Looking to Move in June 2009 - What Do I Do Now & What Areas?

Asked by Erika Meyers, New York, NY Tue Jul 22, 2008

We are moving in June 2009 and are interested in buying a townhouse near Duke U. that we could potentially rent out if we don't stay. Our budget is less than 200K, but we want the townhouse to be safe and spacious. We are looking for 3 BR. We are not sure of when we should start looking, where we should look, how much time we will need to look (we live in New York City), and we are trying to figure out our timeline. How long do you think we would need to find a place that meets our specifications?

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Chelle V, Home Buyer,
Fri Aug 1, 2008
You could buy our place! :-) ... we have a 3BR 2.5 bath condo that is 7 miles from Duke, 7 miles from UNC, and 2 miles from RTP. Newer unit/neighborhood, built in 2000, very hot southwest Durham location--convenient to both Chapel Hill and Duke. We're planning to put our condo on the market in 2009, summer or spring. We'd likely list in the $150 range. The condo is on Crimson Drive in Auburn Square, southwest Durham, near Southpoint. Nice neighborhood with pool, nearby tennis, park, and walking trails. Let me know if you would be interested in us contacting you when it goes up for sale. I'd be glad to send you an email when we list it. chelle dot warren at gmail dot com. I'd also be glad to send you photos via email, etc.


PS-- I just saw your post below about the older houses along Old Chapel Hill Rd. First off, this is a busy road. The nice houses on this road (anything you'd want to live in ) will be well over $200K. The ones under $200K, you don't want to bother looking at. Believe me. We lived in Chapel Hill and looked for over a year before we bought our condo.

There are some cool neighborhoods closer to Duke, and some beautiful older homes, but these also will be well over $200K, even for a smaller one, and I wouldn't rate ANY neighborhood very near Duke as "safe." You'd think that there would be some safe neighborhoods around such a prestigious school.... but you'd be wrong. Your best bet if you are interested in safety is Chapel Hill or Southwest Durham.

Even if you aren't interested in our place in particular, I would tell you to look around Southpoint. Woodlake, Hope Valley Farms, that area. Lots of newer developments off Fayetteville Rd near Southpoint, including ours. Also there are some older condos in that price range closer to Chapel Hill, like Five Oaks, etc. They're a little overpriced for their age and condition, in my opinion, but they have a great location.

There are also some places around Duke that are older warehouse buildings that have been remodeled into nicer condos and lofts, but I doubt you'd get something the size you want for under $200K. And then there's the whole "safe neighborhood" issue. If you want safe, look in Chapel Hill or Southwest Durham, or around RTP.
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, ,
Tue Jul 22, 2008
It is never to soon to start searching online to get familiar with prices in the area. I recommend looking at MacKenzie Square, Arbor Point, Patterson Glen, and Hope Valley. A good buyers agent will advise you on resale history and show you recent sales to help you make an informed purchase. If you are looking for a place to save your custom searches, please check out my website.
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Patty Ortega, , 27615
Tue Jul 22, 2008
Hello Mrs. Erika-

You asked when you should start looking...I recommend setting up automated on-line searches at least 6-8 months before you come down. Keep a list of the Neighborhoods that caught your attention. If time and your budget permit visit the area at least once with the sole purpose of "house hunting". Drive through the Neighborhoods that caught your attention and their surrounding area. This would also be a great time to interview a couple of Real Estate Agents who can give you a nickel and dime tour of the area and their local knowledge (and maps)! In our state we have what is called Buyers Agent Representation - so make sure you are protected.

Once you find the property you like and want to make an offer on it typically takes 30-45 days to close. This means, if you want to move in on or before June 30th you will need to be under contract some time in mid May or early June. Your service team (realtor/lender) will be able to advise better on time frame once the home is selected.
: ) Happy House Hunting - agentX
X If you'd like neighborhood reports and crime stats just let me know X
Web Reference:  http://www.myhousekeys.com
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Lizete Santos, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Tue Jul 22, 2008
Arbor Pointe may appeal to you. It's about 5min from Duke and close to shopping and restaurants.
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Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Tue Jul 22, 2008
ONE IMPORTANT ISSUE: GREAT QUESTION: if you have high debt start paying off your credit cards reducing your balance HOWEVER NEVER CLOSE your credit cards. The lower debt ratio, most likely allows you have a higher credit score , with lower mortgage rate, which could save you $1000's per year on mortgage payment. http://www.lynn911.com http://www.homes-for-sale-dallas.com
Web Reference:  http://www.lynn911.com
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Erika Meyers, Home Buyer, New York, NY
Tue Jul 22, 2008
Schools are not super important to me since I will have a small baby, and this will be a first home for us. We should easily prequalify in the range we are looking for $150-$200K because we can put down 50% in cash and have sufficient earnings and assets to buy in a higher price range. Mostly right now, I am trying to estimate how long it would take to find what we are looking for and close on it. We are also trying to figure out what areas to focus on. 3 BR townhouse, modern construction, safe area, proximity to Duke.
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Lizete Santos, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Tue Jul 22, 2008
Hi Erika,

First you should get pre-qualified by a lender and know exactly what you can afford. The financing aspect often is the most important and can dictate how long the transaction will take. Finding a home that you like will be based on your criteria and whether there are homes in the area that will fit it. That can take 1 month, 4 months or much more. It essentially depends on you.
I think you should start looking on line now and see what is currently available and if any of the properties appeal to you. You have a long time horizon but it's never too early to start the search.
You didn't mention schools, is that something that will be important? If so below is a link to the area schools:

Good luck!
Web Reference:  http://www.LizeteSantos.com
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Michael Colv…, Agent,
Tue Jul 22, 2008
Hello Erika,
I would be happy to help you, and will send you some properties to look at if you email me from my website. I would probably allow about 3 months to find and close on a property.
Thanks, Michael
Web Reference:  http://www.colvinm.hpw.com
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Erika Meyers, Home Buyer, New York, NY
Tue Jul 22, 2008
One more detail -- I am thinking of primarily looking in Southwest Durham, as I have heard that the area is nice and safe. I am also familiar with the area - there are beautiful houses along Old Chapel Hill Road.
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