Thursday, April 24, 2008

Real Estate: What You Get For.... $17,000

I've always joked that one way to distinguish the haves from the have nots is to determine whether someone seriously shops for real estate in the New York Times Sunday Magazine.

New York Times dot com also has a "Great Homes and Destinations" article which currently features "What You Can Get For... $700,000."

If I had $700,000 to spend on a house, it's unlikely I'd spend that amount unless I HAD to live in either New York, Los Angeles, or San Francisco. Since I don't (yet), it's not going to happen.

One of the houses in the NY Times article is a house here in Austin for $715,000.
...this house is about a 10-minute drive from the music night life on Sixth Street and the surrounding area in downtown Austin.

Does that 10-minute drive include rush-hour, and does it include time spent parking or is that more of a drop someone off at 6th Street and I-35 and let them walk? Hell, my house is 12-minutes from 6th Street in light traffic on a good day, and it won't cost you $700,000. In fact, I'd sell it to you for half that price, even after we put on the new roof and install new windows. (And I'd still have a big grin on my face all the way to the bank.) If the music scene is that important to you, my house is even a better deal. We've got aspiring musicians right behind us. No driving! Just walk over there and enjoy the show, or even enjoy it from the garden patio right here! What a deal!

Granted, the $700,000 house is a 2,901-square-foot four-bedroom three-and-a-half-bath contemporary. Mine is a bit less on the square-footage, with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. Who the fuck wants to clean and maintain three-and-a-half bathrooms? I'd want them to knock about $300,000 off the asking price on that point alone.
...the garden has rock-scapes, palms, cactus and mature trees

Same here, minus the palms. Those aren't even native to this area. But we've got mature trees, more rock-scapes than you can count, and cacti out the ying-yang. And maybe even a larger lot.

Another reason I'd never pay $700,000 for a house in Texas. TAXES: $11,377 a year.
Christ, after five years of that you could have a pretty hot and sporty Mercedes-Benz fully loaded.

Or after about 18 months, you could plunk down cash on a house that many folks in this country might be thankful to have.

What You Get For...$17,000

$17,900 - 2 Bed 1 Bath in San Antonio.

OK, that's bit over budget but hell, I'm sure they'd negotiate. Not much space but comparable to many apartments. And you'd own it!

$17,900 - 3 Bed 1 Bath in Atlanta on 1/2 acre!

Plenty of room for gardening! And yes, the home does have a "sewer connected."

Prefer a life up north with snowy winters? Minnesota might be for you.

$15,000 - 3 Bed 1 Bath in Minneapolis.

This 1,123 square-foot home is a story and a half, and has a basement which I'm sure would function as a dandy wine cellar. This home is located just minutes from Nordstrom and other fine downtown shopping. Imagine the shopping spree you could have there with what you'd save on this real estate buy!

There you have it; some reasonable alternatives to the featured homes in the New York Times at a price you can probably afford.

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