Usually when you enter the house buying market, you and your family are looking for a place to call home for the foreseeable future. You don’t often consider selling at the same time as buying, but in today’s complicated real estate market that’s probably a mistake. Contemplating the day you’ll sell before you’ve even chosen a new home may sound crazy, but it’s the only way to insure that the house is an investment. And it’s simply too much money to put down not to think of it that way. Selling your home twenty years down the line may be what helps get you through retirement, or pay for your children’s college educations. Here are five ways to insure that you purchase a home with good resale value.
First of all, avoid homes with built-in pools. That may sound counterintuitive. After all, isn’t a pool a nice amenity? Especially in these hot days of summer, there may be nothing better than jumping into your very own pool for a quick cool down session. But pools don’t actually increase the resale value of a home. They’re expensive to maintain, and will drastically cut down the market you’ll find for reselling the home. Most people don’t want to pay for the maintenance.
If you’re flush with cash, you might decide to look at the largest homes in a given neighborhood. But picking up the most expensive home on the block will hinder your resale further down the line. Everyone knows that location is the most important consideration in real estate. So you should always pick a good neighborhood, or an area that’s on the way up. The largest home there will only get more expensive, and therefore harder to sell. You should look at homes in the middle of the pack. In fact, it’s often the smallest house on the block that carries the largest resale value.
When it comes to floor plans, awkward is never a good thing. You’ll want the space to flow freely from room to room, without a lot of sharp, difficult corners. Open floor plans have been all the rage for quite some time, and that doesn’t seem to be changing. It’s obviously a great idea for your comfort and for the resale value to find a place with at least two bedrooms and two bathrooms. But regardless of the number, just make sure every room is laid out well, with a clean plan and good lines.
Think about the neighborhood once again, and whether it is likely to attract a large number of potential buyers. Competition for your home will jack up the price, so you don’t want a neighborhood that is too specialized. Most people looking to buy a house have growing families, so think about the quality of the school district even if you don’t have children yourself. Are there proper municipal offerings? Are the public works up to date, and the parks attractive? The safer and more attractive the neighborhood, the better your resale value will be.
Finally, consider the property taxes. Anyone can use a discount real estate broker when shopping for a home, but there’s no way to save money on each year’s tax bill. This is a tricky one, because the property taxes are sure to tie in to the quality of the neighborhood. But higher property taxes mean a higher mortgage payment, and that will certainly dissuade many buyers. Even if they want to purchase your home they may try to lower your asking rate, so they have more left over to pay those taxes. Find a balance, and you’ll be in good shape.