Sunday, January 8, 2012
I went to look at this home today. It looks much bigger and newer on the pictures than it really is. Priced at $739,500, I think it's too much because the layout of this townhouse feels tiny and cramped. Every window is surrounded by neighbor's windows at very close distance. There is very little privacy. The master bedroom has a normal size. But the other bedrooms are very very small. All the bedrooms are on the ground floor and the living room and kitchen on the top floor. I personally hate this kind of layout. The so-called ocean view advertised on the listing is a joke and totally embarrassing. I see more obstructive windows and tree tops from the very close neighbors than anything.... The listing sounds good but the quality at this price level is really disappointing. The property tax is sky high at $9,306 for 2010. Even if my tax rate were at the highest bracket of 35%, I would still be paying $6,048 a year just for property tax. This number will be much bigger for me because my income is far less than the 35% tax bracket. The lower one's tax bracket, the lower one can benefit from the tax deduction effect on property tax. Besides, there is the earthquake insurance, the HOA, the loan fees and interest for a 30-year mortgage and closing cost. I will have to make quite a lot of money to afford this tiny townhouse. This townhouse also needs some updating because the interior is kind of dated. At this price level, it's beyond my annual income. I do have the 20% down payment, but it doesn't make sense for me to spend a lot more every month so I can move from my current beautiful rental home in a nicer street to this cramped tiny townhouse, just to be a homeowner (actually a renter of the government of the city, the state, the fed and the bank?) I will pass this one and I will remain a happy renter for the time being.