Author Topic: Living in a Boomtown - Reno Dilemma  (Read 1250 times)

change_seeker

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Living in a Boomtown - Reno Dilemma
« on: February 20, 2018, 01:41:17 AM »
We have settled in Reno where the sellers hold all the cards due to extremely low inventory and an influx of buyers.  We just finished a six month long road trip where we all lived in a 350 sq ft travel trailer.  We have four kids and homeschool them so lots of indoor & outdoor space is nice.  We also have a large German Shepherd mix dog.  Ideally we would like to have a large property with a net zero passive house on it (strawbale, ICF, SIP?) but I don't have the energy to go through the building process right now.

$110k annual income

Right now we are wavering between three options:

1.

$291k list
Will offer $255k based on comps
1373 sq ft house
7500 sq ft lot
Built 1980
Needs flooring, paint, and a handyman's attention
Less-desirable area, but still safe for kids
3 mile bike commute
Seems the most Mustachian, but how long will it work for our family?  Potential future rental, but WAY off the 50% rule.

2.

$407k list
Will offer $387k based on motivated seller
2700 sq ft
0.28 acre lot
Built 2001
Needs nothing right away
In a subdivision with public land nearby
6 mile bike commute

3.

$429k list
Probably have to pay $450k due to bidding frenzy in South Reno
2000 sq ft
0.5 acre lot
Built 1978
Needs ?? no pictures on the listing, we will see it tomorrow
In the same neighborhood as our family, our kids can ride bikes down the hill and play with their cousins
Last street before public land
14 mile bike commute, would require e-bike purchase to cut commute time down to reasonable time away from family


clarkfan1979

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Re: Living in a Boomtown - Reno Dilemma
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2018, 12:28:15 AM »
I have a phone interview for a job in Reno in two weeks. I think it's on the north end of Reno. I think the median home price in Reno is 350K, according to Zillow. I think 400K would be our max.

Any tips for getting a deal in the Reno area if I get offered the job?

Looking for a 3 bed/2 bath/2 car garage. Any basements in Reno? 

Clean Shaven

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Re: Living in a Boomtown - Reno Dilemma
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2018, 06:58:10 AM »
Some basements in old Southwest and walkout basements in southwest (inside McCarran loop) where houses are built on hillside. Mostly no basements due to lots of rocks in the ground.

My realtor friend says everything at the lower end of the market sells immediately upon listing. Let us know if you have any success with bidding under the asking price.

Reno real estate is crazy pricey now, compared to salaries.

Penelope Vandergast

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Re: Living in a Boomtown - Reno Dilemma
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2018, 08:49:41 AM »
Get the one close to family. You can only grow up close to your cousins once.

2Cent

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Re: Living in a Boomtown - Reno Dilemma
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2018, 09:53:45 AM »
Second on the close to family one if it is safe enough to play outside traffic and area wise. Else you can just drop them off every now and then or have them over. If it's the same town that shouldn't be a problem.

As houses go I like the second as it is big and in good shape and a little below market rate which probably means a good resale price. With 4 home schooled kids I don't think you'll be doing that much work yourself so the cheaper one will cost you in other ways. Also the public land is very nice for cheap outings with the kids. Even a big house is too small for kids to be really active.

change_seeker

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Re: Living in a Boomtown - Reno Dilemma
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2018, 11:03:48 PM »
Latest updates:

Decided House #1 was too small for living + homeschooling.

Offered $399k on House #2 and we were under contract for about an hour.  I had this awful feeling in the pit of my stomach that it wasn't the right place for us.  I still can't put my finger on exactly why, but we walked away.

Visited House #3.  While we loved the area, I was not excited about the house or the property.  Pretty much everything would have to be redone at some point, and I am fresh out of enthusiasm for major house projects.

On to House #4...

4.

$525k list
Originally offered $495k based on agent's comps, they countered at $519k.  We looked at a bunch of other houses, and then circled back to this one after making offers on several others.  Offered $510k, they accepted.  Currently awaiting appraisal.
1950 sq ft
1 acre lot
Built 1979
Needs nothing right away
In an awesome neighborhood with public land, MTB and hiking trails nearby.  My wife grew up in Reno and this is her dream area.
18 mile bike commute, will require e-bike or multi-modal
On the same end of town as our family, just not as close as House #3

I am still feeling squeamish about the price of this one.  PITI payment will be 25% of gross take-home pay.  Our budget pencils out ok, but it doesn't leave a lot of flexibility in the future.

change_seeker

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Re: Living in a Boomtown - Reno Dilemma
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2018, 11:06:21 PM »
I have a phone interview for a job in Reno in two weeks. I think it's on the north end of Reno. I think the median home price in Reno is 350K, according to Zillow. I think 400K would be our max.

Any tips for getting a deal in the Reno area if I get offered the job?

Looking for a 3 bed/2 bath/2 car garage. Any basements in Reno?

If you want to pay less, then you need to look in the North Valleys or Sparks.  The North Valleys have some nice areas and some sketchy area.  We looked really hard at Sparks since that is where my employer is.  There are older neighborhoods that are bikeable in Sparks, but you have to be ready to pounce as soon as they hit the market.


2Cent

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Re: Living in a Boomtown - Reno Dilemma
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2018, 03:38:20 AM »
Latest updates:

Decided House #1 was too small for living + homeschooling.

Offered $399k on House #2 and we were under contract for about an hour.  I had this awful feeling in the pit of my stomach that it wasn't the right place for us.  I still can't put my finger on exactly why, but we walked away.

Visited House #3.  While we loved the area, I was not excited about the house or the property.  Pretty much everything would have to be redone at some point, and I am fresh out of enthusiasm for major house projects.

On to House #4...

4.

$525k list
Originally offered $495k based on agent's comps, they countered at $519k.  We looked at a bunch of other houses, and then circled back to this one after making offers on several others.  Offered $510k, they accepted.  Currently awaiting appraisal.
1950 sq ft
1 acre lot
Built 1979
Needs nothing right away
In an awesome neighborhood with public land, MTB and hiking trails nearby.  My wife grew up in Reno and this is her dream area.
18 mile bike commute, will require e-bike or multi-modal
On the same end of town as our family, just not as close as House #3

I am still feeling squeamish about the price of this one.  PITI payment will be 25% of gross take-home pay.  Our budget pencils out ok, but it doesn't leave a lot of flexibility in the future.
Good on you to walk away and hold out for a better house. I think 25% is not too bad, and inflation is on your side so it should reduce over time. With 4 kids who are even home schooled this will basically be their entire world, so the space will likely not go to waste. I don't know your financial situation, but I'm guessing FI is not in the cards until the kids are out of the house. So if you're anyway going to work the coming decades, it is better to have a good house in a good area to raise your kids.

On the commute though, forget biking unless you're really committed. 18 miles will take about an hour on a e-bike. Unless you really like the excersize or get a speedy e-bike you will probably switch to car pretty soon.