This weekend my husband and I decided to drive past a couple of houses that were in our price range: between $190,000 – $250,000. What we saw was very depressing. The first house we drove past was one right up the street from us. I had a feeling it needed a lot of work based on the low price of $190,000. We like the street its located on, so we stopped and took a closer look. All I can say is, “Wow,” you don’t get very much for $190,000 here in suburban Los Angeles. There was one new window in the front of the house, though I think that the bank had to replace the window. My guess is the original window fell out. The other windows were the original 1950’s windows, old, with paint peeling off the window frames. We peeked around the side and looked in a window. There was a whole in a wall in what we believed was the kitchen. We walked closer to the back yard, there were still items surrounded by overgrown, dried grass, in the backyard; a lounge chair, a table, etc. Boards were in place of where either a wall once was or a sliding glass door. I only can assume this based on the size of the area boarded up. We realized then that there was thousands of dollars worth of work needed on this particular house.
The second house we drove past seemed promising, based on the information my husband printed out online. It was situated on 8,000 sq. ft. of property. That’s a lot for our neighborhood. Most homes sit on 6,000 sq. ft. But, before we got to the house, I knew the neighborhood wasn’t going to be a favorite of ours. There are many multi-family apartment complexes in that area. We found the street and parked in front. This time, we decided not to get out. The house, built in the 1920’s, was basically falling down. There was still someone living there, we could see their car in the drive way. It was a narrow, deep lot, and a large apartment complex was directly to the right of the house. The street, itself, was filled with run-down, over-grown lawns. It was not a desirable neighborhood. We kept on driving.
My husband felt slightly discouraged. So, on the way home we stopped at a couple of garage sales to browse items. While turning around to go back to a garage sale, we drove through a pretty nice neighborhood, or at least nice for our area. A small, yellow house with a for-sale sign caught our eye. We turned down the street and decided to take a look. It was a very cute house, on a large lot (again, anything larger than the standard 6,000 sq. ft. is large to us). It looked well-maintained, as did the entire block of homes. We used our phones (we use FROG as our homepage) to check the house out on Zillow. Unfortunately, according to Zillow, the house had just sold for $250,000! We were happy to know that a cute house, in decent condition was actually selling within our price range. I did more research when we got home, and found out that there is another home for sale in the same neighborhood for a little more, $285,000. This may be a neighborhood we need to explore more when we get closer to actually buying a home.