only 15-20 possible houses to see of which perhaps only 5 will meet all our criteria. It is a hot market but also kind of weird. Stuff at the cheaper end is going super fast. Clean presentable houses under $500,000 (that is the cheaper end for this area) go in a day or two, often with multiple offers. Stuff above $600,000 goes a lot slower. I'm guessing that a whole lot of local buyers are basically maxed out to get into the lower end so there is a whole lot more activity there. In a sense you get more for your money by paying more and have more time to look things over and think.
Good Luck.

When buying, I assumed there would be some drop off in demand for housing just above ~20% down plus a conforming mortgage ($417k in many non-HCOL areas) as many buyers would struggle to come up with more than 20% down or qualify for a jumbo mortgage. For this reason, I guessed that houses priced to sell in the price bracket above $521k ($104k down + $417k), were likely to have lower demand, and perhaps represent a better value - interesting learn of your experience with houses <$500k vs. >600k.
That very well could be the case. I hadn't though about the jumbo loan thing but I do see a number of listings priced between $515k and $520k and perhaps that isn't a coincidence.
What general metro area are you looking in, Portland, OR? FNMA and Freddie Mac conforming loan limits vary by metro area.

I agree with the others that you should buy where you are comfortable. We recently moved back to our "blue collar" SF Bay Area house and I love the diversity. It was other worldly living in our N. Scottsdale area house for six years and seeing only one black customer in the grocery store during the entire time we lived there. I also never encountered a Hispanic person who wasn't part of a domestic service or construction team. It was very, very insular.

texasdiver
Posts: 2758
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:50 am
Location: Vancouver WA

Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Post by texasdiver » Mon Apr 18, 2016 3:42 pm

Carefreeap wrote:
texasdiver wrote:
hand wrote:
texasdiver wrote:Thanks guys.

We'll likely just follow our instincts. We fly out for our hopefully final house hunting trip this coming weekend. We are taking 3 days to visit and see everything we can and then will just pull the trigger on whatever feels the best. We have already narrowed down our search to just one specific suburb and school system in the greater metro area so that will probably mean only 15-20 possible houses to see of which perhaps only 5 will meet all our criteria. It is a hot market but also kind of weird. Stuff at the cheaper end is going super fast. Clean presentable houses under $500,000 (that is the cheaper end for this area) go in a day or two, often with multiple offers. Stuff above $600,000 goes a lot slower. I'm guessing that a whole lot of local buyers are basically maxed out to get into the lower end so there is a whole lot more activity there. In a sense you get more for your money by paying more and have more time to look things over and think.
Good Luck.

When buying, I assumed there would be some drop off in demand for housing just above ~20% down plus a conforming mortgage ($417k in many non-HCOL areas) as many buyers would struggle to come up with more than 20% down or qualify for a jumbo mortgage. For this reason, I guessed that houses priced to sell in the price bracket above $521k ($104k down + $417k), were likely to have lower demand, and perhaps represent a better value - interesting learn of your experience with houses <$500k vs. >600k.
That very well could be the case. I hadn't though about the jumbo loan thing but I do see a number of listings priced between $515k and $520k and perhaps that isn't a coincidence.
What general metro area are you looking in, Portland, OR? FNMA and Freddie Mac conforming loan limits vary by metro area.

I agree with the others that you should buy where you are comfortable. We recently moved back to our "blue collar" SF Bay Area house and I love the diversity. It was other worldly living in our N. Scottsdale area house for six years and seeing only one black customer in the grocery store during the entire time we lived there. I also never encountered a Hispanic person who wasn't part of a domestic service or construction team. It was very, very insular.
Yes, Portland metro area but across the river in Clark County Washington. The standard conforming limits still apply to that area despite all the recent price escalation.

hoops777
Posts: 2346
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:23 pm

Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Post by hoops777 » Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:12 pm

The important thing is what is best for the happiness of your family.If you are staying there long term do not even think about comparing resale value.
K.I.S.S........so easy to say so difficult to do.

randomguy
Posts: 6662
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:00 am

Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Post by randomguy » Tue Apr 19, 2016 11:30 pm

Iorek wrote:
investingdad wrote:You buy the house that makes you happy, as long as you can afford it, period.
This.

As a side note, I never agreed with people who choose a house based on expected resale, but maybe it's because I've never lived someplace with a really slow RE market. I figure if a house has a feature that makes it less attractive to some buyers then you are probably getting a better price when you buy, so as long as there's someone who's willing to buy what does it matter if you also have to give them a better price when you sell.
Pretty much. The "problem" is that in good markets people overlook a lot more flaws than they do in poor ones.

As other people said it is really about is the house really out of place in the hood. Buying a 2 million dollar 8k sq ft house in a place that is all 2k 200k houses isn't a good idea in general. Buying the 2.4k house for 240k isn't insane though. Obviously were to draw the line is a bit vague.

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