Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Apples and Oranges

Perhaps some of you may have noticed, but the real estate market is beginning a tumble in prices that benefit us, prospective buyers.

And we're going to wait.

That is cold, cold comfort to those such as J and Py, who are attempting to sell their place as we speak.

But, we're not going to wait too much longer, if that makes them feel any better. There is no sense trying to time the bottom of the market, and we have been putting off moving, oh, since Mr. P was born because of the huge runup in prices. So huge that at one point, we could barely afford to buy our own place from ourselves. We should be ok even if we sell at a lower price than we could have gotten say, two years ago.

We have, however, a dilemma.

We have narrowed our choices down to two cities. And we are stuck there. We just can't figure out which city is better, and they are oh-so-different. Let me give you a rundown.

City 1
Older, smaller houses (in our price range)
Larger lots
Beach city
Infrastructure ok, but not great
Ok schools
Great weather
Very close to my sister (babysitting, people)
Not a lot of greenery, more urban setting
Did I mention the beach?

City 2
Newer, nicer houses for same prices as City 1
Smaller lots
Great infrastructure
Top notch schools
Hotter weather
45 minutes from my sister
Lots of greenery, trees
Did I mention the hot weather?

After that, it is all fairly equal as far as drive times to work and the like. We are having a hard time deciding, because both cities have lots going for them.

Based on my descriptions, which would you choose?

And see, then if we choose the one that is recommended by the majority, I can later write an accusatory blog post that blames you for our bad choice if we don't like it. It's a win-win for me because I'm all about avoiding the blame.


Family Adventure said...

For me it comes down to this:

How important is the beach to you?

I would pick city 2 unless the answer to the question up top is 'extremely important'. Better houses and better schools, close to family. These are huge reasons.


Michelle said...

I'd go with city 2 based on nicer schools and greenery. Good luck though...

chichimama said...

We went for schools over proximity to family, personally, but if you think there is a chance you might be sending to private school or some point, or are not adverse to sending to private, then it would be more of a toss up for me. Being close to family would be great.

Good luck with the decision, can't wait to read all about it ;-).

MrsGrumpy said...

I am a real estate appraiser and we can all blame the shady brokers and creative financing for this horrible spot we're in. Where I am the market has been crud for 2 years and it looks as if they will have to "reset" the market. We had our house up last year,reasonably priced, along with half the neigborhood...because we wanted land. But, you didn't want to hear about me so I'll shut up now. And say I go for beach city.

Liz said...

I'd go for city #1 because of larger lots (where you can add your own greenery), plus it sounds like maybe there's a lot in walking distance.

Good luck.

karla said...

This is something that Mark and I debated when we were contemplating moving. Except here, the larger lots come with the older homes, which are also bigger. All of the new development areas have smaller homes and smaller lots.

Personally, I would go with city 1 for the large lots for Mr. P to play in. You can always spruce up your home, but you can't widen your lot.

Patois said...

I adore the beach. Adore it. Adore nice weather. But I'd end up going for the better schools.

Jess T said...

City 1 for me. Good weather, close to family, ok schools, beach and I'm totally fine with little greenery. That means there is less yardwork!

For me, the driving factor would be family closeness, but in value City 2 seems like your best bet.

Okay, maybe City 2.

Why are you asking me? I'm still trying to decide what to eat for breakfast and it is almost 9. :)

WordsRock said...

City 1.
Hands down.

Steph said...

I would go for the better schools. We're getting ready to think about moving just to be in a better school district.

Candy said...

We moved into the town we've lived in now for the last 13 years, because we could afford it, primarily. We knew the school system wasn't great, but our kids were 1 and 4 at the time and we didn't think we'd be here that long. But shit happens, and here we are.

My kids are now 14 and 17, a freshman and a senior respectively. And a day does not go by that I don't bemoan their education and wish I had sent them to private school (by selling my body on the streets because there was never any money to do that).

So had I to do it again, I would skip the beach and send them to a better school. Because...well you know future...blah blah blah....

captain corky said...

City 1. The cooler weather and the beach do it for me.

Py Korry said...

I'm not a fan of the hot weather, so I'd go for "Beach City!"

Anvilcloud said...

City 1 seems to have a little more to offer except for the lack of greenery. I'm curious, however, how you managed to rate the schools. Is it by modernity, or is there some other objective method?

Beenzzz said...

Definitely city two.

Awesome Mom said...

I would pick city one. I could not take the heat and the lack of greenery. Schools would not be a huge deal to me since I have almost completely made up my mind to possibly homeschool.

Ana said...

I'd say go for #2, but don't say you heard it from me. :)

We are in your exact situation! The driving factor for us came down to the educational system. Plus I'm all water-logged out from being near the beach most of my life.

gmcountrymama said...

I say #1, larger lots, family, beach and I like older houses more than new ones.
There will be problems and things you like and dislike about any school. Have you visited the schools? Maybe one would give you a better feeling.

Autumn's Mom said...

I would pick City 1 hands down. I'd rather be closer to the beach and family and have great weather. School is an important factor, but so is living life. You can make the best of a mediocre school by being involved.

Mrs. G. said...

Sister? Beach? No question, city #1.

J at said...

I'd find out what was meant by OK schools vs. Top Notch schools. The schools are the only factor that would draw me to city 2, but they are a huge factor.

Exempting them from the decision, I'd be all over the older houses, which I like better, bigger lots, and cooler weather.

Piece of Work said...

Definitely, city 1. NO question.

Gina said...

Top Notch= in the top 5% of schools in CA testing-score wise, as well as numerous blue-ribbon schools

Ok Schools- Bigger city, more schools, so falling somewhere within the top 20% of schools in CA

Can't say exactly which neighborhood we would buy in City 1, so can't say exactly about the school, just the school district.

ML said...

I would probably go with city 2.

shell said...

city 1. the beach, your sister, older house, great weather. what more could you ask for? :-)

Nance said...

No way am I falling into this trap, said the teacher and mom who is always cold and likes to live away from family.

Hope said...

Truthfully, I'd look at houses in each and disect the neighbourhood. I think the most important thing is the immediate community, is it a family neighbourhood, are there bikes on the front lawn, basketball hoops in the driveway and kids playing in the backyard. Do you see moms out with strollers, neighbours chatting?
A house is a house is a house.
A neighbourhood is a support system.

dr sardonicus said...

Greater LA is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. You'll probably want to be in City 1 once gas reaches $5 per gallon.

I know I'm really being a wet blanket here, but I suspect prices in your area have a long way to go before they hit bottom.

eb said...

City 2 - Schools.

All these people who say they are for city 1 probably have grown children (ahem Suzanne). When I was your age (baaackkk in the daayyyy) everything revolved around my child. His schooling was of the utmost importance.

Beaches are nice.

Good schools are nicer. The peace of mind it gives you knowing your child is going to a good school trumps any beach any day any time any year.

Scout said...

Tough choice. I can't stand hot weather, and I like older charm, so unless City 1 is on the downturn and will be come rubble in a decade or so, I'd choose that one, plus, it's got the beach.

Margaret said...

I was all about #1 until I read the top notch schools. That puts a kink in it.

Granny said...

#1 depending how "okay" the schools are. I like older houses and cooler weather.