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Old 07-02-2016, 08:59 PM
 
12 posts, read 19,432 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi Everyone,

We are deciding between a single family home in Mount Kisco, Stanwood area vs a townhouse in Goldens Bridge, "Katonah Close" community. Now, some details:

The house in Mt. Kisco is 4 miles away from the train station with no nearby shops, restaurants etc. The neighborhood has many houses close by, but still a tranquil single-entry street. As a first-time home buyer, our concerns are around winter time problems (snowing in, tree falling, power cuts etc) and resale issues due to accessibility. It is a very nice 3 bed, 3 bath turnkey home with a yard and 2 car garage costing ~560k. Yard has access to the New Croton reservoir.

The townhouse in Goldens Bridge is less than a mile away from the train station. There is an Acme supermarket and some shops less than a mile away. The townhouse is also very nice turnkey 2 bed 3.5 baths, with no yard and a 1 car garage, costing ~430k. Square footage is comparable between both houses. It has a high HOA fee, though, of $675 and same taxes as the house. Apart from that, it comes with the typical townhouse-related issues including depreciation/resale.

So, we are in an interesting situation where both the house and townhouse would end up with the same monthly payout (mortgage + taxes + HOA). One would give us a house with a yard, but isolated, and the other would give us a townhouse, but with more accessibility.

Also, not sure if Stanwood, Mt. Kisco is more desirable than Goldens Bridge or vice versa.

Door-to-door commute to Grand Central, which is a must, ends up being similar as well, due to the additional 4 miles to reach Mt. Kisco station.

We are very confused as to what to choose. What would you choose?!

We would appreciate any and all comments on this.

Thanks in advance!
Shankar
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Old 07-02-2016, 11:40 PM
 
Location: Midtown East
82 posts, read 71,279 times
Reputation: 40
Single family
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Old 07-03-2016, 07:32 AM
 
12 posts, read 19,432 times
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Thank you, @NYC_! Would be great to know a bit about your reasoning as well.

Would love to hear from others too.
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Old 07-03-2016, 07:44 AM
 
Location: NY
195 posts, read 229,579 times
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It totally depends on what you want/need.

Do you like to have a yard and garden? Do you like quiet evenings and grilling outside? Do you have or are you planning on having kids? Take the house.

Do you enjoy being around other people/having neighbors to say good morning too? Do you prefer more walkability? Take the townhouse.

To me it's like comparing apples and toasters. They're totally different things. You just have to decide which suits your needs more.
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Old 07-03-2016, 07:52 AM
 
Location: NY
195 posts, read 229,579 times
Reputation: 244
I would also take into account whether there's oil vs gas or septic vs sewer or municipal water vs well.
Not saying one is better than the other necessarily, but in some of those spots only one is available, and if, say, you love to cook on a gas stove but there's oil in Mt. Kisco, that may be enough to swing you to Golden's Bridge (or vice versa)
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Old 07-03-2016, 12:22 PM
 
343 posts, read 268,367 times
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I agree with jaymtea. Two completely different options. Either you want a single family house or you want a townhouse. I would take the single family, hands down. But- the fact that you are considering a townhouse, makes me think you might be worried about the maintenance of a house. If that is the case, go with the townhome. If you are worried about not being around neighbors, shops- I think you might be in the entirely wrong neck of the woods with both options. I could be wrong though. If you have kids, you might want to consider school districts and such. Do you want to share a wall with your neighbor or do you want your own space in a single family home. Do you want someone else taking care of the outside maintenance of your townhome or are you okay taking that on with a single family home? Single family home ownership is a lot of work and $. You will end up spending more on the single family home, but I would still take it over a townhome. best of luck!
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Old 07-03-2016, 01:51 PM
 
12 posts, read 19,432 times
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@jaymtea, @jego914 - thank you for your detailed comments!

I should have mentioned in my original post that I have a 2 years old daughter. That's one of the main reasons why we were only looking at a single family home so that she could get some good yard space to play, and we could try some gardening. After more than 6 months of scouring online and 3 months of active house visits, we had filtered down the available inventory to the house I mentioned above and a couple other less desirable options, based on our budget and expectations. That's when we wondered whether it might be a good idea to also review townhouses.

Both of you raise some very valid questions, and it has been very helpful thinking in these terms. Maintenance, to me, is less of a concern. I understand that it is part and parcel of home ownership and I am prepared to deal with it. I think we were just spoiled by a couple of other home options where we could get what we wanted, along with access to town center and shops (close to Mt. Kisco town center). Needless to say, we were beaten by competition in those places

Given your feedback and our expectations, I think we are more inclined to consider the single family home itself. Thanks for chiming in. If you or anyone else has any other points to add, please do share!
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Old 07-03-2016, 10:57 PM
 
343 posts, read 268,367 times
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I know how difficult it is trying to find a home in a desirable area of Westchester in your price range, but if you can wait....wait. Keep looking. It sounds like you haven't found "your home" quite yet. If I were you and there weren't time constraints, I would focus in on the area of the homes you were outbid on and wait. Something will come on. Unfortunately, if there are time constraints involved, you may have to choose. Buying a home is a huge commitment, whether it's a single family home or a townhome. You want to be sure you like the house, the neighborhood, the school district and you will be able to resell it without taking a loss. Maybe you need to broaden your search a bit. What other towns have you looked in or are you set on Katonah/Mt.Kisco?
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Old 07-04-2016, 04:27 AM
 
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Single family home is always easier to sell. Plus in a town house you are married to your neighbors and the homeowners association.
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Old 07-04-2016, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Midtown East
82 posts, read 71,279 times
Reputation: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by shankzz View Post
Thank you, @NYC_! Would be great to know a bit about your reasoning as well.

Would love to hear from others too.
HOA Fees are high and single family homes sell better. Plus the privacy of a single family home is much better.
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