(Closed) Anyone buy a house in a “distressed” neighborhood?

posted 7 years ago in Home
Post # 3
Member
3943 posts
Honey bee

Ehh, I wouldn’t do it. It might be different in other areas, but around here a distressed neighborhood=higher crime, not so great schools, etc. etc.

The rule in real estate is to pick the worst house in the best neghborhood. You can change almost anything about a house, but not that neighborhood. So your realtor is right to worry about re-sale value. I would say look for an older house in a better neighborhood. It might not be as nice, but you can make updates over time.

Post # 4
Member
193 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

Before we got together, my fiance bought a house in a neighborhood that seemed OK at first. The house was fairly new and he got a good deal on it.  He quickly discovered that there was a lot of gang activity in the area, and we’re pretty sure the guy across the street was a drug dealer.  His house was broken into twice within the span of 6 months.  After the second break-in he moved in with me, but he can’t sell the house because it’s worth less than half what he paid for it due to all the foreclosures in the neighborhood.  He is currently renting out the house, and the crime wave continues.  Over the summer, the tenant reported that the air conditioning wasn’t working; it turns out that someone tried to steal the AC unit. 

So to make a long story short, I wouldn’t recommend going that route!

Post # 5
Member
10367 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

The school won’t be great for long if the tax base is destroyed by enpty houses. I would keep saving until I could afford a house in a better area.

Post # 6
Member
7587 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2010

@coffeegal85: If you have no children. If this is not your “forever home”, make a lower offer and wait and see what happens.  The first home I purchased was in a “distressed” neighborhood, but for me a the time it didn’t matter. 3 years later the neighborhood hadn’t “turned around” completley but was on an upswing. I made a 17% profit. You never know what could happen in any neighborhood, or to the economy.

Post # 8
Member
3297 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013 - An amazing non-profit retreat

I was iffy about our neighbourhood at first, but I like it now. It’s in the south end near the downtown core, but it’s so quiet! There has been no problems with crime, noise, anything. We bought here because we knew that the south end is expanding and new homes/malls are being built all the time, therefore, property values will go up. We used to live in a more prestigious area, but it was right on the cusp of downtown, and we had hobos, loud parties, “gangs”, etc… every area will have its issues.

Post # 9
Member
1701 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Sorry if this is a little long…

Usually a distressed neighborhood is one that had difficulties even before the housing crisis.  If it is otherwise a very solid neighborhood, that is a different story.

I don’t know where you live in Ohio, but if it wasn’t a great place to start with, my advice would be a definitive NO.  While a distressed neighborhood is always a risky investment, Ohio is especially risky given the slowness of recovery there.

I own a home on the east side of Cleveland.  It is a beautiful older home that I got for a great price.  It wasn’t a bad neighborhood–little crime, really good Catholic schools (public schools not so much, but most homeowners sent their kids to private), lots of younger couples and singles, etc.   My plan was to stay there about 5 years.  As I hit that mark, I lost my job.  The job market was already pretty tough in CLE, so I had to move.  To make a long story short, I can’t sell it and it’s difficult to even find a renter. It causes me untold emotional and financial stress.  I hate to have a foreclosure on my credit score, but this has been going on for over 4 years now.

As a PP pointed out, the schools won’t stay good for long.  Even the Catholic schools where I live are suffering–the only young couples in the area having children are lower-income renters who send their kids to the so-so public schools.  The kindergarten and 1st grade classes get reduced every year.

Yes, plenty of people in really desirable neighborhoods have had similar problems.  The difference is, they will sell their house eventually, even at a loss.  I wish I could take back my decision to buy a house there, but at least I bought something really affordable.

My advice would be to look in really good neighborhoods–you can probably find something in your price range and it will be a better long-term investment for you.

Post # 10
Member
5761 posts
Bee Keeper

I wouldn’t buy there either. Picture half the houses in that neighborhood with boarded up windows when they sit vacant for months and maybe years. That isn’t something that would make me want to live there.

Look for something that may need some work in a better neighborhood as people have already mentioned. The worst in the best neighborhood is a much better long term investment.

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