Home Resale Value – How To Buy A House That’s Worth It
The moment to buy your new home has arrived. After months of scouting the market, you’ve finally found the property you like. All excited, you’re ready to close the deal. But wait! Have you checked the home’s resale value?
Probably not. And you wouldn’t be alone. When buying, most people think of finding a house that works for them and their future plans. They’re not thinking of selling the house, even if they are not planning on spending their whole life in there. And that’s a mistake.
The right moment to think about the resale value is the moment before you buy a home. The future is unpredictable, and it may happen you’ll have to sell your property. If and when this happens, selling a home with a good resale value is easy, but things are different if nobody else except you want a house with those characteristics.
How To Buy A House With A Good Resale Value
The first and foremost important thing to think of when buying a new home is its location. Buying a marvelous home in a poor area or neighborhood is not a good investment, even if you might see it like that. Even if you don’t mind the poor location, it will still draw down the property’s resale value.
What Is A Good Location
A good location means a good neighborhood with optimal life standards. The definition of optimal life standards varies from buyer to buyer, that’s why you should imagine who would want to buy your house if you’ll ever have to put it on the market.
If your potential buyers are single people or couples with an active social life, a good location means a neighborhood close to entertainment and shopping areas. These buyers might like an apartment on top of a skyscraper, with a scenic view over the city or the surrounding, but this location might not be appropriate for a family.
For most families, a good location means a quiet neighborhood, maybe in the suburbs, with top-rated nearby schools and recreational areas. Proximity to public transportation, healthcare facilities, and markets will certainly boost the resale value of your home.
The location of the property on the street is also important. Studies have shown that most buyers like more a house located in the middle of the street rather than on the corners.
What Is A Bad Location
While defining a good location is hard, mainly because needs vary from person to person, defining a bad location is much simpler.
Buyers usually avoid the houses located next to industrial or commercial areas, either for concerns related to pollution or for the noise. Noise is also an annoying factor in areas close to railways, freeways or airports. Hazards in the area, such as a nuclear plant, will also cause a fall of the resale value.
Economically depressed areas and neighborhoods with high crime rate are also bad locations. People want to feel safe, and you’ll have to sell off the property should you ever need to resale it.
Size And Layout
The size and layout of the house also influence its resale value. To start with the size, big isn’t necessarily better. If you own the biggest house in a neighborhood, estate agents, realtors and mortgage lenders will calculate the resale value of your property based on the other houses in the block. Which means it will draw down the price of your own house.
An average-sized house in the area you’re buying is certainly a more appropriate choice.
The layout of the house also matters. An oversized property might not be an asset if it doesn’t have all the utilities buyers are looking for.
Back when we were kids, two-story houses were popular. But things have slightly changed in the last decades. Most homeowners are now looking for practicality, and we can all agree that a one-story house is more practical than one with a second or third floor.
But even if that’s the trend, buying a single-floor house that is surrounded by two-story houses is not the best idea. Most homeowners hate the idea of the neighbor looking into their backyard, and the resale value of the house might drop.
A home with less than three bedrooms is rarely a good investment, especially if the potential buyers are families. People need more than a place to sleep in the house. They need at least a kid’s room, a guest room, and maybe an office or two.
Three-bedroom houses are popular among young families and they are usually the least buyers are looking for. A good investment, however, might be a house with four or five bedrooms. If you’re investing for resale purposes, it would be excellent if you could buy a four or five bedroom property at the same price as a three-bedroom one.
But don’t just buy a larger house because it comes at a great price. It might not be the bargain you think. Check the home value estimates in the neighborhood and make sure the price of the house is in conformity with the area; otherwise, dig in to see why it’s too cheap or too expensive.
The number of bathrooms is another thing to consider. A single bathroom in a four-bedroom house is too little. And typically, people want to invest in a house with at least two bathrooms. However, as a general rule, the more bathrooms the house has, the better.
In most houses, the kitchen is the heart of the home. A place where mom is cooking dinner and the family gathers around the table. So, the larger the better. Appliances in a kitchen also matter, so make sure they are in good conditions when buying the house and easy to replace if needed.
An important thing to consider, if you don’t want to carry on any renovation works, is the countertop. This small detail can greatly influence the resale value of your home because cheap countertops wear out fast and have to be replaced regularly.
Granite countertops are the most popular nowadays for their impressive resistance to tear and wear, but make sure they are installed correctly. Granite slabs are more appealing to potential buyers than tiles, so keep this in mind too.
If the countertop is made of a more expensive material, such as marble or quartz, don’t let estate agents trick you into paying more, especially if you don’t like the color and plan to change the design with something you like best.
The location of the kitchen inside the house also matters. It’s not the same to have to walk up the stairs with the groceries or simply have access to your kitchen from the garage. If the kitchen has access to the backyard, that’s even better.
Nowadays, many interior designers tend to merge multiple spaces into one, creating large dining-living-family rooms. This is an awesome idea, as you’ll have an ampler space to exploit, but make sure you divide it well enough. If you have an open kitchen area, make sure it’s well off of the living space or potential buyers might not like it.
However, if you have a separate dining room, be sure it’s large enough to accommodate your dinner parties.
The amount of stuff people gather in a lifetime is impressive, that’s why a good house with an excellent resale value has plenty of storage spaces. The most desirable homes are those that have a walk-in closet in the master bedroom, a traditional coat closet near the front entrance and adequate closet space in the other bedrooms.
A garage and attic are also desirable in a home. The attic provides further storage space, while the garage is often used for multiple purposes.
Even if you’re single, invest in a home with a large garage, that can accommodate at least two large cars. Circumstances change and you might meet your better half, or you’ll just have an appealing home for new buyers should you ever sell it.
A laundry room is essential in any home. So the lack of it, even if it doesn’t bother you, might bother future buyers. Modern homes have a laundry room located on the same floor with the bedrooms. This space should be as far away as possible from the living space, but not in the basement or garage.
Older houses with a basement or garage laundry are not popular anymore and future buyers might not like this aspect.
Indoor or outdoor extras include a fireplace and a swimming pool. None are essential but one is more desirable than another.
A fireplace is a nice thing to have in a home. It creates an atmosphere at Christmas and inspires coziness. However, in states with a more temperate climate, a fireplace is pretty much useless throughout the year. Yet, this add-on can add up to the resale value of the home.
Things are slightly different with the pool. Not only most homeowners don’t want one, but it can actually draw down the resale value of your home. Insurance is more expensive for houses with a pool and most potential buyers don’t want to pay for it.
One thing potential buyers will check is the property’s history. And a negative one can draw back the resale value, so make sure you check it too before investing in the new home.
A negative history might comprise anything from issues with mold or pests to neighborhood problems, such as frequent fires or high crime rates. In fact, if the neighborhood has ever had issues with criminality, this will have an impact on your house resale value regardless of how much time has passed since then.
A crime or violent death in the house can have an even more negative impact. People simply don’t like to live in a house associated with terrible events.
But since federal and state laws vary in whether the seller must disclose issues related to the crime committed on the property or natural disasters, how to find out if your home was involved in such events? You could either check the archives and see if you can find anything or ask the neighbors, especially the elderly ones.
Age And Condition
How old your house is and how well it’s kept are two other things to consider. As a general rule, a home’s value drops with the years, but if it’s old enough, it might be considered a building with historical relevance, thus its resale value will increase.
That’s why houses from the beginning of the last century are more expensive than those from the 80s or 90s.
But just because the house has historical relevance doesn’t mean potential buyers are eager to buy it. If the property is in poor conditions and needs major renovation works, the resale value drops. On the contrary, real estate agents confess that buyers are eager to pay up to $15,000 more on a house that needs little to no renovations.
Talking about renovations, the state of the property matters, but don’t just start to throw your money on the latest model of kitchen cabinets.
The only renovations potential buyers will want to pay more for are those related to the utilities and conditions of the building itself. This means that if you have to repair your water pipes, replacing them with a new pipe system can boost the resale value of the property.
The same goes for the AC systems or restructuration works that improve the resistance and durability of the structure.
But renovations related to fittings and furniture might not impress potential buyers. You might like the retro style, but a potential buyer might not. You might be the only one who likes your personal taste. Don’t take it personally and avoid investing money on refurbishing your kitchen believing it will boost the value of your home.
Last but not least, the lot size can have a negative or positive impact on the home resale value. You might have the nicest house in the block, but if you have a negligible backyard and no front yard, your potential buyers might opt for the house next door, because it has a more appealing lot.
Now, this doesn’t mean you have to overpay for a house with a big lot and amazing landscape. Landscape, just like interior design, is subjective. So you could pay a fortune for features you plan to alter. If the landscape isn’t valuable for you and the owner asks a higher price because of it, try to negotiate or move on to another property.
Several factors have an impact on the resale value of a property. That’s why your choice should go beyond personal taste. Circumstances change, and you’ll find it easier to sell a property located in a good area and that has a great layout and characteristics. So, base your house hunting on what potential buyers might want if you want to invest in a house that’s worth it!