First-time buyer nearing a decision: Natomas or West Sac?

Asked by Ryan, Sacramento, CA Wed Aug 27, 2008

I'll be in contract by the end of the week on one of two condos. It's really a wash as to which I like more right now, so I guess I'm looking for opinions of the areas and resources for neighborhood research more than anything.

The options are:

1) New condo in Natomas (Hampton Village) This has great upgrades and seller incentives, but is the smaller of the two and slightly steeper on the HOA dues. (two bedrooms)

2) REO condo in West Sacramento (Riva by the River). This one has two bedrooms plus a loft, more on-site amenities, but will require a few thousand dollars in cosmetic rehab.

I'm looking for proximity to downtown and walkability. I like both places, there's a negligible difference in price, and the areas seem really similar to me. (But I don't know them very well, I guess.)

Which location would you choose? I'm in my late 20s and would be in Midtown or Land park like everybody else if I had my financial druthers.

Thanks for your help!

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Sue Archer R…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Thu Aug 28, 2008
Tough question for outsiders to answer for you.

Have you looked at potential resale value? While none of us can predict the market, and with one being new there's no history there. But how about if you look at what the high price was for that area for similar homes in 2005/2006? Does one have a higher priced area than the other?
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Erin Stumpf…, Agent, Sacramento, CA
Wed Aug 27, 2008
That is a tough call. I have a resale listing in Hampton Village right now, so I can tell you that while the HOA dues ($301.35/month) seems steep, the dues include A LOT of elements - flood insurance, structural homeowners insurance, the roofs, grounds maintenance, facility maintenance, garbage, sewer, water, and association management. Mello Roos there are appoximately $66/monthly. I have not sold any units in Riva by the River, so I am not as familiar with what is included in those HOA dues there.
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