Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Location, Location, Location

1. Here's what you can get in Flint, Michigan for $395,000 (pictured above): A castle of a home. Quality stone construction with slate roof. New kitchen, excellent condition with 2 new boilers and central air. Grand halls with walnut floors, ornate plaster ceilings, 9 foot ceilings, towering circular foyer. Library, Morning Room, Sitting Room, 6 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms and a five-car garage on 2 acres.

Price per square foot: $65

2. Here's what you can get in Washington, D.C. for $395,000 (building pictured below): Spacious, 863 square feet, bright 1BR + den and 1 bath condo in The Cathedral Park. Beautiful wood floors, newer kitchen with granite counters, huge walk-in closet in bedroom with closet organizer, updated lighting and beautiful built-ins in LR.

Price per square foot: $458.

 

33 Comments:

At 8/28/2012 5:16 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

Property is much less expensive in OIHO, too.

 
At 8/28/2012 5:28 PM, Blogger Doug said...

Wow I'd really consider that if I had $395k on hand. Always wanted to live in a sophisticated stone mansion, and have a nice plot of land.

 
At 8/28/2012 5:30 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Doug-

A bunch of us could go in together and buy it. Then, we could have a battle royale to determine who owns it. I mean, if that building doesn't scream "battle royale", I don't know what does.

 
At 8/28/2012 5:40 PM, Blogger hancke said...

Backs up to a golf course too.

Where's the "Add to Cart" button?

 
At 8/28/2012 5:41 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

better check the heat bill...bad vibes on that..

 
At 8/28/2012 5:53 PM, Blogger Angela said...

We just bought 1600 sf on 2 acres for 60k in MI. No more mortgage for us!

 
At 8/28/2012 6:19 PM, Blogger PFCT said...

Two awful places to live for the same price - choose your poison!

 
At 8/28/2012 6:22 PM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

I know that neighborhood in Flint, and it's actually quite nice, I have a few colleagues from UM-Flint who live there. It's in the city of Flint, but the whole neighborhood is old mansions like this one, so it's pretty safe. It's the neighborhood where GM and Buick executives used to live in the old days, before GM consolidated its corporate headquarters in Detroit.

 
At 8/28/2012 8:28 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 8/28/2012 8:31 PM, Blogger Methinks said...



This is what you can get for less than $400K?

Well, now I understand why everyone is wailing about the suffering American middle class. How can anyone be expected to survive that hideous wallpaper!?

This is the rocking manse you can expect for the same price in a suburb half an hour (by train) from London.

 
At 8/28/2012 10:11 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Well purchasing that $400K house in Flint is only the beginning of the owner's expenses...

There's still the necessary expense of turning all those windows into rifle loop holes that has to be added to the overall cost of that castle...

 
At 8/28/2012 10:13 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Property is much less expensive in OIHO, too"...

che! che! che!

Cruel che but funny...

 
At 8/28/2012 10:19 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

I sold a condo in a building similar to thst in the Cathedral area. Made something like 60% on it when i sold it for $65k.

Wonder what the owner of that mansion made?

Then there is the question of jobs and how you pay for it. It is not just the location of the house after all: it is the location of your whole life.

 
At 8/28/2012 10:20 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Eight baathrooms. Just what you need for pissing away money.

 
At 8/28/2012 10:22 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

EVer try to repair a slate roof?

 
At 8/28/2012 11:45 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Eight baathrooms. Just what you need for pissing away money.

I see your point, Hydra. We have eight bathrooms and not having to wait in line to pee or brush your teeth when the whole family is here for the holidays really sucks!!

I really miss the good old days in Moscow when a communal apartment of 6 families queued up for one toilet...which worked most of the time. Why piss money away on the little conveniences of life, eh?

 
At 8/29/2012 3:58 AM, Blogger That guy said...

I am now seriously considering moving to Flint! Anyone know if there any job openings for a CPA?

 
At 8/29/2012 8:26 AM, Blogger Pulverized Concepts said...

What's the difference in taxes?

 
At 8/29/2012 8:30 AM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

You can find the property tax information at the links provided in the post:

Flint: $5,500
DC: $2,630

 
At 8/29/2012 8:33 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

Flint: $5,500
DC: $2,630


wow.. that seems obscene...

are you sure they are not reversed?

DC is a high cost of living area and there is much more infrastructure and facilities to pay for.

 
At 8/29/2012 9:15 AM, Blogger hancke said...

I was wondering why the Tax Assessment was only $122,500 on the Flint property. Our tax district is hitting 90% of value or better.

 
At 8/29/2012 9:19 AM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

I think property assessments in Flint are based on 50% of "market value." Zillow's estimate for the house is $268,000.

 
At 8/29/2012 9:52 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

in Manhattan or san francisco, you'd be lucky to get a good parking space for that.

 
At 8/29/2012 10:35 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

In Virginia, the tax assessment is 100% by state law!

and localities have to do re-assessments at least every two years.

 
At 8/29/2012 11:55 AM, Blogger spotteddog said...

What's a boiler?

 
At 8/29/2012 12:11 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

What's a boiler?


a furnace that burns dollar bills

 
At 8/29/2012 12:39 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"What's a boiler?


a furnace that burns dollar bills"

nonsense.

i have 2 in my house. they are very, very efficient, run on nat gas, and heat my house for very little money using glycol lines in the floors as radiant.

http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,1548320,00.html

they are far more efficient that forced air.

they are also WAY more efficient that a standard hot water heater and provide essentially infinite hot water on demand.

compared to having baseboard heat and multiple hot water heaters, i probably save 50% heating, quite possibly more.

 
At 8/29/2012 12:48 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"I think property assessments in Flint are based on 50% of "market value." Zillow's estimate for the house is $268,000"

that does not sound like it could be right in terms of the taxes on that flint house.

first off, "market value" always resets when you sell.

so that number would be 395k.

5500/395k = 1.4%, which is on the high side, but plausible.

if it were half, then you are looking at a nearly 3% property tax rate. that seems very, very high to me.

 
At 8/29/2012 2:30 PM, Blogger kmg said...

Prof. Perry,

Surely you know that Washington DC is not the most expensive place in the US. Not by a long shot.

The two most expensive are :

Manhattan.
SF Bay Area.

And while a New Yorker can live in Queens, Hoboken, or Brooklyn at much lower cost and still commute into Manhattan, in SF, no cheap housing is available within a 60-mile radius. You have to commute 80 miles or more if you want a house that is still as expensive as Los Angeles...

 
At 8/29/2012 2:35 PM, Blogger kmg said...

The problem is, we know why the Flint mansion is just $395K...

The entire economy of the region collapsed.

So even if you live in that stone mansion, do you really want roving bands of heavily armed black gangs breaking into your house to rob you?

Didn't think so.

Now, a part of Michigan that is doing better, Ann Arbor, is considerably more expensive. But considerably safer too.

 
At 8/29/2012 3:17 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

What's a boiler?


a furnace that burns dollar bills


Hahahaha nice

 
At 8/29/2012 5:50 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

What is the affordability index on these two homes: price of the homes divided by the average income for the area?

 
At 8/30/2012 7:31 AM, Blogger Cody Rice said...

This is weird that you found this. It seems like the cheapest feet per square foot housing is in Colorado (Bennet, Aurora, Denver). I think this may be true partly because of the shooting their. I don't think many want to live there. Plus, last time I went, it seemed as though a larger push for the free market existed than in most states.

 

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