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From Colubia/Ellicott City to Catonsville - Page 2

post #21 of 35
I like the 512k house. I agree that its overpriced and think you might be able to get it down in this market, by getting your agent to look at the comps for the last four months and talking to the other agent. What I really like is it looks like it needs no work. Kitchen and baths look great. Best of all, that yard is ideal for kids. Nice and big, already fenced, room for a garden by the looks of the pictures already in process... If I could get it down in price that would be a winner. That said, I got a four bedroom that was a bit overpriced (I really wanted and needed to move into this neighborhood) for 80K less in Columbia. To me how a house looks is far less important than does its space and floor plan work for my family needs and is the yard level and ready for kids to play. The back yard and back porch sold me on my house. I say the porch is "my favorite room" because in fine weather I live out on it.

I don't think you have seen my house since we re- did the kitchen, have you?
post #22 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by homewithtwinsmama View Post
I like the 512k house. I agree that its overpriced and think you might be able to get it down in this market, by getting your agent to look at the comps for the last four months and talking to the other agent. What I really like is it looks like it needs no work. Kitchen and baths look great. Best of all, that yard is ideal for kids. Nice and big, already fenced, room for a garden by the looks of the pictures already in process... If I could get it down in price that would be a winner. That said, I got a four bedroom that was a bit overpriced (I really wanted and needed to move into this neighborhood) for 80K less in Columbia. To me how a house looks is far less important than does its space and floor plan work for my family needs and is the yard level and ready for kids to play. The back yard and back porch sold me on my house. I say the porch is "my favorite room" because in fine weather I live out on it.

I don't think you have seen my house since we re- did the kitchen, have you?
I think your kitchen was still in process last time I was there, but mostly done (maybe?).

We are pretty particular about certain things and not so much about others.
1) Neighborhood/street: beautiful and/or quaint, safe, friendly
2) Architecture: something somewhat interesting, or at least "clean" i.e. open, 9'+ ceilings (love the '20s)
3) gut feeling: a lot of homes make us feel depressed, luckily we have the same gut when it comes to houses

We'd renovate/add on for the right neighborhood/lot and house character. Which is why I am still loving this tiny thing with the closet bedroom!: http://www.redfin.com/MD/CATONSVILLE.../home/17221040 Esp. if we could get it for 325 or less (which it should be at 1100 sq feet!!) in 5 or 6 years we'd just add on 800 sq feet or so. We drove by it today and love the neighborhood.

The 512 is officially out of the question. I'm learning about conforming limits or whatnot. Jumbo limits in the area are almost 500k for 2009, but it seems the 417k or up rules on money down are the same everywhere (I guess, I don't understand it all). We'd have to put at least 50k down, but possibly 75-100, with next to no equity left in our condo (thanks to the real estate crash) that would have to be all from savings, which is not that healthy! So we are now looking for 440 or less, and really thinking of going 350 or less to free up money for renovations/addition, etc.
post #23 of 35
Teeny tiny front hall closet - tough with kids. I walked out of homes after walking in the front door and seeing no or tiny closets. Drove my agent nuts. That or a non-level back yard would disqualify a home for lots of kids for me. The closet bedroom doesn't bother me so much. When oldest is 6 you can get him a loft bed with desk, comfy chair or small couch and dresser underneath. It's like your own private fort. I grew up in a tiny little bedroom and my oldest daughter is on one now.

The yard looks nice. Looks like a good play yard. We fenced ours one week after settlement, had to for the kids.
post #24 of 35
Thread Starter 
okay, our short list right now (not all catonsville)

back to this one after DH pooh-pooed the neighborhood/street: http://www.redfin.com/MD/CATONSVILLE.../home/12477646 Any thoughts on that area? I like it more than he does.

And this: http://www.redfin.com/MD/CATONSVILLE.../home/17301217 It is small and on a busy street, but we like it, so we'll probably at least give it a look. Thoughts on this one? How busy is it really on S Rolling?

And not in catonsville, but we want to see why this is so cheap (for size/lot): http://www.redfin.com/MD/ELLICOTT-CI.../home/10024470

And finally DH wants to look at this, but it is so not my style, so we'll see. Great deal though (in need of a little work): http://www.redfin.com/MD/COLUMBIA/49...4/home/9901590

More to say, but gotta run. love to hear your thoughts!
post #25 of 35
the first one, we drove by that back when we were looking (it was out of our range but it was close to another we liked). we really wanted sidewalks. that community (oella) is pretty cool, there is a lovely trolley trail (paved wooded area) that goes through c'ville to ellicott city for 1 1/2 miles, on the other side of westchester rd from that house. westchester is a busy street and has no sidewalks...

we know the couple selling the house off s. rolling so know that ahead of time...traffic is busy off s. rolling esp at rush hour, but the community it is in is great and just down hilton is the large patapsco state park entrance, plus a very short walk to the school (hillcrest elem.) and library.

don't know anything about the other 2...HTH
post #26 of 35
Thread Starter 
okay, so...

1) house we love, needs very little (wood on second floor) in so-so neighborhood with no sidewalks (also a concern for us) but near great walking path (is it considered safe?)

OR

2) house we'd want to do a good deal of work to (mostly curb appeal kind of stuff--"face-lift" so to speak, and paving driveway), possibly a small addition (family room or similar on main floor for play space), and a second bath upstairs, in a great neighborhood (we really like it too!) on a very busy street but with sidewalks. DH is very handy BTW, so the work is a hassle, but doable.

What would you all do (not just hipsands)? Just curious, obviously we have to determine what's right for our family.

We are hoping to go look at them this weekend.
post #27 of 35
And finally DH wants to look at this, but it is so not my style, so we'll see. Great deal though (in need of a little work): http://www.redfin.com/MD/COLUMBIA/49...4/home/9901590

This isn't bad for Columbia. Basement needs complete redo.


More to say, but gotta run. love to hear your thoughts![/QUOTE]
post #28 of 35
Melvin is a nice street and I think that's pretty fair for what you're getting. But there is a school on Melvin so you'll get a lot of traffic, plus people cut through that street pretty often. It is gorgeous with the trees and huge houses though and there's a playground for 3+.

Locust can be a good street. It depends on what side of Magruder you're on. One side is one way but I don't like the feel of it much. I think that's a great price, although I'd want to look at it and see the backyard. It does back up to Sanford which is mostly duplexes and not the prettiest street but don't judge a street by the houses necessarily!! There are very nice people on Sanford and most likely, you would have good neighbors if you backed up to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holiztic View Post
for those that know the catonsville real estate market, does this price seem high?:

http://www.redfin.com/MD/CATONSVILLE.../home/17042854

I drove by and love the street, and its super close to old catonsville (well, its IN old catonsville, but I mean the shops, etc) so I get that it should be above 450, but its just over 2000 sq feet (not small, not big), it has no dining room, just a townhouse style space for a table. The second floor only has 2 bedrooms, the other two are basically a finished attic with no bathroom. Average sized lot, no garage. From what else I have seen in Catonsville, seems it would be in the 475 range. We might be willing to go that high, but if it is really worth 512, I think we should just get it out of our heads now.


on the other hand, if we want to save some $$$, what about this: thoughts? its only 1100 sq feet, so it is over $300 per sq foot (really high): http://www.redfin.com/MD/CATONSVILLE.../home/17221040 Anyone know about that neighborhood/street? We drove down Sanford from Frederick and didn't care for it, esp the northern part. This any better?

Would love to meet you all in the New Year (we're close enough now to come up, only about 15 minutes away in Ellicott City).
post #29 of 35
I personally wouldn't want to live on Bloomsbury. It's part commercial, has the high school, is busy and isn't that attractive. Although in the summer and fall you would be practically on top of the farmer's market and you're close to Lurman Theater. But personally, I wouldn't want to live on that street.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holiztic View Post
Thanks for the info on Tanglewood, we like the house, though it is small, but you all confirmed our gut feeling on going inside 695.

Isn't it funny--you're not moving in this economy and we almost HAVE to move in this economy (in a tiny 2br condo, afraid we'll get stuck if it depreciates much more!)

Well, you wanted to see more houses, so: what do ya'll think of this street/neighborhood? http://www.redfin.com/MD/CATONSVILLE...home/17922794# What about that Bloomsbury Community Center that is so close: a good thing (for farmer's market, activities, etc) or a bad thing (loitering teens, etc?)

Thanks! I really feel like I should be paying you all a commission or something! You'll definitely be invited to our house warming!
post #30 of 35
You're getting too far away from Catonsville for me to really know about these areas but I can ask my husband. He might know. Let me know if you want me to do that or if you got enough responses!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holiztic View Post
okay, our short list right now (not all catonsville)

back to this one after DH pooh-pooed the neighborhood/street: http://www.redfin.com/MD/CATONSVILLE.../home/12477646 Any thoughts on that area? I like it more than he does.

And this: http://www.redfin.com/MD/CATONSVILLE.../home/17301217 It is small and on a busy street, but we like it, so we'll probably at least give it a look. Thoughts on this one? How busy is it really on S Rolling?

And not in catonsville, but we want to see why this is so cheap (for size/lot): http://www.redfin.com/MD/ELLICOTT-CI.../home/10024470

And finally DH wants to look at this, but it is so not my style, so we'll see. Great deal though (in need of a little work): http://www.redfin.com/MD/COLUMBIA/49...4/home/9901590

More to say, but gotta run. love to hear your thoughts!
post #31 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holiztic View Post
And not in catonsville, but we want to see why this is so cheap (for size/lot): http://www.redfin.com/MD/ELLICOTT-CI.../home/10024470
LOL, too funny, but this is the house that started me house hunting almost 2 years ago! I have been in in several times, and can tell you about it. First, it is old, and therefore pretty cool. It has a dirt cellar, not really a basement, but it has access from the inside and outside. It has a gorgeous stairway. The master bedroom is funny shaped - there is two chimneys in the house but only one working fireplace - the second fireplace is behind a wall I think. The second chimney runs up through the master bedroom, and it causes a wall to be in the MBR that is just odd. The downstairs has high ceilings, and there is a county kitchen added on to the side. It has a wonderful wide front wrap around porch. It also has a detached 2 car garage, with a third bay in the back - great for a woodshop or goats (what I wanted). It also has a nice gazebo in the back that is wired for electricity (a previous owner was an electrician) and there is nice stonework for stepping stones (the most recent owner did stonework).

The property backs up to new developments.

The downside is that the house is on a busy street and the house is fairly close to the street. The house is old enough that I'm sure work needs to be done, and previous work might not all be "up to code".

When we looked at it, it was on the market for $525 by the owner, who bought it for $500k, I think? He lived in Silver Spring and wanted to move his family, but after he bought the house some of his kids refused to move. It was on the market a while and then dropped off, and went back on when it started going though foreclosure I believe.

We finally did buy a house in Columbia - in Long Reach. I hope you find something perfect for you guys!
post #32 of 35
we lived in catonsville for 11 months and could not wait to move out. we had hoped to end up in columbia or ellicott city but at the time could not find something we could afford and was the right size and zip code.

everyone assured us that catonsville was a great choice. my mom is in timonium and one of her good friends lives in catonsville. people here said wonderful things about it and that it was a strong family community.

we lived by the walking trail to old ellicott city.

in the 11 months that we lived there, we knew of two people from our playgroup who had their homes broken into in broad daylight, and these homes were even nicer than our own. we knew one mom that was held up at gun point at an ATM in the heart of catonsville, like the NICE part by the library and post office. this was during the day, and she had her three sons with her.

on 4th of july we did do the parade and then watched TWO drug deals go down in front of babies r us and the party store.

after we moved we learned that a prostitution ring was busted up by the walmart and asain market off of 40.

for us, it was TOO urban. we didn't want to live in an area where we had to think about day time break ins, armed robberies and drug deals as well as prostitution.

and we paid a lot for our house and sold it for even more just 11 mo later. so, to pay a lot for an old home that needs work, and then be faced with pretty serious crimes in your "town" didn't seem like a fair deal. we also NEVER shopped anywhere in catonsville, minus the babies r us if we needed something.

we did love old ellicott city though. we'd go down there to shop, eat, and trick or treat. and the tire park was fun. i think if we had moved to somewhere else in maryland we would've stayed, but catonsville was just not our cup of tea.

ETA: our house was about 50 yrs old and already had all new windows and a new kitchen when we bought it. in the 11 mo we lived there, we put another 20,000 into the house. we updated the electric ( which was insanely out date) and then gutted and redid the master bath ( which was original as was the hall bath). on the first floor we redid the half bath, and then in the dining room we pulled down a fake ceiling and had all new lighting and ceiling installed, same with the basement. most catonsville homes need a lot of updating or TLC type stuff. we did find out when we moved that the two fireplaces/ and chimneys BOTH needed to be completely replaced. basically, there was always going to be some sort of project to get the house up to date.
post #33 of 35
Thread Starter 
Wow! Very interesting timing on that post danaalex. We just decided yesterday to give up on catonsville. I want to thank you all so much (especially sande!) for all your input and help, but we just can't make it work.

Whenever we finally liked a house (not very often) we'd drive by and not like the street/neighborhood. We were getting so down and frustrated (and broken hearted, as we'd fall in love with a house from the pics online, then hate the location).

So we're back to Columbia. While we know Columbia better than Catonsville, we aren't familiar with all the villages/neighborhoods, so I'm about to post a similar thread to this but for Columbia.

For those that know Columbia (Lorrie!) feel free to come over and give your opinions! Kelsi, maybe you've seen some of these, too!

Thanks again to all!

Elizabeth
post #34 of 35
i personally think that's a great idea

i forget all of the places we were looking, it was all based on zip codes. our realtors told us there were acceptable zip codes in columbia and then unacceptable ones.

my SIL and her hubby and son are in a town house in one of the lesser attractive zip codes. their place is pretty much new, they had their unit built. they love it.

we really did like columbia, the set up as well as how safe we felt. david's is a great market and we loved the open gym ( i forget the name of the place though).

if we had ended up there we probably would've stayed. my husband lost his job 5 mo after we moved into our house and after that there was nothing keeping us in catonsville. he had looked at a couple jobs in balto. but we both wanted out of catonsville so badly. he had been working in columbia, which is why it really was our original goal.
post #35 of 35
deleted because I meant to write in the Columbia thread!
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