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Old 04-06-2010, 01:45 AM
 
7 posts, read 21,852 times
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I really welcome some input. We are moving from Manhattan/Harlem to Teaneck. First house is on a really nice-looking block with great curb appeal fairly priced on Howard Avenue. Its just lacking the "wow" factor, its not extraordinary, but its sufficient. The 2nd house is new construction on Intervale Road. The block is definitely not as nice, but the house certainly has the "wow" factor I am looking for. Incredibly spacious, new construction, great layout, only slightly more costly than the first house but just leaving something to be desired in terms of curb appeal. Having a hard time with the decision... Help!
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Old 04-06-2010, 03:59 AM
 
5,617 posts, read 14,594,980 times
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the first one no doubt! You can always change your house (landscape, remodel ) and get that wow factor over time but you cant change the neighbors house or block. Location is the most important thing!!
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Old 04-06-2010, 04:59 AM
 
Location: Northern NJ
11,094 posts, read 9,603,832 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chezbrandi View Post
I really welcome some input. We are moving from Manhattan/Harlem to Teaneck. First house is on a really nice-looking block with great curb appeal fairly priced on Howard Avenue. Its just lacking the "wow" factor, its not extraordinary, but its sufficient. The 2nd house is new construction on Intervale Road. The block is definitely not as nice, but the house certainly has the "wow" factor I am looking for. Incredibly spacious, new construction, great layout, only slightly more costly than the first house but just leaving something to be desired in terms of curb appeal. Having a hard time with the decision... Help!
I'd go with the older house for several reasons. The newer one seems to have no back yard at all. Correct me if I'm wrong, the family room picture shows sliders going out to a fence and it looks like there is no yard. Plus, what is just beyond the fence? School property? So it looks like a bad lot. Second, the garage on the lower level means you have to walk up stairs with the groceries. People hate that. Thirdly, it's not a Colonial. It's a Raised Ranch. If you walk in to a level with a family room and a bedroom, and then it's a full staircase to the main living level with LR,DR,Kit,BR's, then it's not a Colonial. A Colonial floor plan is far superior to a Raised Ranch, and that will come back to haunt you if you ever resell.

The reason this new construction is selling at this apparently low price is the defects I just went over. And by the way, the new one has zero curb appeal. It looks like a big gray cube. The older house doesn't have a ton of curb appeal, but it does have some. The new one has none.

Finally you said you preferred the location on Howard.

So the jury has just returned from deliberations: Judgement for This Old House.
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:54 AM
 
1,173 posts, read 4,442,554 times
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Go with the first one without a doubt; cliche but true: Location, location, location! You can invest all the money you want into the second one but there is not much you can do about the block it's on. But the first house, after some time, money and a little sweat you can give it "wow" factor and the curb appeal is already set.

Also, I'm partial to older construction, newer construction is so shoddy. Back in the days people had pride in their work and took their time building and used quality materials. The newer homes are churned out as quickly as possible and the builders save where they can and use cheap materials in places people don't look at and spend on things like faucets and granite. Have you heard of chinese drywall? Not a problem I even want to consider!
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Old 04-06-2010, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Central, NJ
2,594 posts, read 5,565,146 times
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We were in a similar situation and went with the first one. We put the WOW in it ourselves and we love it. I pass the other house often and I'm always thankful we didn't take it. Scope out the neighbors too, it may help make your decision.
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:05 PM
 
7 posts, read 21,852 times
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Great advice... and Marc, especially appreciate the detailed feedback. On the second visit of the 2nd property we quickly eliminated it from consideration. Almost got won over by the inside.. but both the outside of the house, the neighborhood and the lot left a lot to be desired! Still not overwhelmed with the decision to go with the house on Howard, but it looks like we are settling for something that is a pretty good property(good space, good location, move in condition) at a pretty good price. I really do hope we can make it a Wow.
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Old 05-13-2010, 06:17 PM
 
7 posts, read 21,852 times
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Here's an update. We ended up in a totally new house in a new neighborhood that is "wow!" Every night I couldnt sleep without going on the mls and looking at open houses because just wasnt sure about the one on howard we made an offer on. After a saturday of back to back open houses, we found a great corner house on a large property in west orange that we are in love with. We are in contract and scheduled to close the end of June. What a process this has been, but very happy with the outcome and no more scouring the web to see what else is out there!! (thank goodness!)
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Old 05-13-2010, 06:33 PM
 
Location: Hoboken
19,889 posts, read 17,542,897 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chezbrandi View Post
Here's an update. We ended up in a totally new house in a new neighborhood that is "wow!" Every night I couldnt sleep without going on the mls and looking at open houses because just wasnt sure about the one on howard we made an offer on. After a saturday of back to back open houses, we found a great corner house on a large property in west orange that we are in love with. We are in contract and scheduled to close the end of June. What a process this has been, but very happy with the outcome and no more scouring the web to see what else is out there!! (thank goodness!)

Congratulations! Best of luck!
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