Friday, April 27, 2007

I need a crystal ball.

We looked at a house tonight that had some real potential. It needed a lot of work, but most of the work was cosmetic, and the cost was significantly lower than the houses we had previously seen, so were we to purchase the home we might actually be able to afford some significant updates. The problem? The street was very run down. In fact, the house directly across the street was a dump. There was trash on the porch, the lawn - everywhere. It was bad. The houses were also very close together - and the street narrow. There were two very nice homes on the street (one brand new and super expensive/fancy), a couple of trailers and run down houses, and the house that we looked at - which looked rather nice from the outside. All the houses were pretty close together, but the house we looked at did have a medium-sized yard in the back (which I think looked smaller than it actually was because it was almost all garden).

To the best of my knowledge the area is safe. The school district is decent. The town has its pros and cons. Overall it's a town that used to be very dumpy but is now starting to improve. Will it continue to improve? I don't know.

Would you consider this house, based only one what I have said above?

Part of me thinks it's a bad idea. Another part of me thinks I should be humble and, aside from the consideration of re-sale value in such a neighborhood (a dead end street, by the way), just ignore the surrounding houses and go for it.

Ultimately, I am a terrible decision maker and just don't know about this place.


1 comment:

Caitlin said...

hi sarah, that's a tough one, but i'll give you some perspective from your neighbors 2 hours south--we live in kingston, which used to be terribly run-down and then started to improve, and is continuing to improve--i've seen this pattern happen to so many nearby hudson river towns in the past 10 years that i've lived in this area--i have friends who bought houses 5 years ago in really sketchy areas for cheap--fixed them up, and they're now able to sell them for twice, sometimes 3 times what they paid for them. around 9/11 tons of people started moving upstate from the city and gentirfying the towns around here (which were in very rough shape before then); i'm not sure if you guys feel those effects all the way up there, but the trend seems to be continuing in our area. my guess is that you may be looking at a really good investment, and that the re-sale value might be much more than you're thinking a few years down the line, especially once you've made the cosmetic improvements. just another view of the situation. that's a tough one, though...we just started house-hunting and are going through the same dilemmas these days...good luck!! love, caitlin