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Old 06-25-2007, 04:10 PM
 
9 posts, read 72,916 times
Reputation: 17

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my fiance and i are very open.

we just do not want a condominium.

Will work with a trusted realter soon(who will possibly give us advice if it is a good time to buy or not), but til next weekend what would you do with a budget of $400K for a house/townhome?
there are so many options. I am OK with a 45 minute commute to work, but not sure about my fiance. (i leave VERY early, made it from leesburg to arlington in 35 minutes once)

so far we've looked at the following(just surfing the net):
new townhomes in loudoun, used townhomes in springfield, burke, reston, vienna, alexandria

even opened up to old houses('50-60's) in springfield and alexandria and annandale.

what has the most appreciation potential? an old single family home on a 1/4 acre or so lot? or the newer townhome?

we actually rushed into a townhome contract in loudoun, but we can stand to lose our smallish deposit to live closer in.

no kids. although we do have a small dog.
no preference on type of area "small townish, suburbia, etc"
post also, if you think we should wait longer and save more for downpayment(we are not in a rush, just worried that the prices may go higher than we can afford, but based on what i've been reading lately it seems that we possibly should just sit on the fence and wait)

thanks for all posts!

Last edited by kachowc5z; 06-25-2007 at 05:24 PM..
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Old 06-25-2007, 05:26 PM
 
1,261 posts, read 5,609,248 times
Reputation: 553
When it comes to reselling a home in the future, how quickly it moves will depend on price, location, and condition. Whether you buy a TH or a SFH, its location is something you'll never be able to change in the future (e.g., neighborhood desirability and safety, school district, views, noise level, busy streets, etc.). If the location is good/excellent, but the home is older, the next question is: Do you have room to grow? Yes, it costs money, but eventually, it's something that can be done to improve the resale value. Same goes for an older home...You can remodel it to your liking in the future.
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Old 06-25-2007, 05:46 PM
 
407 posts, read 2,086,551 times
Reputation: 145
The closer you get to the District the "less" $400k will get you. I would start by going to the following website, and running searches for the different town/cities in NoVa for $400k.

HomesDatabase

This is an excellent website for real estate in NoVa.

Good Luck!
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Old 06-26-2007, 08:20 AM
 
146 posts, read 767,034 times
Reputation: 100
Default Renting is cheaper

Quote:
what has the most appreciation potential? an old single family home on a 1/4 acre or so lot? or the newer townhome?
The older single family home with the land. Homes built today are poorly constructed. Of course, nothing has been appreciating lately. Quite the opposite. If you want to be a contrarian and buy when sentiment is very low, it might work out. Then again, you could be "catching a falling knife" on the way down.

Don't look at a house as an "investment," although tons of people say it is. It's not- it's a place to live. Around here, it is way cheaper to rent. Look at townhome mortgage prices vs. rents anywhere- you're looking at $500 a month difference, even when accounting for the tax deductions.

If you're okay with the inconveniences of renting, you should do it, because owning has its inconveniences as well- yard work, maintenance, etc.

If you really want to have your own place, paint the walls, landscape how you want, etc., then buy and get some land around you. When you own all four walls you don't have to smell people's smoke or hear their arguments/stereos.

vamlsrealty.com is an excellent site for Loudoun, Fairfax, and Prince William. You can search by street, neighborhood, town, etc. Good luck!
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Old 06-26-2007, 08:42 AM
 
2,688 posts, read 5,953,655 times
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One important factor is to check out the neighborhood as a whole. In some neighborhoods in that price range, as the older residents leave, their houses are being bought by low-income immigrants who move in with large extended families, or who turn them into unofficial and illegal boarding houses. The problem is not that they are immigrants per se, but that in these cases they are causing overcrowding in the homes and an excessive number of cars parked on the neighborhood streets, both of which depress the property values. In Fairfax County, the current Board of Supervisors has done little to enforce the existing codes, so this has become a hot election year issue. But you can find a nice home in a nice neighborhood where that is not a problem. Just be sure you check out the neighborhood, not just the house or townhouse.
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Old 06-26-2007, 08:53 AM
 
Location: TX
3,029 posts, read 10,646,323 times
Reputation: 1362
add kingstowne to your list as well.
since you have no kids I would suggest looking for a nice TH in a VERY good neighborhood inside the loop. Really search the neighborhoods in Alexandria, Arlington, west springfield, kingstowne etc... the area will sell the property later If it's very nice and well kept up etc...

so basically you have 3 options with 400k...
1)continue to rent to see if the market is still going down in 1 year.
2) buy a smaller place than what you think you want and get closer in
3) take a hit on along commute and buy a place in Loudoun 400k you are still looking at a TH. the houses under 400k need so much work etc...
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Old 06-26-2007, 12:44 PM
 
407 posts, read 2,086,551 times
Reputation: 145
$400k Will provide you with ample options for housing in many of the nice neighborhoods in NoVa...and if you're willing to consider homes off route 66 you will open up many more options too. There really aren't many "bad" sections in NoVa, most of the "bad" or simply a older, economically depressed apartment communties, which in actually aren't really dangerous--in terms of violence.
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Old 06-26-2007, 01:15 PM
 
146 posts, read 767,034 times
Reputation: 100
Quote:
so basically you have 3 options with 400k...
1)continue to rent to see if the market is still going down in 1 year.
2) buy a smaller place than what you think you want and get closer in
3) take a hit on along commute and buy a place in Loudoun 400k you are still looking at a TH. the houses under 400k need so much work etc...
In Leesburg and west of Leesburg (Hamilton, Purcellville, Lovettsville) you can find single-family homes for under $400k. Sterling has some too, but only the slummy parts. Lots of brick homes built in the '60s and '70s, on the then-standard 1/3 acre. It's not a bad life...I live in one myself!
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Old 06-27-2007, 06:41 AM
 
407 posts, read 2,086,551 times
Reputation: 145
Also see if Springfield, Burke, Fairfax, Centreville, Fairlakes, Chantilly have to offer too. These towns are all very nice, and still within a reasonable commuting distance into most parts of NoVa. Keep in mind that most everyone's commute in NoVa is at least 1hr long each way. If you're commute is less that 60 minutes, consider yourself very lucky.
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