Home Buying in 95126>Question Details

David Lin, Home Buyer in 95070

For a first time home buyer, would it be better to buy an older home in a more sought after school district

Asked by David Lin, 95070 Sun Aug 9, 2009

(like cupertino), or a brand new townhome or detached community home in a poor school district, like san jose san carlos area? I have no plans for kids in the future, but care more about the school district since it is such a factor in appreciation. I would only like to live in the home for at most 4 years and hopefully upgrade after that.


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School district is certainly one of the factors to consider, and homes in areas with highly rated school districts can carry higher price tags. However, the flip side of that is that you may be able to afford a newer or larger home in an area with a lower ranked school district. And like you, there will always be buyers in the future who don't have kids or plan to have them. So there will always be buyers. In addition to school district, buyers also look at other factors including walkability. Are there restaurants or coffee houses nearby? Other amenities and attractions?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 9, 2014
Sorry. The appreciation rate is inversely proportional to commoner's perception. The high priced areas like CU, PA, SA enjoyed a merely inflation rate(5-6%) increase while the rest of the areas like SJ, and newer areas increased anywhere from 9-15% per annum from 1998-2008. In a turn down the price holds up to a point then it will collapse also. This brand name can back fire as ~20% of residents realized they lost valuation after a high school got rezoned in the school you mentioned. It happened during 1990s and will happen in another popular area on east side.

You are lucky. You move to a place you feel most comfortable and you will not regret the decision made.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 17, 2009
This is a common question that many of my clients asked me.
1. You need know what kind of life style you like. If want pool, big bathroom , better flloor plan, then go with new townhome or condo; if you like more provicy, and wish property's value goes faster, then go with house.
2. Older house is not a problem. It depends on the price. Some older house has more equity.
3. School is very important. Eventhough you don't need good school, but more buyers will be interested on the property in good school. Eventhough in bad market, the property that is in good school can be sold much faster. The point is buying a home that is also an investment. When you going to buy one, you need think about one day you will sell it.
4. If price is closer, then buy one in good school DR. Or buy a REO at poor school district because those properties' value was dropped much more than the property in good school.
5. Neighborhood is also very imporrtant. You don't like to see when you go back to home from work, and find out some one helps you moving your home for free, and run away.
However, house has no HOA, but townhouse and condo have. HOA will goes up in future. Ask local Realtor for detail.
Good Luck!
Realty World-Blue Property
Jerry Zang
Web Reference: http://jerryzangrealtor.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 14, 2009
David, In my opinion I think a school district will always make a home hold it's value or appreciate more than just about anything else. Many buyers will only buy a home based on school district. Good luck.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 10, 2009
Hi David,

You have received some great advice. I would just like to add that you should consider choosing to work with a Realtor that has experience working with home buyers in your target areas. You should then have a detailed discussion about what your goals are for the short and long term. Once your Realtor fully understands your unique situation, he/she can provide you with real data to help you with the decision making process. Although we can not predict the future, we can show you trends and statistics. The internet provides lots of general information, but choosing a professional Realtor will help you navigate through the process and help you to buy a home that best meets your needs, goals and budget.

Happy House Hunting,
April Tavares
DRE License #01742179
Web Reference: http://www.AprilTavares.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 9, 2009
Hi David,
It would be preferable to purchase an older home in a good area. In fact buy the "worst house" in the "best neighborhood" that you can afford. The reason for this, is that a good area will maintain it's property values, and even a bad house will sell for more there..then a great house in a poor area with bad schools! In the four years that you are maintaining and hopefully improving the property, you will be gaining equity....but...I must caution you because of our unique Real Estate Market Situation, I would not expect to gain much in the next four years. I believe we are looking at more like 7-10 years.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 9, 2009
Hi David,

if you are currently living in Saratoga, I think you have your answer. Take a look at what the home you are currently living in now over the past five years, do the same in cupertino, than compare it to other areas, Cambrian, San Jose, you will see that whereas Saratoga and Cupertino cost more they held there value better as well. If you do no have access to that info, feel free to let me know and I can forward the info on to you.


Web Reference: http://www.mikemoresco.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 9, 2009
Hi David,

A home in bay area is probably biggest investment one makes, so you should choose your home very carefully. Cupertino is definitely a very sought after school district, while you will reap the profit at the time of sale, at the same time you will pay premium as a buyer as well. However, homes in good school districts are more tolerant to market turbulence.

When making a choice between new and old constructions, you should decide what do you really prefer. You may prefer the style, and lay out of a new construction, while the old house might need updating. However, do keep in mind that most older homes have a larger lot as compared to the new ones. In the Bay area land prices are substantial, so in the long run owning a larger home is better investment. Ultimately, you should purchase a house that is within your budget, and that you would enjoy as a home. I hope this helps! Please don't hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance.

Monica Goyal, Realtor
Keller William Realty
Ph: 408-476-0675
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 9, 2009
Hi David,
When you consider just the two extreme options you eliminate the one I allways prefer. Have you considered the middle ground? How about a decent school district (Cambrian etc) where you will get a nicer detached home with no risk of losing re-sale value. This will also ensure that when you decide to sell your potential Buyer is part of the largest demographic group in the Valley i.e. The middle class.
Just my opinion.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 9, 2009
Hi David,
For a first time home buyer, the best answer I can give you is to pick a place where you'll be happiest for the next 4 years. Things may change in your life and you may end up staying longer than that or you might move in two years. You never know. In addition, we cannot predict the housing market or determine the appreciation factor four years from now.

There are benefits to an older home and brand new construction. It just depends on your preferences. You should have your agent look at all homes that might be of interest to you and then weigh the pro's and con's for each in more detail. Sounds like you are partial to the older community with the great school district.

Good luck :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 9, 2009
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