Where to Buy
For reasons ranging from resale value to convenience, location should be a prime consideration when looking for a home. You want to choose a neighborhood where your property will increase in value.
A home near a mill, a bar or even rental property seldom enhances the value of a home, while homes in growing communities can lead to potential wealth. If you are considering moving to a neighborhood you are not familiar with, ask your real estate representative to provide you with information about recreation facilities, shopping, schools and transportation routes.
Also inquire about future development plans in the area. A high-rise could go up across the street from you six months after you have moved in, thus blocking your view and decreasing the resale value of your home.
Find out if there are any major public projects proposed for the area in the future. Is the area prone to floods, mud slides or fires? What about noise and traffic? Explore the area to see how close you are to highways, playgrounds and garages. Are the neighboring areas zoned for residential use only? Visualize the neighborhood 10 years from now.
Bring Along a Check List
Once you have toured a few homes, you will probably forget which one had the extra bedroom and which one had the large back yard. So bring along a note pad or camera when you go house hunting.
Most listing agents at open houses will have a listing information sheet detailing number of rooms, square footage of lot and house, property taxes and condition of appliances and mechanical systems.
You will want to consider more than the size of the rooms and the color of the carpeting. It is important to look beyond the decorating and pay attention to the location, layout, and basic soundness and structure of the house.
Overall, when house shopping, keep in mind that you want to find an affordable home that suits your needs and lifestyle, and that it is located in a desirable, well-maintained neighborhood. And, no matter how much you like a house, always keep in mind its resale value.