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t3knomanser's Fustian Deposits

House Hunting

How Random Babbling Becomes Corporate Policy

run the fuck away

Mad science gone horribly, horribly wrong(or right).

House Hunting

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Building 'n Me
Right now, there's two properties on our list, and they're pretty much opposites in many ways. Suburbs vs. City, all that. So, mostly for my reference, I'm slapping together a list of pro's and con's- feel free to weigh in. Later, I may do a friends-only post of the actual listings.

  • Great neighborhood
  • Well laid out, no work needed.
  • Common areas are cool.
  • 2-car Garage in Pittsburgh (very rare)
  • Right on the bus-line. 20 minute bus-ride to work.
  • Instead of selling it when we're done, it could be a lucrative rental property
  • Small - not "family raising" material (not an immediate concern)
  • Expensive at $169K
  • High taxes
  • Bad schools (also, not an immediate concern)
  • Priced to move- $129K
  • Big, spacious. Huge basement. Small yard.
  • Great school district
  • Lower taxes
  • 0.5 miles away from a shopping/restaurant district.
  • Longer commute, but still not bad.
  • Need to drive for many things.
  • It would probably be hard to sell later.
  • Grounds need some work- staircase in the yard needs to be replaced, the front-driveway needs to be leveled off (it's a >30º slant down when you drive in, and there's no room to turn around before going out onto a busy road)
  • No garage
I'm sure Minna will have a few more to add on, but this is a good first list. I want the condo, but the house in the 'burbs might be a wiser purchase. The condo would definitely be good for a few years, but once there's a rugrat, it's not going to last much longer. But the option of renting it out after a few years means that, after a time, it can basically pay for itself (especially if we can get the mortgage payments down). The house will never be a burden to carry, and we can hold onto that for years- it could easily accommodate a family.
  • Are you planning on staying where you're at for >5 years? If you wanted/needed to move, the condo would be a better deal. It's easier to rent out and will have a much lower carrying cost. It would also have a lower occupancy cost, both in terms of time and money (no need for lawn care or winter snow removal and whatnot)

    We're stuck now because we'd really LOVE to move the hell out of Vegas, but with the market the way that it is, now is so not the time to sell. Yes, we could rent it, but then we'd either be absentee landlords or have a largish portion of the rental fee taken by an agency that handles finding/screening tenants and maintaining the property since we'd be so far away.

    Have you looked at the relative crime statistics for both houses? Would either zip code give you a break on home/auto insurance?

    Final bit of advice, before you buy anything, get an inspector. If the seller offers to pay for the inspector, be afraid and say no thank you - then get your own inspector and hope that you've found Torquemada. We made a lot of stupid mistakes that bit us in the ass really hard when we bought our house.
    • In response to the inspector bit:

      Make sure they are ASHI certified. ASHI is the only one of the organizations that makes sure that inspectors have a minimum number of inspections under their belt, prove a basic knowledge through testing, and requires "retraining" time every year.

      NAHI requires a membership fee.
  • ...I dunno... the house sounds pretty cool. Think of the geek haven you could create is that basement. Of course considering that I spent my Friday painting and cleaning a friend's apartment... well, home improvement stuff is suddenly my thing.
  • If current environmentally-friendly trends continue, the condo might make the better purchase... For a wide variety of reasons, not the least of which is the heating situation.

    See my above response on inspectors.
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