Home Buying in 23456>Question Details

Jenny, Home Buyer in Va Beach, VA

My husband and I are first time homebuyers and are looking at a couple of options -

Asked by Jenny, Va Beach, VA Wed Oct 29, 2008

either a large new cheaper townhouse condo or a smaller older more expensive single family house. We want something that will hold their value and that we can grow with as our family grows. We are leaning toward the condo but are worried that it will not hold its value down the road.

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Jenny,

My point about people using websites like Zillow and such for stats is that you are not getting true numbers. You have to look at the end game..the closed sale to find out what's going on. Also, posts from people who copy and paste the exact same reply to questions no matter where the area is will not be helpful, either. Whatever you choose to buy, there is not guarantee that it will always hold it's value. The market will go up and down like it always does. It also depends on how far 'down the road' you are talking about and how long you plan to stay in the house. Don't count on any marketing that promises to give you instant equity. If a home appraised for $250,ooo a month ago and it sells for $225,ooo now, you don't have $25k worth of equity. The value of a home is what a buyer is willing to pay for it. Watch for what similiar homes sell for after your purchase and if you see the trend toward the higher value there, instead of continuing down, then you can feel more comfortable about your homes equity. Single family or condo, it's going to be where you purchase that will most likely play a bigger factor. If you haven't already, call an agent that is familiar with the areas you are looking at and do some homework with them about that market. Whether or not you purchase a home will be based on what your family needs are and your situation. It may be a good time to do that now, or it may be best to wait. Also, remember that condos may have heftly monthly fees involved that impact your budget.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 15, 2008
Hi Jenny,
Virginia Beach was #1 in Forbes list of "Where U.S. Homeowners Are Losing Value Fastest". So if you're looking for something that holds its value, apparently this is not the place.

Where U.S. Homeowners Are Losing Value Fastest link below

http://finance.yahoo.com/real-estate/article/106147/Where-U.…
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 14, 2008
Jenny,
You want something that will hold value, right? This is a declining market. . I have nothing to gain by telling you to wait, and I'm not asking you to call me. There are over 15,000 houses/ condos for sale in the Hampton Roads area. Too much supply, prices drop. economics 101. Good Luck
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 29, 2008
I'd love to help you. Please feel free to contact me through my Trulia profile.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 2, 2014
There are a lot of options for first time homebuyers in Virginia Beach. It depends firs of all on how much you are qualified to spend, and then on what your needs are, i.e., how many bedrooms, pet-friendly, low maintenance, backyard, patio/porch, etc. Also, how long are you looking to stay in your first home? I would be happy to talk with you about this in more detail. Feel free to contact me.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 9, 2013
Yorktown?? Come on, talk about being completely out of touch with market reality... Or is it just denial to serve your own interests?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 15, 2008
Doesn't Forbes quote 'Zillow' as their source for their stats in that article? Zillow?? Come on.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 14, 2008
Wow. It's like a pool of sharks in here. No matter what kind of market we're in there will always be someone who doesn't like it. I recall about 3 years ago when I wrote 8 different offers with one buyer and none of them were accepted (and he had $5,000 to sweeten the pot). This guy was a very qualified buyer with cash and never closed on a house to my knowledge. The reality is that there will be greedy sellers in a sellers market and greedy buyers in a buyers market. That's real estate, no matter which side of the transaction you're on.

Jenny, for whatever it's worth, I would go with a single family home. The questions you're asking yourself now will be the same ones that a buyer will be asking when your home goes on the market in the future. I believe that the general masses would more than likely prefer detached vs. attached, especially if they are a young family. Most people with children prefer the idea of having a yard, picket fence, and a little more space from the neighbors. In my opinion, I don't believe that prices can fall that much further for the most part. You will always have a small percentage of sellers who actually do have a lot of equity or cash in their savings account (and willing to give it up), but I think that the large majority of sellers have reduced their prices about as far as they can go. I usually recommend to my buyers to start at about 10% off the sales price but we usually end up at around 4%-6%. Good luck to you on your new home. You're purchasing at a great time.

While I have you all gathered around, there are some here who feel that their negative comments are actually helpful. Personally I wander why you don't have better things to do with your time. There are good and bad apples in every profession known to man. In my profession they don't last too long. Most the agents that I'm familiar with do have their client's best interest in mind. They save them time, money, and frustration. In what other field does that happen? On my recommendation, I recently saved a client $70k that he would have never asked for himself. Bet he was glad he worked with a realtor!
Web Reference: http://www.homesandfood.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 14, 2008
Jenny,
Owning a home for the first time can be so exciting! You are smart enough to be considering all of your options and what will hold the most value. Apart from the decision of weighing a townhouse/condo vs. a single family home, I would also consider a few other variables. Look at the projected growth for that area you are considering to relocate in. Drive the neighborhoods at different times of day and observe the general noise and traffic patterns. What type of school district is it in? For my listings I post the school test scores and ratings so there is plenty to help educate people with their decision. Find out the crime rate and proximity each one has to offer to amenities locally. My grandmother was in real estate years ago, and some advice she gave to each of us as first time buyers was always buy the most affordable home in the best neighborhood you can afford. A big house means nothing if the location is not there. Keep in mind that most first time home buyers do not stay in their house forever, you can always find something bigger down the road as your needs change or your family grows.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 14, 2008
My house would be perfect for you. ;) We're trying to sell in 23456. We had a sale fall through due to the buyer becoming disqualified. Our house appraised at $252,000 and we are selling for $230,000 plus $5,000 in seller costs and $1000 bonus to the selling agent. Buying a house with instant equity might make you feel better knowing that as soon as you step in, you already have made some money.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 11, 2008
I think it's best to wait. The house prices in the area will decline. As Non-realtor said 'save another 20%'
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 31, 2008
MarketReality,
I've seen a few of your posts and they are very negative towards Realtors. I value your ability to share your opinion (and am not a fan of used car dealers myself), but I'm curious to what caused this opinion? Did you have a bad experience with a Realtor or would you rather just not pay the commission? I understand your position and can even relate to it in some instances. Plus, you're correct in saying that it is possible to take a class online and pass the license exam and and pay for MLS and be a real estate agent with very little knowledge. However, to become a Realtor or Graduate of the Realtor Institute or Accredited Buyer Representation or Certified Residential Specialist (several professional designations) it take much more than just an online class... there are ethics training and strict standards and college level courses (in classrooms) and minimum transaction requirements (just to name a few) to qualify for many of these. And, yes, I can understand your point-of-view on the bias aspect of a Realtor here in these forums. However, a buyer using an agent to purchase is free (sellers agree to pay the commission) and public perception of for sale by owner properties is negative (all they see is "SALE") so why would you want to turn down the advice of an expert when in both cases they can save you money and get professional advice and support? I agree that you should always pick a great agent, but I disagree that all agents are dirty old salesmen.
Web Reference: http://blog.jettyrealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 31, 2008
If you go to a used car dealership and asked the salesmen if a particular car is a good buy what do you think the response will be? When reading these posts, just remember that this site is a virtual sales floor...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 31, 2008
Also, Keller Williams has a great first-time home owner book by Gary Keller with Dave Jenks and Jay Papasan (writers of several national best sellers). Let me know if you'd like a free copy... it's a great read and will answer any questions you may have. jon@mcachran.com or 757-215-4246
Web Reference: http://blog.jettyrealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 30, 2008
Jenny, there are 5 basic reasons a propery does or does not sell. Locaton is # 1. Marketing and Price along with Terms and Condition.Call today you a free first time homebuyers guide.I have helped two recent first time homebuyers and have their permission for you to contact them.The proof is in satisfied customers. I represent all first time homebuyers as if we are family.Call today for a free consultation. 757-409-0664.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 30, 2008
Hi Jenny,

The questions you ask are tough ones but I believe there is an answer to them. Condos and Townhomes do gain in value as do detached single family homes. Yes school district, proximity to the ocean front, easy access to shopping and interstates affect value in each community. But if you take a condo and a single family home in the same area, these factors don’t control which one will gain value faster.

Condos come with fees that can go up, special assessments and rules that can change by vote. These things don’t necessarily mean that condos are a poor choice, it means you have to be comfortable with the requirements of the community rules. The advantage they bring to the table is ( in most attached condo communities) you have no grass to cut and the exterior of the home is maintained by the condo association not to mention the reduced (not eliminated) home owners insurance requirements.

Single family detached and attached (non condo) homes are not usually subject to condo fees but can have property owners association fees that are historically much less than condo fees. You own the home inside and out and are responsible for the maintenance and up keep. Your neighbors also have a greater affect on the value of the neighborhood by how well they maintain the appearance of their home. Some detached homes also offer enough property to expand the home in the future.

What I am trying to say is both styles have their advantages but one may fit your lifestyle and future plans better than the other.

Lets talk about value. Comparing January 1st thru September 30th of 2007 and 2008 (according to the Real Estate Information Network) the average home “sold” price went down 3.57% in Virginia Beach. Detached home prices were down 4.97% while Attached home prices rose 3.29%. in the same period. Some of this I believe is because the $150,000 to $225,000 dollar range homes have been selling while the higher price markets have been slow. There are currently 2321 detached home and 1526 attached homes on the market in Virginia Beach leaving less attached homes to choose from and in the lower price ranges. Does all of this mean they will hold their value better in the future? Not necessarily. It does mean that they are performing better in the CURRENT market.

House prices can fall but they can also level out and even go up. The problem is No One knows exactly what they are going to do. Speculation as Non Agent has offered is just a guess. If it were fact, we would be calling it hind sight. By the time most people realize the market has picked up, the market will have already picked up and the great deals will be a thing of the past.

Jenny, choose the home you love, hire a real estate agent that is a strong negotiator, look closely at the Comparative Market Analysis for the community and craft an offer that will accommodate your families needs.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 30, 2008
I am not familiar with your area. The bet thing to do is see how condos are selling in your market. Ask a realtor to provide you with statistics about appreciation for condos area and then makeup your mind based on the statistics.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 29, 2008
I'm not a sales person, so you should go with my answer, it sounds right on the money.

-Drew

P.Ss Condos are great for very busy single people with solid jobs, but you have kids, so you can have them mow the grass. From what my mom says, their little hands are perfect for pulling weeds...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 29, 2008
Jenny,

Notice a pattern here from the "Professional Advice" that these salesmen/women are providing? Pure negligence on their part. Part of the reason why we are in the current situation. When they say that they are looking out for your best interest, rest assured that is not completely true. Enormous conflict of interest in this line of work, this alone should justify no trust in these salesman. Do some research and educate yourself is the best advice...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 29, 2008
Jenny,

This is something EVERY home purchaser wants to know! The simple way to determine this is to ask your realtor to provide a history of comparable townhouses and single family houses for the areas in which you are looking. By looking at the single family homes vs. the townhouses over time, you'll have a better sense of how they compare.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 29, 2008
I agree with Drew... it depends on the area and the needs of your family. But as with any association it is always possible for fees to be raised and special assessments to be made and you have to keep this in mind in your purchase. However, many condo/townhouse/association fees do include other stuff like insurance and water for example... plus, they maintain common elements... so, it's good to keep this in mind for a true comparison as well.

I do not agree with NonRealtor below. Nothing says you will save another 20% and I think it's absurd to put that out there with no facts or information to back it up. In fact, new home sales are slightly up in Septemeber and the Case-Shiller report out this week was positive for most markets and in my opinion points to us being at or near the bottom already. Plus, I know the economy might be scary and the news might in many times paint a picture that makes it worse, but speculation is never a good reason to buy a home.

Let me know if I can be of more help and if there are any properties you'd like to go see. What areas are you looking in and what price range?
Web Reference: http://blog.jettyrealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 29, 2008
Hi Jenny, your first option should be to get pre-approved for a mortgage! Give me a call, and I'll work all scenarios with you. Most agents want to see a pre-approval prior to. I specialize in VA, FHA, and conventional financing. Here locally by Lynnhaven Mall! I also know of several investors that have properties they are wanting to unload, or agents I can refer you to ....

Thanks!

Alvin Lapitan
Sr. Mortgage Specialist
Cavalier Mortgage Group
757-333-9033
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 29, 2008
Wait another year, save another 20%. House prices are still decliining. If you pay too much, you are stuck in the house for a long, long time. Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 29, 2008
What price point are you looking at ? There are so many factors to consider ( location, schools, shopping etc) In this market there are many good deals, so there is no real answer to your questions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 29, 2008
Condos can be scary...special assessments can be murder. While it is true condos typically don't hold their value, but it really depends on location. Condos at the oceanfront maintain value, condos on Newtown Road are increasing in value, only because they are very affordable.

I would stick with a nice townhouse, or older single family home in a nice area. Schools and neighborhoods are important decisions in determining whether a property will hold value. After all, who with kids would want to buy a house in the worst school district? Most won't so those properties may lose value. Great Neck in virginia beach is so expensive because the schooling is great. So there is more demand to live in that area, therefore the prices increase over time.

I'm not an agent, so I'm not looking to represent you. Just trying to give you some good information to go on. If you are looking for an agent to save you some time I could recommend one. But that's only if you ask me to. Otherwise stick with what you can afford, and what gives you a little room to grow as your family does. Go for good schools and a single family house if possible, more room for the kids to play in and get dirty!

-Drew
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 29, 2008
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