Some Tips for The Smart Home Buyer
By Tracy Tkac
Location is key… Location is important now and when it comes time to sell. You can have a house in need of improvement with an outdated kitchen and bath, but put it on a great block or in a good school district, and your home will be coveted. Location matters on so many different levels. It works from the outside in, the town where the house is located, then the school district, then the neighborhood. Keep all of this in mind when home searching that there are many things you can change about a house- but not the location. Also remember that while real estate markets rise and fall, no one can take a great location away from you.
Which School District… The school district is right up there on the list of what’s most important to many buyers. It’s not uncommon for buyers to start their search based solely on the school district they want to be in. Parents want their kids to go to the best school, which can drive up prices of homes in those districts. Even though you might not have children, buying a home in a good school district is always smart. If the schools are desirable, homes tend to hold their value. As a homeowner, you should always be aware of how the schools are doing, not unlike being aware of your roof’s condition, the neighborhood development or city government.
What Makes a Neighborhood… More than ever, ‘walkability’ is becoming a key factor in the search process. Many buyers seek a home in a walkable neighborhood. People put high value on the ability to walk to a store, school, work or public transportation. The more we move away from cars and the more we see invested in public transportation over the coming decades, the more of a huge value-add walkability will become.
Buy Today, to sell someday… A good real estate agent who’s been working the neighborhood for some time can vouch for the long-term value or investment potential of the property. But be sure to find ways to add value, or at least be certain the home will hold its value. The market may be strong when you purchase, but ask yourself, “Am I in a seller’s market?” “What would happen to this property if the market changed tomorrow”? Keep in mind when buying, you are purchasing a home that if you need to sell, must been widely appealing to others as well as yourself.