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Where is the bargain real estate?
Old 02-17-2005, 06:16 PM   #1
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Where is the bargain real estate?

For someone looking to purchase a house (preferably new constrution) where prices have not appreciated much if at all over the last years

Where would you recommend?

I hear good things about parts of New Mexico.
Can anyone make some suggestions, I am open to all areas.


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First, stop looking for new construction.
Old 02-18-2005, 05:00 AM   #2
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First, stop looking for new construction.

Houses are like commodities. You pay top dollar when everyone wants to have one and you get them for free when nobody wants them.

New construction is a hot commodity, especially among first-time buyers led to the slaughter purchase by their first realtor. You have to fight your way through the crowds waving their credit cards at the builder and gleefully picking out their "free upgrades".

A couple blocks away from that frenzy will be a neighborhood that uses the same schools, shopping centers, and roads. Their resale values just got hammered by the new McNeighborhood. Their residents are all considering "upgrading" to that new neighborhood, and a few of them are underwater on their mortgages. You might even be lucky enough to get a grizzled & gray-haired realtor with the patience to hunt down a foreclosure or two.

Then you buy that neglected property and fix it up.


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Re: Where is the bargain real estate?
Old 02-18-2005, 05:48 AM   #3
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Re: Where is the bargain real estate?

My husband is an architect who is horrified by most of the new construction. *The workmanship is shoddy and the fancy finishes cover shortcuts in the framing, foundation, roofing and siding. *The claim that it was "constructed to code" only means that the minimum was done to get an occupancy permit.

IMHO, look for a home that is over 10 years old. *A through INDEPENDENT home inspector will be able to identify any construction defects and major maintenance issues (the shortcuts taken during construction show up by then). *In the Valley I hear that some lenders are issuing mortgages on older homes that include money for improvements (much like a construction loan).

My house has plastic laminate counter-tops because we didn't take shortcuts on roofing, siding and foundation. *Later in this building's life a kitchen upgrade is chump change when compared to the problems some of our neighbors have had with their developer constructed homes.
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Re: Where is the bargain real estate?
Old 02-18-2005, 06:27 AM   #4
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Re: Where is the bargain real estate?

What's wrong with plastic laminate counter tops?


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Re: Where is the bargain real estate?
Old 02-18-2005, 06:31 AM   #5
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Re: Where is the bargain real estate?

I've been looking for a "second" home down south for several years now (in anticipation of a winter retirement haven) and have found a few things:

East and West coast properties are fairly expensive.

Home in the heartland tend to be much less expensive than the above. This would include areas such as Texas (Alpine, Big Bend area is one place I looked), New Mexico (southern part of state, not Santa Fe area) and Arizona.

Each state has a different tax structure, so beware of "bargins." Know what you'll pay in property as well as state taxes, just don't go by the cost of the home.

I agree with the person who would rather have a 10 year old home than a newer one. Some really nice homes built in the 1980s that can be had for much less than a fresh built. Just remember, if it's been on the market for a long time, when you go go sell it, it may be on the market for a long time....
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Re: Where is the bargain real estate?
Old 02-18-2005, 07:21 AM   #6
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Re: Where is the bargain real estate?

Sorry I don't have the specific web citations but I believe that if you are ONLY looking for a house and if it does not need to be new, there are many, many abondoned houses in places like Detroit, Philadelphia and the like. Many are really decent construction and in some cases can be bought for $1.
Other times for remarkably little on a tax sale. Of, sourse they are in generally terrible neighborhoods.
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Re: Where is the bargain real estate?
Old 02-18-2005, 07:57 AM   #7
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Re: Where is the bargain real estate?

Snitched this from TMF. Might give you some ideas where to buy and where not to buy.


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