Which is the safer or better bet? Which would you choose and why?

Asked by Sarah, Tigard, OR Thu May 8, 2008

A little house in hawthorne/tabor area
( guess this is a hot area?)
needs some updates
needs new furnace,
windows,only one BR,
needs basement finished it is
only part finished.
House in Tigard fully loaded
does not have a garage.
(how could I be 100% sure that we could build with no problems?)
Which would you choose and why?

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Elisha Joyce, , Portland, OR
Thu May 8, 2008
Hands down I say the Hawthorne house. Anything close in and "urban" (like Hawthorne) is always in higher demand and tends to build better appreciation in the shorter term. You will reap much better equity putting your sweat into the Hawthorne house (provided it is keeping with the character and charm of the vintage so that it appeals to urban buyers when you go to resell). As for Tigard, it is a GREAT suburb of the city and not to far from downtown... but simply not "Portland" and without the awesome, artsy, urban vibe many people are drawn to.

As for the 1 bathroom issue, urban buyers are more forgiving of homes that have 1 bathroom and 1 (or no) gararage because they are typcially buying the location and charm of the house (versus the amenities that newer construction homes offer). So, not a huge issue for resell down the road (although it would be great if you could figure out a way to add a second one).

All of this advice is based on the resell potential down the road... but, nothing should discount what your living goals are NOW. If you're coming to Portland and want urban and can handle the space the home offers you and your lifestyle, then the Hawthorne house is it (per the reasons listed above). If you want to be out of the city, then Tigard isn't too far outside of downtown and would be a great urban alternative.
1 vote
Wayne Pruner, , Tigard, OR
Thu May 8, 2008
These are two very different areas. One is urban and the other suburban. The area you want to live in would take preferance. Only you can answer this. You need to spend some time in both areas to decide. The house in Tigard is move in ready and I am guessing, larger. That would be my choice. Most people do not have the skills, or desire to improve properties. Move in. Enjoy the property. And get on with other aspects of your life. Being 100 percent certain you can build there, and with no problems, can only be determined by knowing the individual property and a trip to city hall. The biggest concerns would be the size of the lot and how the house is situated on it.
0 votes
Cricket Fors…, Agent, Portland, OR
Thu May 8, 2008
First question I would ask you is...what is your motivation in buying? Are you buying to live in or buying strictly as investment? In either case you would be smart to consider an exit strategy when you make your purchase.
When selling anything - you want to appeal to the largest pool of buyers possible. With that in mind...consider the following scenario.
If you take 100 buyers who are looking in SE Portland area and 100 buyers looking in Tigard. The number of those 100 buyers that are willing to buy a 1 bedroom home is smaller than if it had 2 or maybe 3 bedrooms. And the same thing - the number of buyers who want to or can do work on a house is small.
In Tigard - a finished house that has no work to be done is more appealing to potential buyers, so out of the 100 buyers looking in your selling price range would be larger than a house that needs work.

Now - if you had plans to finish and possibly expand the SE house - I think that is where you might get the biggest return on your investment.

Now consider this -
0 votes
Julie Fugate…, Agent, Tualatin, OR
Thu May 8, 2008
I work the Tigard area and know it well. Hawthorne/Mt. Tabor - not as much, but this is an area considered very desireable. Tigard is a suburb of Portland and has had a 2.2% appreciation rate over the preceeding 12 months. The west Portland area has had a 3.1% appreciation rate. Not really a huge difference. Buildability, however could be a huge issue, as could tax liability. Multnomah county (Portland) has higher tax rates on average than Washington County (Tigard). It is also, typically, more difficult to build and get through the planning process there than in Washington County - and a garage is easy to build. At any rate, look at why you are buying (will you live there? is it an investment? commute issues? etc.) and factor in overall costs taking into consideration not only improvements, but cost of permits, taxes, etc. Then you'll have a more complete picture with which to evaluate each property.

Julie Fugate
Principal Broker
Keller Williams Realty Southwest Portland
0 votes
Sarah, , Tigard, OR
Thu May 8, 2008
What are the people like in Tigard?
0 votes
Sarah, , Tigard, OR
Thu May 8, 2008
Opps i ment only one bathroom
0 votes
The Shelly C…, Agent, Portland, OR
Thu May 8, 2008
I would choose the Hawthorne home as long as it was at a fair price. You will have more appreciation in that home, which is very important for first time home buyers. Also, you will have a much easier time when you decide to sell. You should ask your Realtor what the average DOM (Days On Market) is and also the average appreciation rate for each area.
This is a very personal decision based on your economic situation, your skill level at home repair, and your taste since these are two very diferent neighborhoods. Again, I urge you to sit down with your Realtor so you can make an informed decision.
0 votes
Joanne Yousif, , Portland, OR
Thu May 8, 2008
Hi Sara,

I guess the first way I would answer that question is: Get the one that best suits you.
You are comparing two very different area, each with a different feel, style and attitude. Tabor is a hot area, But only to certian buyers. Others would never consider living there.
If you are concerned with future appreciation, either place will greatly appreciate if you plan on living there at least 5 years.
The home you spoke of in Tabor seems to need some updates and only has one bedroom. Is there room to expand? Is it priced accordingly?
About the condition of the Tigard house, once you make an offer, you are advised to have an inspection, negotiate repairs, and you may want to ask the seller for a home warranty.
Web Reference:  http://www.joanneyousif.com
0 votes
Sarah, , Tigard, OR
Thu May 8, 2008
They are about the same price!
0 votes
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