Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Irvine Housing Blog

Irvine Housing Blog

Link to Irvine Housing Blog

This Old House, or Brand New Beginnings

Posted: 05 Jun 2012 05:00 AM PDT

When you set out to buy a house, an important question that comes to mind is, old or new?  An old house might need repairs, upgrades, and maintenance, but a new house comes with its own set of issues. You might have to pay significantly more for a new house than an old house. You will end up buying a cookie cutter beige box mostly when opt for new, but an older single family house will be unique. What do you prefer?

Today we will look at two properties, one in Northwood, and one in Woodbury. One of them is thirty-three years old, and the other is around four years old. One of them is a single family residence with its own pool in the backyard, and other is a detached condominium.


88 Twin Gales, Irvine CA 92620

Listing Price: $739,000

Beds: 3

Baths: 2.75

Sq. Ft.: 1,964

$/Sq. Ft.: $376

Property Type: Residential

Condominium Style: Two Level, Other

Year Built: 2008

Community: Woodbury

Builders Tract Name: Stonetree

Builders Tract Code: WDST

Builders Name: John Laing Homes

Builders Model Code: 1


Monthly expenses:

HOA Dues: $263/month ($158+$105)

Property Tax ( 1.0595%):  $7,830 Annually

Mello Roos: $4,052 Annually

Monthly Property Tax+ Mello Roos: $990

Monthly Mortgage (30 YR Fixed, 3.75%): $2,738

Monthly Fixed Expenses: $3,991


16 Bragg, Irvine, CA 92620


Listing Price: $750,000

Beds: 4

Baths: 2

Sq. Ft.: 1,897

$/Sq. Ft.: $395

Lot Size: 7,480 Sq. Ft.

Property Type: Residential, Single Family

Style: One Level, Cottage

View: Pool, Trees/Woods

Year Built: 1978

Community: Northwood

Builders Tract Name: Shadow Run

Builders Tract Code: SR

Builders Model Code: B


Monthly expenses:

HOA Dues: $0 (No HOA)

Property Tax ( 1.0038%):  $7528 Annually

Mello Roos: $172 Annually

Monthly Property Tax+ Mello Roos: $642

Monthly Mortgage (30 YR Fixed, 3.75%): $2,779


Monthly Fixed Expenses: $3,421



My opinion:

 Both the properties have good Irvine schools. Both the properties have the required granite and wood upgrades. Both floor plans are without any major flaws. But 16 Bragg is a Single Family Residence with a 7500 SF lot. 88 Twin Gables is a Detached Condominium with a tiny backyard.  16 Bragg has a pool in the backyard, but 88 Twin Gables uses a community pool. 16 Bragg has no HOA dues, but 88 Twin Gables has $263/ month in dues. 16 Bragg has very low Mello Roos, but 88 Twin Gables has significantly higher Mello Roos.


By buying a single family home with all the upgrades to match a newer Irvine home, I will be saving roughly $570 per month. If I add that as an extra principal payment per month, I will be paying off my mortgage earlier than the scheduled thirty year term.


But by buying an older house in an older community, I might spend more on repairs. Also, since there is no HOA, my neighbor might not color his house the shade of beige I am comfortable with. The community is aging, and if not all homeowners are not proactive about maintaining the exterior of their properties, it affects all home prices in the neighborhood.


Which one would you buy?

Will the Mello Roos and HOA dues impact your decision?

Does the size of a backyard matter if there are enough parks in the neighborhood within walking distance?

Is it more work to maintain a pool in the backyard than visit the well maintained community pool?

Share your views.







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