Real NEastate: Under $150,000 in the Far Northeast?

Q: Where can I find a nice three-bedroom home for sale for under $150,000 that doesn’t need any work in the Far Northeast? I have been looking and looking, but all I can find are fixer-uppers or condos. I want to be close to I-95 and very far up in the Northeast, but I can’t find anything, and all I am approved for is $150,000. Should I wait and see if the prices come down?

A: It is tough to find what you are looking for in those zip codes in that price range. There are some three-bedroom homes for sale under 150,000 but they all will need some work, whether it’s heavy duty or just paint and carpets. If you were looking for a nice two-bedroom condo, you’d have much to choose from.

The average price in the Far Northeast hovers around $200,000, depending on what neighborhood you are looking in. If you are looking for something that doesn’t need work, you can find many nice three-bedroom houses for sale in 19136 for under $150,000. But that’s probably the highest up you’ll get in the Northeast that’s close to I-95 in that price range, if you don’t want to do any work.

The market is improving in Northeast Philadelphia, so if you decide to wait for prices to come down, it won’t really help you. If you are a first-time buyer, you risk losing the $8,000 First-time Buyer Tax Credit or if you’ve owned your current home for the last 5 years, the $6,500 Homebuyer Tax Credit. These tax refunds expire April 30, and it’s not everyday that the government doles out money to people buying houses.

If you decide to wait until your income improves and you can afford a higher-priced home, that’s a different matter. Maybe that is something you want to think about. In real estate they say it is all about location, location, location. What that really means is the more sought-after the location, the more the home costs.

Stacey McCarthy is a real estate agent with the McCarthy Group of Keller Williams. Her Real NEastate column appears every Wednesday on NEastPhilly.com. See others here. Read other NEast Philly columns here.

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