Finding the Perfect Home for your family takes time and efforts, but should you be thinking about selling it at the same time?
You may hear from your real estate agent that a home is in a good neighborhood with a history of value appreciation, but give it more attention than that. You’ll be given lots of information and numbers to indicate the value of a home you’re considering and the appropriate first offer price. What you may not get is help with walking in a future buyer’s shoes when you are ready to sell the home. Are they going to see it as the perfect home?
One of the homes you like is great for your young family’s lifestyle. You like the idea of a two-story house, having the children on one floor and the adults on another. It’s great for privacy and maybe even some peace for more sleep. Consider though that America is experiencing an aging population. When you’re ready to sell in five to ten years, will your potential pool of buyers be cut in half because many are of an age that they do not want to negotiate a staircase?
How about the local zoning; any recent changes?
Neighborhoods close to the urban center are popular because they are close to work in many businesses located downtown. Unfortunately, sometimes as populations grow and there is more demand for office and business space, zoning changes will allow property owners to convert residences to offices or professional space. That isn’t great for property values, so pay attention to any businesses in your favorite residential area.
Use the careful and in-depth research done by chain stores and big business to your benefit as well. That popular, brand-new subdivision is filling up with houses that have all of the bells and whistles younger buyers want these days. But what about that nearby commercial building, or new construction of department stores and other large businesses?
Before a prominent chain or big-box store moves into an area, they do months of research into a neighborhood and resident demographics, checking incomes, employment, spending habits and more. If there aren’t any new structures going up for strip malls and shopping nearby, then maybe you should think twice. If the businesses do not see opportunity, the neighborhood may never fill or appreciate as well as other areas.
Can the home be upsized with an addition later?
You may also want to consider that a somewhat roomier house could be substantially better for resale down the road. That hot new subdivision that’s filling up with young buyers and couples is probably built to attract that group. Smaller first homes dominating a development are adequate when they’re all new and marketed to the right buyer group. Five to 10 years later, they may be tougher to sell; they may sell at lower-than-anticipated values because that area is no longer in favor with the original buyer group. Older buyers or larger families may not even give it a look.
Can the home be enlarged with an addition later? Whether you want to or not, a house that can be up sized or fitted out for a mother-in-law suite or short-term rental unit could command a higher selling price down the road. Unfortunately, it’s not just about the lot size and room for expansion. The homeowners association (HOA), covenants, and restrictions could make it impossible, even if there is room for an addition. You’ll receive a copy of all contracts and limitations in the purchase process, and it’s worth the time to go through them to see what you can and cannot do.
If you’ve found the perfect home that you love, then worrying about this stuff may not be something you want to do. If you have some choices though, you may want to consider these tips, as they can make thousands of dollars in profits when you sell.