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What city to live in? Opinions welcome

 
 
Reply Wed 1 Aug, 2007 11:26 am
My wife and I have spent the last 5 years renting in Los Angeles but the income-to-rent ratio is tough for artsy people like us. We want to buy a starter house and here's what we want:

-Near a larger city; close enough that working downtown is easy
-Cheap Smile
-Smaller house in the suburbs is fine
-single family, property with a lawn kinda place.

For instance we are currently looking at a house in Ambridge, PA which is 15 miles outside of Pittsburgh. Its a 2bd/1ba with 1/4 acre for $81k. The price can't be beat (especially since its newly and thoroughly renovated with a new roof, furnace, windows, kitchen, floors, appliances, and electrical service), but Pittsburgh isn't our favorite city. We thought we'd ask on a forum to see if anyone else knows of cities that have cheap suburbs before we commit to Pittsburgh.

Anyone know of cities that have livable housing in the 100k range?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 5 • Views: 2,980 • Replies: 20
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Aug, 2007 12:47 pm
Where are you originally from?
0 Replies
 
plantress
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Aug, 2007 02:58 pm
I think Wilmingon, NC is really nice. There are cute houses that aren't very expensive where you can still walk to town
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curtis73
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Aug, 2007 06:46 pm
I grew up in Carlisle, PA. Population was about 27,000. I grew up on a small sweet corn farm with two teachers as parents. Went to college in western PA, then lived in an RV for three years in New Orleans, Miami, Evansville IN, and other various spots. Been in L.A. ever since (five years)

Loved New Orleans, didn't like Miami, Evansville was nice but I was only there for work (that is to say, nothing to hold me there other than an income) L.A. is GREAT and suited my eclectic, jack-of-all-trades nature, but I just can't afford it.
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Aug, 2007 09:01 pm
Weather preferences?
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Aug, 2007 12:05 pm
Columbus, OH.

I moved here three years ago and I am so impressed. $100K can get you a nice place -- depends a bit on condition, distance from downtown, etc. Columbus has a thriving arts scene and generally some of the feel of the nice parts of L.A. (I lived in L.A. for three years myself, Pasadena actually).

Clintonville sounds like it would fit your needs especially well:

http://www.clintonville.com/

Clintonville isn't a suburb, it has a sort of a Silver Lake feel to it, artsy and countercultural, good community.

Here's an example in Clintonville, $89,000, near Olentangy River parks and bike paths:

http://homepics.realtor.com/image9/http/columbus/submit/large/019/2706127a.jpg

I'm not sure if it's substantially different from Pittsburgh, though -- I've been there a couple of times and actually liked it. (What don't you like about it?)

You have to look at cost of living, too -- I was paid way more for my job in L.A. than I would be paid for a comparable job here. So even if housing prices are low, salaries may be low as well.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Aug, 2007 12:09 pm
This one has a quarter acre too -- a bit over your price range ($128,900), but perhaps it could be negotiated down:

http://homepics.realtor.com/image9/http/columbus/submit/large/027/2649584a.jpg
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raymond chan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Aug, 2007 12:57 pm
Housing,it's a global question!
Everyone is fighting for that~~
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Miller
 
  0  
Reply Sat 11 Aug, 2007 01:18 pm
Re: What city to live in? Opinions welcome
curtis73 wrote:
My wife and I have spent the last 5 years renting in Los Angeles but the income-to-rent ratio is tough for artsy people like us. We want to buy a starter house and here's what we want:

-Near a larger city; close enough that working downtown is easy
-Cheap Smile
-Smaller house in the suburbs is fine
-single family, property with a lawn kinda place.

For instance we are currently looking at a house in Ambridge, PA which is 15 miles outside of Pittsburgh. Its a 2bd/1ba with 1/4 acre for $81k. The price can't be beat (especially since its newly and thoroughly renovated with a new roof, furnace, windows, kitchen, floors, appliances, and electrical service), but Pittsburgh isn't our favorite city. We thought we'd ask on a forum to see if anyone else knows of cities that have cheap suburbs before we commit to Pittsburgh.

Anyone know of cities that have livable housing in the 100k range?


81K sounds too cheap to be true. My questions are when was it built and whats wrong it?
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Aug, 2007 01:26 pm
Curtis- Unless I absolutely could not afford anything more expensive, I would never buy a house with one bath. I would suggest at least 1 1/2 baths, preferably 2.

If I lived with Mr. P. with only one bathroom, I think that there would be a divorce or a homicide in this family! Laughing
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Aug, 2007 01:31 pm
He says it's a starter house, though, not one they plan to live in forever. E.G. and I somehow managed to get through 8 years with only one bathroom...

Miller, housing prices vary greatly according to location and you live in one of the most expensive housing markets there are. $81,000 for what curtis describes is not necessarily too good to be true.
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Miller
 
  0  
Reply Sat 11 Aug, 2007 01:34 pm
In Boston, right now, parking spots on city streets are being sold for about $250,000.

Sad
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Aug, 2007 01:43 pm
This is a fantastic site:

http://www.realtor.com/?lnksrc=ts1

I typed "single family houses under $100,000 in Ambridge Pa." and came up with 113 hits. The thing that's nice about this site is that you look without being bugged by a realtor. When you see something you like, THEN you can call him/her.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Aug, 2007 01:49 pm
I like realtor.com too.

My ex and I had one bathroom for 21 years. No children though. The bathroom count wasn't the cause of our eventual divorce....

A second bathroom is nice, though.
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sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Sat 11 Aug, 2007 01:58 pm
I found the two Clintonville houses through Realtor.com, too. (Searched 43214 area code.)
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Miller
 
  0  
Reply Sat 11 Aug, 2007 02:03 pm
Most buyers today seem to want a 3 bedroom house instead of a 2 bedroom.
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curtis73
 
  2  
Reply Sun 12 Aug, 2007 01:09 pm
Quote:
Curtis- Unless I absolutely could not afford anything more expensive, I would never buy a house with one bath. I would suggest at least 1 1/2 baths, preferably 2.

I appreciate the suggestion, but we lived for three years in a 30-foot travel trailer. Since it was mostly open space, it was technically a no-bedroom, 1 bath. Then we lived in a loft which was also a no-bedroom, 1-bath. Plus, the sewer lines in this house are in the basement so I can add a powder room pretty easily.
Quote:
81K sounds too cheap to be true. My questions are when was it built and whats wrong it?

1928 and there is nothing wrong with it. Housing prices in Pittsburgh are just really that low. My wife's best friend just purchased a 1960s duplex for $91k and its in Avalon which is an old-money part of town. This one has poured concrete/Ibeam reinforced foundation, new roof, new furnace, new triple pane windows, new stucco, oak flooring, new carpet upstairs, new fridge, dishwasher, and gas stove that goes with it, plus a bedroom set thrown in for free. I used to work for a contractor doing new construction, so although I'm not well-versed on older construction designs I can spot a weak house. This one doesn't have a single crack in the foundation, and even the original plaster on the walls is 100% crack free. I couldn't find a single patch in the plaster.

Put it this way... the seller bought it to fix and flip, and he paid $27k for it in 2004.

Now the question is... what about these current events. Crappy market, no loans, crazy ARMs... should I wait?
0 Replies
 
christiecornell
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Apr, 2013 01:44 am
@curtis73,
I think you have to search near by javea in clackamas country.The location near by is very nice and an attractive one, you will get various options for living. It consist of high quality small homes, apartments, villas and you will also get rental properties in a cheap rate. Thanks
0 Replies
 
ochomefunding
 
  0  
Reply Thu 12 Sep, 2013 02:48 am
@curtis73,
The OC realtors are of real help. Further there are a number of property listing sites available online so you can check those portals.
0 Replies
 
laffeyhomes
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Oct, 2013 10:55 pm
@curtis73,
New York City is definitely a nice place to live at. Contrary to what most people believe about New York being so expensive, the rent burden isn’t actually as difficult as what most people assume. Consider finding houses in Queens or Brooklyn...Good luck on your search though.
0 Replies
 
 

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