Which county to build in, Saratoga County, Albany County, Warren County, Essex County?? Let us help you
Most of our customers own land at the time they come in to see us. Many of them have purchased it recently so you may be at the point right now as you start this journey to your new home, where you are trying to make sense out of where to buy that land. As you know from our site that we have land and home packages that might meet your needs, but many people have very specific locations that they want to be. If you know what town you need to be in (family proximity, school districts etc.) then this information is not for you.
If you are not tied to any particular location and you are trying to make heads or tails of which area suits you best then you may find this helpful.
Big picture….. By far the best value in acres per dollar in our area are Rensselaer and Washington county but you may want to look beyond the land/$$ ratio. Lot cost in Saratoga and Warren counties are much higher and yet could be a much better value. Let me explain.
Take and average customer with a banking approval of $250,000 for their home. When a bank calculates this they use a formula called Debt to income. In the simplest terms they take your total income (monthly) factor out a percentage for life expenses and then subtract your monthly debt (loans, car payments) credit cards etc. What ever is left for monthly dollars is what they calculate your maximum affordable loan amount. Let say hypothetically it is $1200/mnth they then plug that in to a mortgage calculator for the 30 year mortgage at today’s interest rate and TA DA….your approved for $240,000 at 4.5% for 30 years.
What does this have to do with the county you are in??????…TAXES
Your monthly combined real estate taxes and school taxes actually come out of your approvable amount in that debt line I talked about above, as if it was a loan payment. So if you build a house worth $250,000 dollars in Washington county and the annual tax cost is $7000/year (or $583/mnth) the same house in Saratoga county might only have taxes of $4800/year (or $400/mnth) the $183/mnth difference in taxes comes out of your $1200/mnth loanable. which brings your approval down by $38,000 over 30 years. While your monthly out of pocket expense stays the same (mortgage, plus taxes). In other words you bought your land for less but your total monthly expense for home and land could be higher for the same house.
This of course can change town by town in any given county the point is that this is important enough information to look at prior to your purchase.