6 Things That Increase Your Home’s Value Before You Even Buy

The attached article, from Chelsea Greenwood Lassman for apartment therapy, gives a good list of things to consider when buying a home but stops short of some finer points.
Location is always a major point to consider however, when you realize that someone lives in every house on busy streets, facing or backing to a school or retail, on a corner etc. what constitutes good location to one person is  good not to another. The main thing to focus on is price. At the right price any house will sell. If you choose to buy a house with an adverse location buy it at a good price so you can sell it at a good price.
Quality of schools, while another point to consider, should not be a major factor in your decision. Many buyers do not need a school or already sent their children to private school. Homes in an area where schools do not have a high rating  attract first time home buyers and scale down buyers where schools don’t matter. hey are often close to business districts making them an easy commute to work and entertaining.  Use this home to build equity to buy a home in a better school district when you need it,
Ensure values are increasing, This is where buyers get into trouble if not using a reputable, knowledgeable Realtor. They should provide you with all the pertinent information to make an informed decision on any home purchase you make.  Not only should you be provided a market analysis going back at least 6 months, but you should also look at the real estate history of that home, tax records, disclosures and any other documentation they can get their hands on. Again buying a home in a depressed area might be a good opportunity to improve the home and sell with a profit. In this case knowledge is power.
Similarity to neighboring houses, I agree with her assessment. You never want to be the “big kid in a little block”. Being one of the smaller houses is not necessarily a bad thing. Know that a one story home will usually sell for more per square foot than a 2 story home. It takes more money for a larger foundation (footprint) and roof to build a 1 story home. It also attracts a larger pool of buyers from young to old. 
History of the home, Unless you are buying a bank owned home (foreclosure) or an estate property, you should require the seller to give you a disclosure listing everything they know about the house. At a minimum every home buyer should hire an reputable independent home inspector to look at the house, provide a report and walk you through areas of concern.
Fees,  homeowner or property associations are not a bad thing. In many instances they cover things that would normally fall to the home owner to repair of keep up. The fee should be commiserate with the cost of said items. A buyer should never buy  into a homeowners association without receiving the bylaws and resale certificate outlining the financial condition of the association and any upcoming repairs that may increase fees. 
As I stated earlier, a good Realtor can guide through the home buying process helping to avoid some of these issues. Ask your friends and family for a referral to one they have worked with or be prepared to ask good questions to any Realtor you might meet, How long have you been a Realtor? How many homes have you sold? Could I call any of your clients to get their feedback? Do you have any testimonials from past clients I can look at?
Home buying can be stressful but it should also be a fun experience. Let us know if we can assist you in your home buying or in selling your home. Collectively the Dallas Native Group has over 30 years experience and has helped over 1600 families buy or sell their home. 
-Mary Beth Harrison 

While you’re in the process of house hunting, all you want to do is find a keeper, get the keys and settle into your new life. But it pays to think long-term when buying a home because you’re probably going to be selling it sometime in the future, and you want to get a good return on your investment. So, keeping certain factors in mind when purchasing a home is key to ensure that it has good resale value. Here, six things you should think about, according to professionals.

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(Image credit: Sean Locke Photography/Shutterstock)

Location

People always emphasize “location, location, location”—and for good reason. You can change many things about a house, but not where it’s located, so think wisely about where you’re buying. “If you choose a home in a desirable location, odds are that location will always attract a larger pool of home buyers,” says Thaddeus Wong, co-founder and co-owner of @properties in Chicago.

He also recommends taking into account the walkability of the area. Is the home close to schools, grocery stores, restaurants and parks? “These neighborhood amenities can all have a lasting impact on your home’s value,” he says.

Dottie Herman, CEO of Douglas Elliman, adds that it’s important to look at the quality of school districts. “The better the school district, the higher the value of the home,” she says. “School districts play an important factor in resale value.”

She also suggests taking a ride around the area to get a feel for it. “Make sure that the area does not have a large number of vacancies, businesses that are closing, or a large number of foreclosure signs, she says. “Ensure that values are increasing in this specific area.”

Lot and landscaping

A home’s value is often concentrated inside its walls, but curb appeal is a major factor when reselling. “If you’re purchasing a single-family home, pay attention to the size and shape of the front and back yards,” says Wong. If the home is overly landscaped, you might be paying more for something you won’t maintain. And even if you do opt for paying landscaping fees, that’s not money you’re guaranteed to get back when you sell. Stick to a house that’s sparsely or moderately landscaped, so you can easily make improvements to boost curb appeal.

Similarity to neighboring houses

While you want your home to stand out from the crowd, you also want to make sure it’s comparable to others in the neighborhood. “If yours is the only single-family home in an area populated by townhomes, it will be more challenging to assess resale possibilities and estimate what your home is worth,” Wong says.

It’s also wise to avoid buying the most expensive house in the neighborhood because less expensive homes will bring down the value, Herman says. “Conversely, if you buy a lower-price home in a more expensive area, houses that are more expensive will bring up the value of the home.” This phenomenon is known as functional obsolescence.

Interior layout

Although renovations can be made to change the layout of a home, they are time-consuming and costly. So try to find a space that’s appealing and flexible. “Most home buyers prefer natural light and open spaces, so pay attention to the layout of the home,” Wong says. “An open-concept design can look much more spacious than a home with a choppy floor plan.” Although some believe the number of bedrooms can influence a home’s value, he adds that having a few large bedrooms may be more appealing to future buyers.

History of the home

When you’re considering a house, it’s important to look beyond aesthetics. A home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, so you want to make sure you’re fully informed of its history and that it’s physically sound, from roof to foundation.

“Ask the tough questions,” Wong says. “You’ll want to know if the home floods easily, has suffered from mold or was damaged in a fire.” While you might be okay with your house’s complicated history, it could cause future buyers to turn away.

Fees

Whether you’re buying a condo or a single-family home, you may have to pay fees on a regular basis, such as homeowner association or condo fees. Keep in mind that such fees can deter future buyers if they’re too costly, says David Rosen, a real estate agent with Douglas Elliman in New York City.

Wong says it’s also important to determine whether the community or building you’re considering is in good financial standing with plenty of money earmarked for unexpected costs. If not, you’re more likely to pay special assessments (extra fees required to pay for unexpected community projects, like landscaping or a new pool), which could also turn off potential future buyers.

 

 

Information Courtesy of Chelsea Greenwood Lassman Jun 1, 2018

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