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Small house on busy street with good school Vs Big house in bad school

We are first time home buyers and have two houses to choose from for putting up offer (their offer date is same):

First House:-
Pros:
- Good School
- Great Location
- Good established neighborhood
- Remodeled and shows well

Cons:
- On a busy 4 lane road 
- Small with no formal sitting room
- Old 50's home
- Priced at upper end of our budget

Second House:-

Pros:
- Big house with separate formal and family room
- Fairly new home and shows very well
- Good neighborhood
- Good Location (lots of new development happening around) 
- Priced comfortably in our budget

Cons:
- Bad public school
- Closest private school is around 8-9 miles

Ours is a small family right now with me, my husband and our 8 month old baby.
 
Please pour-in you insights about which is a better option to go with.

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August 29 2013 - San Jose
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Answers (7)

More bang for your buck with number two (2).
As already mentioned, your baby is far enough out from having schools dictate which way to go.  I'd say buy it for yourselves for now then maybe the market will have increased the value to warrant moving and using the proceeds to move to the better school district at that time.
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August 29 2013
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Thanks everyone for replying back. It definitely helps us a lot. To answer a few things, for second home(with bad school) the school API is in lower 800 since several years. It's been very flat with not much increase or decrease so I don't have high hopes of it increasing in coming years but then you never know what will happen in future. The community is good and safe though.
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August 29 2013
If you go to schools and housing page and enter the home with the less desirable school you can look up each school and look at the API trend. If it is rapidly going up, the neighborhood is gentrifying. If it is going down the neighborhood is not. This is a valuable indicator of value
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August 29 2013
Hi,

The property with the busy street would take second place in my opinion, since the other one, being in a good neighborhood may have improving school scores in the future, depending on how long you live there. Also, even schools that some consider "bad" are considered just "average" by other buyers, so it may be more a matter of perspective to some degree.

All the best,

Arpad

 
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August 29 2013
I would not worry about the school at this time since you have a young baby. School for you is at least 6 years out and a lot can happen in 6 years. Given the scenario you provided go for choice 2.
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August 29 2013
Busy street is always going to be hard to sell because of the noise level and safety for children to play in the front yard.  Bad school district will not attract that many buyers who highly values education and appreciation value will not grow as fast.  Location is the key for both buying now and selling in the future.

Since your baby is still young and have another few years before elementary school, you will definitely enjoy more peace being in a quiet neighborhood than on a busy street.  With that said, you should consider something in between a good school district (your upper end limit, which does not include closing cost), and a bad school district (comfort zone).  My recent client who purchased in San Jose near Lick Mill Blvd. will be sending their child to private school at least for elementary and possibly middle school before deciding to buy into Cupertino when they have more equity.

Cupertino and West San Jose are the prime areas for schools.  If that is beyond your reach right now, your other alternatives would be Sunnyvale, Campbell, and Milpitas.  Let me know if you have any further questions.
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August 29 2013
My choice without knowing specifics is number 2 but there are so many questions unanswered. A couple of comments first API and value are linked. I built an entire map on that premise however buying just for school is a big mistake. Also busy streets always go down in value first in a slow market. This is not a slow market Last, there are never only two homes Now regarding the specifics. The second home Is it in an upwardly mobile neighborhood (surrounded by higher API), close to good safe shopping and better homes. If yes I am still w 2. If no than I ameaning to one Buying more affordable within reason for a first time home buyer is good if you plan on moving in 6-7 years. You can then take care of your health, have fun and save for your second home. There are so many more questions I have about whether this is the right home for you but the last message is which one makes you feel relaxed comfortable and happy. Pick that one. Buying a home must be partly emotional or you will not achieve harmony with the purchase
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August 29 2013
 
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