Town Square

Have buyers' remorse?

Original post made by Carol Blitzer, University South, on Aug 15, 2007

Wish you had done something differently before committing to buying a house in Palo Alto, Mountain View or Menlo Park (or nearby)? What's causing the angst (other than feeling like you paid too much)? Or, are you really happy you were able to get into the market, or maybe even snag the home of your dreams? Anyone petitioning assessor to lower taxes temporarily because house has actually gone down in value?
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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 15, 2007 at 4:32 pm

I've lived in the Bay Area a long time and seen several up and down cycles. If you're here for the long-term, you're way better off owning a home. The most important benefit is just not having to move during boom cycles when rentals are scarce and prices are outrageous, and not having to move because the landlord decides to sell the house or whatever. The financial and personal unpredictability that comes with NOT owning a home here can be brutal, especially if you have kids.

Also, because of Prop 13 especially, over time, the only way to get ahead financially is to buy. Even if you buy during an up cycle and paid too much, if you are here long-term, you just have to get into the market when you can. Once you do, your expenses (mortgage and property taxes) essentially stand still, rather than shooting up unexpectedly the way renters' housing costs can. (Provided of course you have the foresight to get a fixed mortgage.)

If you've been in the Bay Area very long, you know that the usual considerations don't apply. If you have to move in a few years, don't buy. Other than that, I can't imagine why anyone would waste the energy over the kinds of usual homebuyers angst. If you buy in this area, you already know you're going to be paying too much and living small. Live here long enough, and there's a good chance you'll be retiring on the next wave of people paying too much for your Palo Alto hovel.

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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 17, 2007 at 11:54 am

I wish I had bought 5 years earlier.