Worst House on the best block?

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cherijoh
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Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:49 pm
Location: Charlotte NC

Re: Worst House on the best block?

Post by cherijoh »

whereskyle wrote: Tue May 26, 2020 11:09 am
TheTimeLord wrote: Tue May 26, 2020 11:07 am
whereskyle wrote: Tue May 26, 2020 8:48 am Hello all,

DW and I are in the process of looking to buy our first home and in our price range (circa $300k in relatively HCOL area) we are forced to choose between nicer houses in undesirable partS of town and fixer uppers in desirable parts of town. So I just wanted to see if Bogleheads think the old advice that location matters most still rings true. Should we buy the worst house on the best block? The inverse? Find some middle ground?

Thanks, all!
I have been counseled not to buy anything below the 30th percentile and above the 80th percentile in a neighborhood for resale reasons. Don't know if that is true or not but hope it helps.
Thanks!
I hadn't heard that before. But that could be a little too rigid in a neighboorhood built by a single builder over a relatively short period of time. I am in the smallest floor plan in a large "master" neighborhood or 350+ homes. So I am quite sure my house would fall below the 30th percentile on the basis of size. (Quite a few houses are more than double the size of my one-story "rancher"). But this floor plan usually sells quickest under all market conditions because the builder mostly built 2-story houses and more recent neighborhoods in my general area have no ranchers (due to the escalating price of land).

Now, maybe if there was a correction for square footage....
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Watty
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Re: Worst House on the best block?

Post by Watty »

whereskyle wrote: Tue May 26, 2020 8:58 am Great point. 2 bedroom in the neighborhood we're looking in: priced at $299,000. Empty lot of the same size: priced at $350,000.
......
We are happy in our current apartment, which is 950 sq ft with tiny living, kitchen, and dining rooms but very large bedrooms. Our toddler daughter is always pushing us to go outside, so we walk her down the staircase and so on. We wish we had a space she could play, explore, and feel safe in, that isn't public. The house we're considering is 906 sq ft but an open plan, so it feels bigger.
In the parts of the country I know they have not built small houses like that on large lots for 60+ years. Small houses on small lots still happens some.

If the house is that old then one thing to watch out for is that in addition to the things you can see it may also be due for things like new sewer lines, water lines, electric lines, and if you do major work on the house the entire house may need to be brought up to the current building code. Doing things like putting in a new kitchen can be a lot more complex than just putting in new cabinets and flooring.

If the lot would really sell for $350K then I think the reason that it is listed for $299K is that it would cost $50K to tear down the house and get the permits and new utility lines to get the lot ready to build a new house on the lot. If it is an old house it may have lead paint and asbestos which can make tearing it down more expensive.
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whereskyle
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Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:29 am

Re: Worst House on the best block?

Post by whereskyle »

Watty wrote: Wed May 27, 2020 12:32 pm
whereskyle wrote: Tue May 26, 2020 8:58 am Great point. 2 bedroom in the neighborhood we're looking in: priced at $299,000. Empty lot of the same size: priced at $350,000.
......
We are happy in our current apartment, which is 950 sq ft with tiny living, kitchen, and dining rooms but very large bedrooms. Our toddler daughter is always pushing us to go outside, so we walk her down the staircase and so on. We wish we had a space she could play, explore, and feel safe in, that isn't public. The house we're considering is 906 sq ft but an open plan, so it feels bigger.
In the parts of the country I know they have not built small houses like that on large lots for 60+ years. Small houses on small lots still happens some.

If the house is that old then one thing to watch out for is that in addition to the things you can see it may also be due for things like new sewer lines, water lines, electric lines, and if you do major work on the house the entire house may need to be brought up to the current building code. Doing things like putting in a new kitchen can be a lot more complex than just putting in new cabinets and flooring.

If the lot would really sell for $350K then I think the reason that it is listed for $299K is that it would cost $50K to tear down the house and get the permits and new utility lines to get the lot ready to build a new house on the lot. If it is an old house it may have lead paint and asbestos which can make tearing it down more expensive.
Yep. After seeing it again today, we are thinking the smartest thing to do is walk away. It's a tear-down, start over situation.
"I am better off than he is – for he knows nothing and thinks that he knows. I neither know nor think that I know." - Socrates. "Nobody knows nothing." - Jack Bogle
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