Home Buying in San Jose>Question Details

Lakisha, Home Buyer in San Jose, CA

Should I buy a small house at good location or big house at poor location?

Asked by Lakisha, San Jose, CA Sat Jun 23, 2012

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Lakisha,

Location can never be changed, appreciation of your home is based upon the location. You also have to see if the location works for you, and if the house works for you. Can you live in a small house for as long as it takes you to build on it? Ultimately the decision is yours.

As many of us have answered below, location matters.

Monica Goyal
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 23, 2012
Some things never change....
Rule number one for real estate is:


Nothing else is necessary.......
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 19, 2012
That depends on your intentions. If you are looking for a place that you will enjoy living in, a big house might satisfy your needs better. If you are looking for an investment with some opportunities for expansion or increase in value a small house in good location might have potential. Some houses can be expanded and improved and the increase in value could end up being much more than the cost of expansion. However you better do your homework thoroughly before attempting that kind of project.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 19, 2012
the smallest home is not always the best choice, as the appraiser may have to go outside the market area in order to find comparable sales that offer homes with similar square footage. So it will depend.

You will want to compare the market value of each home and determine which is the better deal. Put a number it, in terms of what the value is and what you will be saving or losing for each home. You will want a good Realtor for this or hire an appraiser.

For resale value, the small home in a good location will usually be better. This is because you can not normally change the external elements outside of your property. But if you pay too much for the home in either case, it will not be a good deal.

I've seen people buy homes in both cases and it will always depend on how you buy. You must buy at the correct price and that is either market value or below market value.

Keep looking, because you will be able to find the house that is large enough and in a good enough market area or location to meet your needs. There are more than two houses in any market and if you lose one, you'll soon find another.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 16, 2012
Buy the good location house.

The poor location will probably get worse in the years to come.
And you might get stuck there.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 15, 2012
We have an update for you with what Santa Clara County is doing:

Single Family Home Trends:
http://tinyurl.com/835kgrf [Open in new window]
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 28, 2012
Let me look deep into my crystal ball and see what the mighty real estate oracle predicts you should do . . . wait a minute, it's just warming up.

The oracle has spoken: "Buy a house you can qualify in an area you want to live in."
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 26, 2012

As I read all of the response, I am reminded of the old adage "The more things change, the more they remail the same". I agree 100% the location in King (and Queen) in real estate. Of course, you could always call me to discuss how purchasing with an 203K renovation loan could possibly give you the bigger house and amenities you may desire in the exact location.

Personally, I would decide where I wanted to live and focus in that area. Then I would look for the property that can be modeled into the house of my dreams. I can move almost any wall or change any paint color...I cannot change the school district my children will attend if I buy in a less desirable location. Best to you!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 26, 2012
Very difficult question to answer since we do not have enough details about your specific needs and the properties involved but generally speaking the first rule of real estate is location. Other trends we are seeing in the housing market; downsizing and homeowners taking a close look at utility cost for the home. Many are choosing energy star rated homes and smaller homes with higher quality windows, insulation and HVAC equipment. A smaller energy star home say 1500 sq ft vs a 2500 sq ft home non energy star might have a heating and cooling bill of 50-70% less. Good Luck in your house hunting!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 25, 2012
Honestly, you will end up buying the house that makes the most sense to you at the end. Look at everything and figure out what you like. Sometimes small is good and sometimes big is good.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 25, 2012
Hi Lakisha

A very good question, thanks for asking it.

Lashika, if you need the space and cannot live without it go with the Big House.

If you do not need the space right away, and down the road have the "likely means"
to add on to the house and patience for it, then go with the smaller home.

You are buying at the near bottom, hence whether you buy a big home in a so so
location or a small house in a good location, it may likely all average out.

It would be nice to know what Areas or Towns you are considering.

Hope you had a good weekend.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 24, 2012
Location and schools determine whether or not the property will retain value and continue to appreciate.

Do you want to know about Willow Glen?
Call me.

Ron Kooyman
Realtor & Willow Glen Resident 25+ years
Better Homes & Gardens Ventura
(408) 605-4122 Direct Line
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 24, 2012
Well you have your answer, All of us agree that it is Location that drives the market. You want LOCATION it is as simple as that.
At your service,
Certified Distressed Property Expert
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 23, 2012
Hi Lakisha,

The golden rule of thumb always holds true for investing real estate: Location! Location! Location! Physical condition of the house will surely wears and tears and depreciate over time, but it's the appreciation of the land value that rewards you the investment in future. "Desire of location" drives the market value for your property.

Daniel Shi
1.888.785.8818 ext.100
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 23, 2012
Hi Lakisha,

You have received some good answers from my fellow Realtors. In my opinion you should buy a home in a good location. There are many reasons for this recommendation but whats also important is your wants and needs when purchasing a property. I think the next step for you is to find a Realtor you want to work with and they will be able to listen to what it is you are trying to accomplish and give you some sound information so you can make an informed decision. Buying a home is a big decision and you should feel very comfortable that you have all the information necessary to make that big decision.

Jim Guido,

Realty World/Blue Property Group
Cell: 408-472-2074
Email: jim@jimguidorealtor.com
Website: http://www.jimguidorealtor.com
DRE# 00700635
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 23, 2012
You are right Cindy. The small house may be built up but it is outside of owner's powers to improve the location.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 23, 2012
Location. Location, Location. Buy a small house in the good location...assuming the 'small' house meets your basic living needs!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 23, 2012
Location, location, location :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 23, 2012
You should buy the best house you can afford at the best location:
Your HOME is too important to do otherwise.
It is secondly, an investment.

Good luck and may God bless
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 23, 2012
What do YOU want? What do YOU need?

That is so very personal. The old adage in real estate still stands true, Location, Location, Location.
Web Reference: http://www.terrivellios.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 23, 2012
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