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Urgent help in what to put an offer on !!!!

We have been approved for 450k and are first time home buyers. So we are looking for a townhome or a condo since my husband travels all the time . His office is in Cupertino and I may join for school in SF. 

Me and my husband ended up liking 3 places. One of which is in 94085 zip code with good neighborhood but average school district and two new constructions in Ardenwood which is town home and the other in Irvington which is a condo with good neighborhood and good school district. 

We need to put an offer soon. So we are confused which one would be a better buy  because we do want to be able to sell it by 10 years down the line.
So need advice which would be better .
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March 31 2011 - Sunnyvale
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Wow. That's hard to answer because "better buy" due to neighborhood is pretty subjective. Ask your Buyers' Agent to do Comparable Market Analyses of each home and that will give you an idea what the homes are worth now. 10 years from now, the schools may change, so I wouldn't base it on that (unless schools are important to you). Besides price, "Better Buy" should be the home you like the best. You are, after all, going to be living in it for 10 years. Good luck with your home buying experience!
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March 31 2011
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How does renting compare to buying?

When you buy a condo expect to hear the neighbors. It is a normal thing.

In a duplex expect to hear the neighbors. It is normal. There is only one thin wall between you.

Take a look at the links below. This shows how to look at your numbers to see which makes the most sense.
"Does it make more sense to buy, or to rent? Here is the way to find out for sure."

This gives a very different perspective than you will find elsewhere. Read it before deciding anything.
"Why rent if you could buy for less money? Valid reasons inside."


We are still in a housing bubble. Prices will drop even more in most areas. Just going from 5% to 7% mortgage rates will remove 23.7% of buying power. That alone would remove about 1/4 of buying power as incomes will not rise that quickly.

Peter Schiff: Here's Why Home Prices Have To Decline At Least 20% And Probably More

The Fallacy of a Pain-Free Path to a Healthy Housing Market - Economic Letter, December 2010 - FRB Dallas <--- the federal reserve

7 to 10 years is about what it would take to break even in a flat market.
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March 31 2011
Reema,

First question that comes to my mind is, "do you have a Realtor working for you" and if no, why not?!?!?! 

Though the Realtor can not make up your mind for you, they should could show you comps and offer other great advice that may make your decision clear.  Buyer's agents get paid by the seller so they work for you for FREE!  Use their expertise!  Select one that has been reviewed on Zillow by their clients in your area.

Hope this helps and good luck.           
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March 31 2011
Reema, all other things equal (which they will not be of course :)) I prefer a single family home to a town home, and prefer the town home over the condo.  This is based strictly upon resale issues - you can even see how much lenders don't like condos by how much more difficult they can be to finance than a detached home or town home.

At the end of the day though, you have to come home and live in this place for the next 10 years.  Pick the location and home you love.

And consider renting.
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March 31 2011
As someone who services this zip code, the best advice I have for you is find yourself an excellent realtor who will guide you through the maze of buying your first home. You'll face many more challenging questions during this process and you'll be hundred times better off having a professional with your best interest on his mind next to you.

Good luck
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April 01 2011
 
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