Americans “play up”: Buy the whole neighbor’s house as a room for guests, invest in their children

A good house can be bought by anyone, but a good neighbor is priceless“.

That is the general idea of ​​a Chinese proverb that Mrs. May Lee relied on to come to the decision to buy and renovate her neighbor’s house in San Francisco, USA.

Mrs. Lee, 67, and her husband, Henry Lee, are both retired. The two have been living in a 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom apartment in Parkside for more than 30 years. After their two children (now 34 and 30) graduated from college, they found work in the Bay Area and moved back in with their parents to save money. Rents and home purchases in the area have increased significantly over the years, Ms. Lee said.

In 2019, Ms. Lee learned that her neighbor was about to leave, so she hired a real estate company, negotiated with the owner and paid $ 1.26 million (VND 29.5 billion) to bought a 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom house. Her 2 children paid the down payment and moved into the house after the renovation.

Americans play to: Buy a neighbor's house as a room for guests, invest in children - Photo 1.

It’s time for them to leave the house, but it’s good to have them around“- said Mrs. Lee.

Billionaires and celebrities have long practiced the trend of neighborhood buying, creating giant townhouses as a way to preserve privacy, security, and space. This action has become almost too common in rich areas in the US like Malibu or Manhattan.

The trend is up

However, in recent years, according to real estate companies, more and more ordinary people have started to spend money to buy houses around to make guest houses for family and friends. This trend emerged from the middle of the Covid pandemic, when a lot of people had to work from home. Many consider this a wise long-term investment.

Americans play to: Buy the whole neighbor's house as a room for guests, invest in their children - Photo 2.

But for this to happen, it also takes “time, location, and harmony”, according to Aaron Bellings, a real estate agent for Bellings Brothers in San Francisco who helped Ms. Lee buy the restaurant. aforementioned neighborhood. Many people also say their neighbors are interested, he added, but deals often fail. Like many such deals, Ms. Lee’s purchase is also a private transaction and is not posted on major real estate websites.

Closing deals like this takes some finesse, says a realtor named Champey in Concord, Massachusetts. This person has supported 2 “deals”. The first case involved a man who lived in a nearly 300 square meter colonial house.

Over the years, the neighbor has befriended the man and expressed interest in his home, saying that if you’re thinking of selling it, let them know. When he died, a guide was left to help them prioritize selling to the above neighbor. Just a few hours after Champey’s connection, the buyer made a deal worth $ 1.8 million (VND 42.1 billion) and the deal was closed the following month.

The second deal took place last February when a woman asked him to write a letter offering to sell a three-bedroom apartment to a series of her neighbors. The lovely house is located on a large plot of land 2 hectares and is offered for sale for 3 million USD (more than 70 billion VND). Not long after, the neighborhood decided to spend $2.6 million (VND 61 billion) because they didn’t want anyone else to own the property and build an unsightly house.

Buy a house for aesthetics and space

Preventing the construction of new unsightly homes in your neighborhood is also a common reason for this trend in the US. Ms. Huggins, who lives in Los Angeles, once saw a neighbor’s house being sold to outsiders, demolished and rebuilt. Then she decided not to let that happen again. She decided to spend 840,000 USD (nearly 20 billion VND) to just buy the neighbor’s house and rebuild it and rent it out.

Americans play to: Buy the whole neighbor's house as a room for guests, invest in their children - Photo 3.

She also hopes that her children in their 20s will one day have their own families and move into that house. Her desire to buy another neighbor’s house did not stop when the woman said: “Land is worth more than houses here. If I don’t buy it back, the houses will be demolished. I don’t want a big ugly house next to mine.“.

For Ms. Davis of South Carolina, the problem is space. Although she has a house up to 270m2, she thinks it is still not enough for 6 children and 2 grandchildren. In February of this year, she decided to spend a lot of money to buy a one-bedroom house across the street, just 45 meters away, as a guest house.

Americans play to: Buy the whole neighbor's house as a room for guests, invest in their children - Photo 4.

With the Millers in Dallas, Texas, it’s a little different. When they learned that the land around their house was being sold gradually, they were worried that the view in their new house would be affected, so they spent up to 3 million USD to buy a land of more than 5,000 square meters right next to the house. The Millers plan to build their own house on that lot.

Similarly, 55-year-old Jentzen from South Carolina also bought a plot of land of more than 1 hectare next to her house and plans to spend 1 million USD (more than 23 billion VND) to build a guest house there, including many bedrooms, playrooms. game, garage, art studio. The house is supposed to be used by guests and create more art space for her. A shared walkway connecting the private house to the guesthouse will also be built to create a “complex”.

Plans for the future

Billionaires sometimes just need privacy, as was the case with Elon Musk when he bought a cluster of six homes in Bel-Air, California between 2010 and 2016; or when Jeff Bezos bought a giant house for $53 million in Medina, Washington right next to his two-unit complex.

Americans play to: Buy the whole neighbor's house as a room for guests, invest in their children - Photo 5.

But for more common people like Ms. Lee, the decision to buy the house next door is for the sake of family. She said the private house gives the children a comfortable space, but they can still stop by her house for dinner when they don’t have time to cook. She also knows that staying close will make it easier for her children to take care of her and her husband as they get older.

However, she still respects the privacy of her children and always rings the bell before entering. “I don’t just rush in“- she said.

Source: WSJ

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