mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

House envy...

When I first started thinking about buying a house, I started checking the website of a major realtor for zip codes I was interested in. This went on for about 2 years until I actually bought my house, and it helped me have a pretty good idea of what I could afford, what kind of house I wanted, and what areas had houses like the ones I wanted.

One would think that once I bought my house, I would no longer visit that site. But I still do, but my search is more focused - instead of searching for zip codes I was interested in, I'm using the "subdivision" search box to search for my development. Out of the 100 or so homes in my development, there are currently 5 on the market, 2 of which are on my court. There has been at least one that has sold, that was listed right after I submitted the offer on mine, and probably sold quickly, since people already moved into it last weekend.

Looking at them brings me a combination of feelings. On one hand, you worry that if lots of people are selling their houses then it's a sign people want to get out of the neigborhood. But part of it may be profit-taking - people looking at what homes near them went for, and deciding that if values are that high then maybe they should sell.

Looking at the listings has made me realize that I bought the worst house in the neigborhood. That's not to say that there is anything wrong with my townhouse beyond the hemmoraging air conditioner. But there are a lot of things that other people have done to their townhouses that the people who owned mine haven't. While there are a few things I would like to add to mine eventually, when I have more money - like a fence - most of them fall into the catagory of "things I would have no use for", like Jaccuzzi or a koi pond.

The other thing that a number of houses seem to have that mine doesn't is additional bedrooms. This isn't to say that these houses are bigger than mine - they have the same square footage. This suggests that the additonal bedrooms were either made by splitting one of the bedrooms into two or by turning the basement storage room into a bedroom. Since I'm only one person, but have a lot of crap, I like having the storage area. Furthermore, I'd rather have one useful spare bedroom than two tiny ones - my back bedroom is my office/ebay room, with closets full of stuff, two large tables holding 4 computers, and a futon that I didn't know what else to do with. Looking at houses, I decided I would rather have a large useful bedroom than two smaller ones. I hope that isn't a decision I regret if and when I eventually sell.

But as mentioned, the other houses are nicer. They are also priced considerably higher - the one that sold recently was asking $17,000 more than I paid for mine (and given the fact that it seems like it sold quickly, I would guess probably went for close to that), and the two on my court that are currently for sale are $25,000 and $40,000 more than mine - although the latter one is an end-of-group with double the backyard (ie the size of a commemorative postage stamp rather than a regular one).

So it's hard to gauge if I got a good deal or not. I guess it's a good sign that people liked the neigborhood and house enough to spend so much money renovating their houses, and if they sell reasonably quickly and for anywhere near what they are asking it would suggest that it is a desirable neigborhood.

Of course, if one similar to mine goes on the market, and sells for well less than I paid for mine, I would feel pretty disappointed. So I'm kind of hoping that all the houses I see on the market are way nicer and way more expensive than mine.

I also wonder if any buyers are looking at comps and looking at the listing for my house and how much I paid for it and wondering if they should be spending so much on a townhouse in my neigborhood...


At 11:44 AM, Blogger Muneer said...

You still like the A920? I am about to buy one, trying to get up all the reviews I can.


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