Monday, August 27, 2007

Comparing Housing Costs

I'm going to check out my sibling's homes these next few weekends. One lives in OH, the other in VA, and the last one lives in HI. So our lives vary and our homes vary as well.

I decided for fun to put our homes into Zillow to get an estimated price and find some details about the homes. I think it's neat to see what you get depending on where you live. So 2 of us live in townhouses, and the other two have single family homes. Of course the younger two are the ones in townhouses. Also my older two siblings have 3 kids each and live in the single family homes, while I have none and my brother only has one child. So it appears lifestyle plays a role in housing choice.

Starting out west in Hawaii, my sibling has a 5 bd/3 ba, 2801 sq ft house with a 7637 sq ft lot (.18 acre). It is estimated to be valued at $968,976. It is worth $346/sq ft. Pretty good deal when you consider that it's a single family home. By the way my sibling got it for substantially less because he worked for the builder.

The second sib's home in OH has a huge single family home with 4 bd/2.5 ba. It is 4514 sq ft with a 49057 sq ft lot (1.1 acres). The house is estimated to be worth $447,373, making it worth $99/sq ft. Of course having seen the location and the neighborhood, I'd have to say it's a much more beautiful home than the HI home.

My other sibling's townhouse in VA is 3bd/2.5ba and 1400 sq ft. There is no yard and it is estimated to be worth $399,642. This works out to $286/sq ft. The house is cute, but not well laid out it's a split-level townhouse with psuedo three stories. However this particular sibling bought 10 years ago for less than 1/3 the price and almost a paid for home. Unfortunately they've been trying to sell it for 2 years now and no bites. The market is terrible unfortunately, but they haven't leap into a single family and tried to sell while already buying another place is a smart move.

This is a pretty nice comparison of the different places to live in the US. Would I live in OH? No but I'd considered in VA. Definitely HI. I wonder what would happen if I picked more places to examine. Of course there are many other factors such as school district, lot size, etc that should be built into a regression model to determine price of the houses, but that would take more time and analysis. So if you are thinking of moving there are many variables which cannot be measured like proximity to family, lifestyle, jobs, etc.

Where would you live?

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