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Old 05-29-2008, 10:19 PM
 
Location: Wake Forest, NC
94 posts, read 221,411 times
Reputation: 85

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Here's the situation: I just moved here from Michigan a few months ago and I have been looking to purchase my first home. I am seriously looking at 2 houses in particular right now. One is in Wake Forest and the other is in Hillsborough. These homes are very similar and are also close in price. The only main difference is the size of the lot. The Wake Forest home sits on a lot twice the size of the Hillsborough house. Also, the WF house has a nice wooded backyard whereas the other one has a house behind it.

Locations:

The Wake Forest house is in Franklin County near the Wake County line off of Capital.

The Hillsborough house is just southeast of downtown and just south of I-85.

I tend to like the Hillsborough area a little better since it is closer to Chapel Hill, Southpoint, Cary, Carrboro. It is also about 10-15 minutes closer to where I work.

I also like the Wake Forest area, although it seems a bit far from everything. I love the size of the lot that this house is on.

Please note that this is a starter home for me, so it will be more of an investment than anything. For those who know the housing market in these areas, which would be a better investment? There seem to be some very knowledgeable people on this board when it comes to things like this, so I thought I'd give it a shot and seek your help. Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 05-29-2008, 10:41 PM
 
241 posts, read 805,963 times
Reputation: 221
I'm in the same boat... buying our first home, which location?

My gut says you should be as close to the city as possible. Especially because you have that commute. I realize it's a sacrifice, but you'll be happy when you get those 3.5 hours a week back and $30 a week in gas back in your pocket. (that's 30 min a day, 7 days a week, right?).

Our friend is from Michigan. We met her in Los Angeles. She just bought a condo in Cary... 27511 zip I think. She loves it and is so happy that she is in the city. She didn't get a lot of land but can handle the commute and mortgage easily. Less stress

Just my 2 cents I hope you pick the house that makes you happy all around!
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Old 05-29-2008, 10:45 PM
 
2,547 posts, read 6,150,924 times
Reputation: 1887
As part of the equation make sure you consider the true cost of the extra miles. Use a high figure for gas to be safe (I'd probably double current prices). Consider wear-and-tear on a car - more frequent oil changes, tires, etc. plus faster depreciation due to more miles. And especially consider the value of your time (and the opportunity cost of that time). 15 minutes each way different is 2.5 hours a week you could be working harder at your job or relaxing in the home you are shelling out for.

Ask yourself some questions: How long do you think you will be in the home? How confident are you you will stay employed at your current location during that time?

Only you can weigh the value of a bigger, more private yard versus being closer to things that interest you. I know I had to do the same sort of thing when I bought my first house. I ended up waiting till I found the right house that had the right balance. It may be that you haven't found that balance yet. Maybe tomorrow a house you like a much as the WF house will come on the market in HBoro. Or maybe one is already out there but looks out of your price range, but may accept a lower offer?
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Old 05-29-2008, 11:07 PM
 
3,021 posts, read 9,921,129 times
Reputation: 1618
Nikola, I agree that maybe you need to keep looking until a property you like more comes on the market. Since you prefer the Hillsborough area, keep your search focused on that area.

Last year when I was househunting, I found myself in a similar situation. There were a couple of houses that I was strongly considering, but none really felt quite right. I found myself trying to shoehorn myself into picking one of them just to get it all over with. Luckily, my husband encouraged me to step back. We decided it was better to take our time and wait for the right house to come along ... even if it took us a year to find it. Well, lo and behold, about a week later I was driving along and I stumbled across a house I truly loved. It had just gone on the market that very day. When we toured it, my husband and I both knew that this house was The One.

Now it's a year later. Every once in a while, I end up driving past those other homes that we almost bought. Every time I see them I am so glad that we we took our time and waited for the right property to hit the market.
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Old 05-30-2008, 05:03 AM
 
103 posts, read 68,924 times
Reputation: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikola Tesla View Post
Here's the situation: I just moved here from Michigan a few months ago and I have been looking to purchase my first home. I am seriously looking at 2 houses in particular right now. One is in Wake Forest and the other is in Hillsborough. These homes are very similar and are also close in price. The only main difference is the size of the lot. The Wake Forest home sits on a lot twice the size of the Hillsborough house. Also, the WF house has a nice wooded backyard whereas the other one has a house behind it.

Locations:

The Wake Forest house is in Franklin County near the Wake County line off of Capital.

The Hillsborough house is just southeast of downtown and just south of I-85.

I tend to like the Hillsborough area a little better since it is closer to Chapel Hill, Southpoint, Cary, Carrboro. It is also about 10-15 minutes closer to where I work.

I also like the Wake Forest area, although it seems a bit far from everything. I love the size of the lot that this house is on.

Please note that this is a starter home for me, so it will be more of an investment than anything. For those who know the housing market in these areas, which would be a better investment? There seem to be some very knowledgeable people on this board when it comes to things like this, so I thought I'd give it a shot and seek your help. Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


And the winner is......................

HILLSBOROUGH!!!

At least between the two you mentioned. It has much better location to many things and real estate is all about location (as long as you like it).
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Old 05-30-2008, 06:05 AM
 
60 posts, read 195,572 times
Reputation: 22
Another thing we always look at are the schools too if you are talking about the house as an investment and are worried about resale value if you decide to move sometimes it really helps a sale of house if it is located in a great school district, that really sways some people one way or the other. Good Luck and how exciting your first house
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Old 07-22-2008, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Wake Forest, NC
94 posts, read 221,411 times
Reputation: 85
Thank you for all of your replies. There sure are some very helpful and friendly folks on here.

I decided to go with the house in Wake Forest (Moved in last week), and am very happy with the decision so far. As soon as I got to know the area a little better, I knew WF was the right place for me. Friendly people, nice little downtown, close to everything you need...what more could I ask for?

Thanks again.
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Old 07-22-2008, 05:52 PM
Status: "Summer, please don't leave!" (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: Asheville, NC
11,472 posts, read 25,701,761 times
Reputation: 4206
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