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The amazing variance in the cost of housing...
Old 03-30-2018, 07:32 AM   #1
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The amazing variance in the cost of housing...

First let me set the stage on where we are coming from: Our 3,000 plus square foot home on a wooded acre is worth around $500K. The property taxes are a whopping $10.5k/yr. The second floor master can, at times, be a nuisance for my metal knees. Facing the house the lot falls off to the right. As a bit of a gardener Iíve squeezed in a huge vegetable garden but sadly it isnít full sun. Hence the big tomato/ flower pots that line my front walk that I employ each growing season.
The killer school district and easy commute to Philly and Wilmington has had the town growing for last 13 years that weíve been there. Thereís really no land left for expansion. I find it choking. Its amazing but a 25 minute drive and you are in Horse/Farm country.

Bottom line $1,000+ a month taxes (and homeowner insurance) stairs, crowds and the desire to start a new adventure has had me scanning the housing horizon for a while.

We just finished a weeks vacation in Louisville, Kentucky. We did the tourist thing: Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby museum, Louisville Slugger Factory, the bourbon tours. [I discovered I enjoy Buffalo Trace Eagle Rare 10 year old bourbon @ $35 a bottle. Iíll forgo the $235 a bottle Pappy Van Winkle.]. I had a notion to check the housing prices and was amazed at what $230K can buy here. A brick rancher on 10 acres! Of course Iím thinking hey you can escape the insanity of the Northeast Prices!

Care to share what a 3 bedroom, 2 bath rancher with enough room for a couple tomato plants cost in your neck of the woods?IMG_0006.JPGIMG_0002.JPG
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Old 03-30-2018, 07:48 AM   #2
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It's not a 3/2 rancher. More of a 4/2 somewhat contemporary in San Diego suburb. Less than 2000 sq ft. We are putting on the market in a few weeks for 650 plus. Postage stamp lot. As opposed to the house I live in now-3/2 contemporary on Potomac River/Chesapeake Bay with 2 acres, 80 feet of beach front appraised at 400. San Diego RE taxes just a tad higher. Sort of shocked at how high my San Diego house is and shocked at how low priced my Maryland house is. Location, location, location. Sort of. The weather is better in San Diego but the beach location in Maryland is WAYYYY better. Not a huge demand from buyers in Southern Maryland. Oh well. First world problems.
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Old 03-30-2018, 08:12 AM   #3
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North of Charlotte here...
Neighbor just sold her suburban 3/2.5 (2 story) on a 1/4 acre for $215K - full asking price. Market is very warm lately.
Prop taxes ~ $2K/year. A lot of comfortably middle class folks will never move out of the southeast, as they can't afford a house in the NE, west coast, many mountain states, etc. YMMV!
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Old 03-30-2018, 08:13 AM   #4
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Old college buddy's SFR (3/2) in a suburb of a major California city (not LA or SF, though) is worth $1.6 million according to Zillow.

Here you can buy a townhome like mine (3/3, ~2.5x the sqft. of the above) for 1/10th that price.
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Old 03-30-2018, 08:37 AM   #5
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This are for middle of the road houses, not slums and not super high end.


Massachusetts: Cost of 3/2 structure 150K (modular) to 250K (fancy) plus the land cost. In our area a 1/4-1/3 acre lot would range from 25K to 100K.


Florida: Cost of 3/2 structure 100K (modular) to 200K (fancy) plus the land cost.
Land from 10K to 100K


Keep in mind the building codes in the Northeast are far more costly for good reason. Snow loads, a full basement due to frost and severe weather impact the costs. Florida is starting to catch up due to the new hurricane roof regs but you can still build on a concrete slab there.


Nevada is even cheaper.


If you want a cheap northeast location build in Vermont in towns without a building inspector. You can do pretty much anything you want.
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Old 03-30-2018, 08:44 AM   #6
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Care to share what a 3 bedroom, 2 bath rancher with enough room for a couple tomato plants cost in your neck of the woods?
$300K would get you a good one in the Cincinnati suburbs (east of the city on the Ohio side, or south of the river in Kentucky) with much lower property taxes.
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Old 03-30-2018, 08:53 AM   #7
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West Michigan here.
1500 sq ft (main floor) ranch + finished basement (20 years old)
1 acre lot.(big for west Michigan standards)
worth about 250k. Taxes about $2500 a year
The summers here are beautiful, but the long winters will have us moving south after we retire. We are thinking Kentucky (we have family there)
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Old 03-30-2018, 08:53 AM   #8
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I purchased my daughter a 3/2 all brick house in a great neighborhood 3 years ago for $104k. It is 2200 square feet not including a finished 20x20 den. Property taxes were $1100. We had to repaint and to put in new carpets and flooring $7k.

We evicted my daughter last Fall and the house was sold to a real estate broker for flipping.. They completely rebuilt the house and sold it for $190k.
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Old 03-30-2018, 09:05 AM   #9
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Georgia - 2800 sf/3br/3ba on 1.5 acres in town $250k taxes are $2800 will lower significantly when I turn 65. You could get much more land if you drove 10-30 minutes away. Rarely any snow, just enough for pretty pictures then gone by noon
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Old 03-30-2018, 09:06 AM   #10
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You could get a nice ranch on a regular subd lot for 150-300 depending on updates and location.
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Old 03-30-2018, 09:18 AM   #11
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Old college buddy's SFR (3/2) in a suburb of a major California city (not LA or SF, though) is worth $1.6 million according to Zillow.
I'm guessing a San Jose suburb. Willow Glen?
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Old 03-30-2018, 09:19 AM   #12
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The smallest house in my subdivision is 2250 sf with four bedrooms. Thanks to being in Silly Valley, that would sell for about $1.6M. If I believed Zillow, mine should sell for over $1.7M. Taxes would run about 1.2 percent of the sale price, or $21,250 a year. Thanks, Howard Jarvis, for Prop 13!
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Old 03-30-2018, 09:20 AM   #13
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Panhandle area here. SFH approx 2200 sq ft 3/2 on a 1/3 of an acre goes for around $250k-$300k. Property taxes are approx $1000/yr and insurance approx $900/yr.
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Old 03-30-2018, 09:24 AM   #14
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I'm guessing a San Jose suburb. Willow Glen?
Willow Glen is a neighborhood in the City of San Jose. $1.6M does not get you much in that area. Lots of cute, older homes of small size on modest lots. You can go over $2M for a remodeled larger house there.
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Old 03-30-2018, 09:27 AM   #15
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https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sal...586_rect/9_zm/

Rural Upstate NY, Finger Lakes Region (but not on a lake)...I think you could squeeze in a tomato plant, some zucchini,and a few rows of corn,
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Old 03-30-2018, 10:17 AM   #16
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Here in northern Michigan, you can buy a nice house similar to what you described for $110 - $120 thousand (and that would have a couple acres of land). Here is one example:
https://www.wildriversrealty.com/rea...sort=price_low

Of course, the winters are long here, and it is small-town living, which is not for everyone (we like it). Not many jobs either, as you would expect.

Gardening season is short, but I have no problem growing nice tomatoes in my big vegetable garden. Full sunlight definitely helps.
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Old 03-30-2018, 10:47 AM   #17
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Suburbs of Los Angeles (Ventura County - 40 miles from downtown). My tiny 1200 sq ft 3/2 on an equally tiny 1/8 acre is supposedly worth about $620K and property taxes run about $300/mo. Price sounds exorbitant until you compare it to the Bay Area where the same thing goes for easily double.

DW still works part time at a good county job so we are tied to the area for a few more years, but we're keenly aware of what we could trade our "crap shack" in for when we move.
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Old 03-30-2018, 10:47 AM   #18
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I'm guessing that our 3 bedroom/2/3/4 bath lakeside home on 0.7 acres in Vermont would go for ~$185-190/sf (property taxes ~$3/sf)..... OTOH, our 3 bedroom/1 3/4 bath Sarasota condo is probably about $125-130/sf (property taxes ~$1.60/sf).
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Old 03-30-2018, 10:54 AM   #19
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... A lot of comfortably middle class folks will never move out of the southeast, as they can't afford a house in the NE, west coast, many mountain states, etc. YMMV!
Well, it may not be affordability...most southerners I know couldn't be PAID to move "up north" and I don't think I have EVER heard someone down here say, "I think I am going to retire up north!"

I spent 6 years outside of Philadelphia and I HATED IT. To this day I cannot understand *why* people would pay so much to live there.

But, as you mentioned YMMV...and as my DW says: "If you aren't feeding me, paying my bills, or *** me, then it's none of your business".

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Georgia - 2800 sf/3br/3ba on 1.5 acres in town $250k taxes are $2800 will lower significantly when I turn 65. You could get much more land if you drove 10-30 minutes away. Rarely any snow, just enough for pretty pictures then gone by noon
Similar here in the north 'burbs of Atlanta. 2400'ish SF 3br/3ba on 1/2 acre with decent schools nearby and all the amenities would could want... about $275-300K and $2200 in taxes (would be about $800 if I was 65 years old). But, if you want a McMansion that is across the street, you are looking at $750K+ and 1/5 acre lot.

Snow in Atlanta? Yeah...prepare to stick around the house for a few days a year.
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Old 03-30-2018, 11:13 AM   #20
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Zillow says my place is worth about $380K, which I would take if offered. Approximately $150/sq ft. 3BR + extra room, 2.5 Bath, oversize 2 car garage. 1+ acre. Full unfinished basement plus unfinished area above garage which could be converted into living space. Built in early 90's with some nice features but could use some updating. Property taxes now north of $8K/year. Upstate NY near capital region.
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