Sunday, September 27, 2009

Buying in Ravenswood under $250,000

"Why rent when you can buy?" was a favorite pitch of Realtors when prices were going bonkers. Purely on a financial level over the last couple years, renting looked cheap and more stable. However, buying for the numbers and lifestyle of owning is making a lot of sense again in Ravenswood. If you can pony up the scratch, buying and letting a room mate (that you would have anyway) pay some of your mortgage is a great option in Ravenswood.

There are about 17 two bedroom condo options up to $250,000 in Ravenswood that are as nice or much better than rental units I've had... and owning with 10%-20% down will cost near the same as renting with a room mate. Even at a little more money, you may improve your quality of life if owning is your goal and the condo building association is solid.

In fact, I saw two units under $200,000 I consider solid buys and would be perfectly nice places to live. The readers of this blog know how I feel about the quality of life in Ravenswood... buying a home under $200,000 is an affordable option that comes with many neighborhood amenities (and great neighbors).

Under $200K will get you a small courtyard building, washer/dryer in unit or in building laundry, steam/radiator heat, window air conditioners, an Ashland Avenue address.... but overall you'll get surprising quality and condition in the unit for a really centrally located and desirable neighborhood. This is the type of investment I would do with an older child living with a room mate. But, it's an affordale price for many looking to get their own place too.


Michael S Messinger said...

Eric, I bet you have a ton of stories of clients who didn't do something they should have that could have prevented a horror story from happening. Any chance you could fill up space with some of those stories, or advice for future buyers?

Eric Rojas said...

Michael, I guess there are few "advice" or "dos and don'ts" posts. One reason is every person's situation is different. The same advice does not apply.

Secondly, there is a wealth of national consumer advice columnists, books, and web sites that all give general tips on buying real estate.

I guess I can point out more situations we run into and discuss the conclusions we make. However, confidentiality makes it hard for me to discuss my clients, and therefor it's not easy to write a good post when I cannot be specific.

When working with a client, I give many, many specifics of actual risks taken and flat out mistakes clients make sometimes. I use these stories to help home buyers plan better and evaluate their own risk tolerance.

Michael S Messinger said...

Eric, I wouldn't want you to violate client confidentiality, but i'm guessing you have some stories that could be told without exposing anyone, that still provide some specific examples that are lost in the "wealth of national consumer advice".

For example, maybe you have a buyer who refused to look beyond a certain street until you finally drove him/her to a home two blocks away and they loved it. or someone could have prevented a lot of hassle by depositing gift money from a relative into a bank account sooner than later.

I just thought it would be a good filer for your blog between listings.


Eric Rojas said...

I hope I've had more than "filler" in between listings, but everyone's a critic.