June 26th, 2012
When looking to buy a house, people often don’t think about what others value in a home. Of course, what you want is most important, but remember, you may want to sell the home one day.
In his blog post, “10 Things That Make a Home a Good Home,” Brandon Desimone looks at 10 qualities that will make a home appealing you to, as well at potential buyers down the road.
1. Location, location, location. As Desimone puts it, you could have the worst house in the world, but if it’s in a good location, it will sell. Location matters on so many levels, as high as town or city, then neighborhood, street and even plot.
Think about the things that people typically care about, like the quality of the school district and access to the highway, even if they don’t necessarily matter much to you. This will ensure that your house will sell down the road.
2. The school district. This is so important that it’s worth having its own point. The quality of local schools is the driving force behind tax rates and property value. Homes within a good school district will always hold their value.
3. Positioning on the lot. Light, privacy and yard space are also particularly important to some people. If the home is small, would there be space for an addition? Would the backyard fit a pool?
4. Crime. People are obviously deterred by crime, even though it’s everywhere. It’s a good idea to be aware of the local crime rates, even just for safety reasons. For instance, if you see that there were a high number of car or home break ins, you will know to install a security system.
5. Walkability. The ability to walk to stores, school, restaurants and public transportation stops is increasingly important to people, as the cost of gasoline always has the potential to rise. Homes that are close to amenities tend to hold value.
6. The character of the neighborhood. Your surroundings are just as important as your actual home is. Nothing is worse than putting blood, sweat and tears into your home to make it beautiful, only to go outside to see the dump across the street. Visit the neighborhood at all hours to see what it’s all about, and talk to neighbors to get their input.
7. Don’t buy the best home on the block. Homes that are perfect when you move in have little potential to gain value. On the other hand, a home that needs a paintjob and some yard work has room to grow.
8. Think before buying a fixer-upper. A paintjob is one thing, a full renovation is a whole different story. Do your homework, and have the property inspected before you make any decisions. A little work can go a long way, but too much work can be costly, stressful and simply not worth it.
9. Make sure the home will hold its value. Check the value of the home over time, as well as the value of surrounding properties. It’s a good sign if the property value has been consistent with housing trends in the past 10 years.
10. Taxes, dues and fees. This is important, especially when it comes to selling condos. First of all, you want to be aware of all monthly costs so you know for certain that you can afford the property.
Second, if you’re buying a condo, you want to make sure the homeowners association is well-funded and transparent with its activity.
As Desimone puts it,
“It could take one quick $10K assessment to immediately affect property values if you need to turn around and sell your new home. And any uncertainty about the building, its integrity or the financials could scare off buyers when it’s time to sell.”