Here is the deal. I have been looking at condos for the last few weeks within the Seattle city limits. The condo I have narrowed I was thinking about buying is in a great area of Seattle with 2 high end grocery stores, bars, resturaunts and a Starbucks within a block or 2. It is about 3 miles from my work. The building is very nice, the unit has slab granite counter tops, gas fireplace, hardwood floores in the kitchen, a washer and dryer in the unit and plenty of closet space. The only downfall is the living room is small. It only has the room for one 3 person couch and maybe a small kitchen table pushed up against the wall. The building has concrete floors, a small workout room, secure parkign garage and a roof top deck with views of the Olympics and Cascade mountains. So really the only downfall is the small liiving space and that it is only 1 bedroom. The place is in the 150-175k range.
All of a sudden I am starting to think about looking at actual houses that are in the outlying areas. I haven't actually looked at any but from what I can tell I can get a 3 or 4 bedroom house with 2.5 baths, 2 car garage and a decent yard in the 200-250k range. The area I am thinking about is about 15 miles from my work but is probably about a half hour commute or so. The area is a place I swore that I would never live but that is more of me being a snob than anything. I think the neighborhoods are actually pretty quite and and clean from what I can tell. There are lots of families. I could get a newer 3 bedroom place that is more like a townhome or a 3-4 bedroom house on a bigger lot but that was built in the 60's-70's.
I probably wouldn't even think about the condo but I am a single guy in my late 20's who still likes to go out quite a bit. That seems to be changing pretty quick as all my friends are getting married and slowing down a bit. They still go out almost weekly but not like they use to. The houses would still only be 20-30 minutes from downtown Seattle where we go out.
Another thing to consider is that if I get a=one of the houses my payment will probably be 200-300 more a month total. I would probably need one roommate to comfortably afford the payment. I guess the more roommates the cheaper the bills as we would be splitting the utilites, cable, etc. The only problem with this is that I don't know a lot of people in the area I would be moving so finding a roommate, 2 or 3 may be tougher. I have already found roommates before using craigslist and as I am fairly easy going and can pretty much get along with anybody.
I am just trying to get some other people's point of view. Trendy, downtown 1 bedroom condo in the city or good sized family house just outside the city that maybe pushes my budget but gives me possible rental income?