Would it be a better investment to buy an updated brick rancher or a newer TH at a similar price?

Asked by J, Alexandria, VA Thu Jul 10, 2008

My husband and I were originally planning to purchase a 1990s TH near Kingstowne. We were under the impression that a TH would offer more "bang for the buck". However, we recently ran into a 3br brick rancher in the Glenwood Park Sub. (off franconia rd) that has caught our attention. It costs the same amt as the TH (379K), offers a nice plot of land, and has some recent renovations to the interior. However, The home is located in an older neighborhood (compared to the townhouse), and is 300 sq ft less. Our Realtor feels this would be a better investment . What do you think?

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Jean-Pierre…, Agent, Arlington, VA
Fri Aug 9, 2013
I prefer the rancher, you own the land and the walls that way, and if its updated, that's a bigger plus,
0 votes
Peggy Thomps…, , 22310
Tue Mar 23, 2010
It all depends on your lifestyle. If you both work, a townhome has it merits. A house requires more work and less time to spend enjoying the weekends. A house is really good if you have children or plan to have some. They both have their places. If both are in good condition and are not going to costs a lot to maintain, it is a mattter of taste. I think first time buyers or couples recently married or living together should get a townhome so they learn about ownership and then graduate into a house.
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Cindy Jones, Agent, Alexandira, VA
Thu Jul 10, 2008
You have to look at both neighborhoods, determine your lifestyle, look at the history of both neighborhoods, how long you plan to live in the home, schools and anything else that is important to you to help you make a decision. Will you outgrow the TH sooner than the detached home? Will you be able to expand the detached home in the future if you need more space? What about the TH? Only you can answer all of the variables.
Web Reference:  http://cindyjoneshomes.com
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Jeff Royce, Agent, Fairfax, VA
Thu Jul 10, 2008
There are a lot of variables, but all other things being equal my money would be on the rancher.
Web Reference:  http://www.ourfairfax.com
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Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Thu Jul 10, 2008
There's nothing inherently wrong with "an older neighborhood." What really matters is the quality of the neighborhood, and whether it's stable, improving, or declining. I know the area somewhat. With all the road construction (Woodrow Wilson Bridge, etc.), the roads that feed into the Beltway can get congested at times. But the neighborhood has a lot going for it. (And if it's the property on the market, priced at $xxx,888, it's a very good value. That agent prices properties very, very attractively.) I'd trust your Realtor on this one.

Hope that helps.
0 votes
Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Thu Jul 10, 2008
This is a very difficult question to answer online, since so many variables can swing the answer from one direction to another. In one instance the response would be TH; and another time the response would be the ranch. You might get more value in the ranch, You might look at the turn-over rates for each neighborhood and compare. This will give you an idea of where the demand is sronger.
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