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Old 06-11-2014, 07:13 AM
 
4,676 posts, read 8,921,645 times
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Three rules of real estate:

Location, location, location!!!!!!!!!!

You can always change the house.
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Old 06-11-2014, 07:15 AM
 
16,719 posts, read 17,109,945 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerseygal4u View Post
Yes,i am mostly going by price only,as i want to stay within a certain range every month.

I know at my price range i would either have to get a short sale home,a shack,or a nice home in a so so neighborhood.

I thought most first time homebuyers go by price?
I think for any home buyer the price obviously makes a difference, but once you are sure of your budget, you should be looking for location.

I know you mentioned the Moorestown house is higher in taxes. Well, Jersey is nothing BUT taxes. But at least you'd be able to know that is part of your budget, plus you can always upgrade the house at some point.

the other house might be cheaper in taxes, but you will NEVER know a true budget because something will ALWAYS go wrong. A house that old is a money pit. Seriously, if you can find a copy of the movie, rent it(The Money Pit with Tom Hanks). Then take into consideration your safety, and the fact that because it's in a bad neighborhood which is going to encroach on you, your house's value will go down no matter what you do to it.

I think as a first time home buyer you owe it to yourself to take it easy, get a small house you can update in a nice neighborhood. When you're more experienced maybe you can choose to take on an older house, but not in a bad neighborhood.
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Old 06-11-2014, 07:16 AM
 
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OP, don't forget that maintenance & repair (even with no upgrading) costs are a huge factor, especially with older homes. If you are close to your total housing budget just with the mortgage and taxes, then you should not buy EITHER option.
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Old 06-11-2014, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
5,105 posts, read 8,437,876 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACWhite View Post
OP, don't forget that maintenance & repair (even with no upgrading) costs are a huge factor, especially with older homes. If you are close to your total housing budget just with the mortgage and taxes, then you should not buy EITHER option.
The above poster makes a good point. The cost of maintaining the very old larger house will probably be higher than the cost of maintaining the somewhat older smaller house. Of course, if you plan to do any significant work to the smaller house, (and I wouldn't want to live in the smaller house, in its current condition) then that would probably cost more than the maintenance on the larger house.

Assuming the Trenton neighborhood is stable or improving, I would choose the larger house in a heartbeat.
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:04 AM
 
27,750 posts, read 58,124,042 times
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The best neighborhoods where I live are well over a million and this could very well be for a condo here in San Francisco.

Even on my side of the Bay... 2500 square foot homes with a city view can be 1.2m and more... and this is with marginal public schools, higher crime stats and taxes...

It's all relative.

What I have noticed with many I work with is few are really ever satisfied... there is always somewhere a little better, a little newer, better schools, etc.

I lost two good neighbors because their kids were soon to be of school age... they sold and moved out to Orinda for schools... one paid 1.8 million to do this.

The funny thing is the Orinda public schools were not good enough so now they send their kids to Head Royce private... which is... you guessed it in Oakland at a cost of close to 40k per child...

You need to decide if Good Enough will do or settle only for the elusive best...
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
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I would choose repairs over sketchy people around me ANY DAY. You can do something about a house that needs work. You can't do much about the neighborhood and clientele.
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:21 AM
 
5,568 posts, read 5,589,370 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerseygal4u View Post
It sounds like you purchased a small home in a bad city but great neighborhood?
NO Great neighborhood. Great town. I should say this large price jump of 150k in just over 3 years is the result of tear downs in the neighborhood. We have builders paying more than the homes are worth in many cases so they can get the lot & toss up a new house.
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Old 06-11-2014, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,919 posts, read 28,702,910 times
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The Trenton house has had much work done in the featured kitchens and bathrooms, yet has had price reductions and has been on the market for two years. Is the neighborhood stable? Is it covered by historic district covenants and restrictions? That could add to the cost of any renovations as the work would have to be done according to period details. It is also difficult to forecast neighborhoods that have been emerging from periods of blight and decay, where there have been setbacks. It is not the most expensive house in the neighborhood, and the block looks well kept from the Google street view, and is not far from the governmental center of Trenton. That begs the question as to what has kept the neighborhood from finding its place among other historic urban enclaves that have had a resurgence.

The Moorestown house looks like a better buy in terms of neighborhood, but is selling below the last recorded sales price. So, is this a low offer price to get bids; or, are houses on small lots not as attractive? The price of the house is close to the median income in the township, so it's low for the area, which is good. However, it is on a small lot, and likely would be difficult to demolish to build a new house. The area is great, overall, though, so I would pick that house of the two, despite the Downtown Trenton house being larger and more interesting. I see that it is a short sale, so the price paid was more than it was worth, but a short sale can take a long time to close and requires lender approval, etc. It can be a hassle to buy, but with a full, unfinished basement, there would be some upside potential in a few years if you wanted to renovate and add a rec room, if feasible.

If you do consider the Downtown Trenton house, speak with the police department's community relations officer and ask about crime statistics in the neighborhood. Specifically, you would be interested in violent crime, against person, and property crime, since that can help to gauge the safety of the residence. Also, you would want to know about gang-related criminal activity, and the prevalence of drug arrests, both for dealing and using, in the immediate vicinity, so that you could more accurately make a determination. Neighborhoods can look fine, and feel fine at many times during the day and evening, but night, summer, early morning, etc., can produce different results.
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Old 06-11-2014, 06:43 PM
 
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The Trenton house is on a beautiful street, wow.
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Mass
974 posts, read 1,646,234 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerseygal4u View Post
Yes,i am mostly going by price only,as i want to stay within a certain range every month.

I know at my price range i would either have to get a short sale home,a shack,or a nice home in a so so neighborhood.

I thought most first time homebuyers go by price?
Only if PRICE matters to you! Figure out what YOUR criteria are first, then the choice should become clearer!
Quote:
Originally Posted by JrzDefector View Post
I left Jersey and now own a house in Colorado.

I'll be blunt - I would never own a house in Jersey. It's just too expensive - it's a far better deal to rent there.

The Moorestown house looks perfectly lovely - you could do a lot with that one. That's the one I'd opt for. But I'd really opt to get out of Jersey. Maybe consider PA?



If it's price above all else, as the former NJ boy living in CO said, it's cheaper to rent in Jersey. I don't know- is it? Find out! In Boston, my mortgage, utilities, condo fees and repairs are cheaper than any equivalent rent because our rents started to go crazier a few years ago. I needed to buy because rents were $$$ more expensive.

You need about 5-10k in the bank to handle any repair issues that always come up the first year unless you're handy. That's something no one tells you about!

Maslow's hierarchy of needs - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

What are some of the comps like? Are other houses in the respective neighborhoods dragging on the market? We have condos selling in 7 days here so houses on the market for 300+ days sounds crazy to me.
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