Leaping Tall Buildings to Find the Right Property? Tips to Make It Simple! Main Idaho Real Estate Insights

Whether you are shopping for a real estate investment to use as your personal residence or as a property for rental income, the housing marketing is hot with both great opportunities and pitfalls when it comes to home buying. Learning where to find the best deal and how to avoid assuming many of the problems that can come with a bad sale is a matter of planning and following a few important steps.

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Location Is Everything

We are sure you have heard that saying before. When it comes to real estate valuation (the price you pay and the potential for the home to appreciate in value) few things matter more than the location of the property. Whether the neighborhood is desirable will determine everything when you are searching for and purchasing your next property.

Things to look for:

  • Amenities in the surrounding neighborhood also have an impact on property value. Is the home within walking distance to major conveniences such as retail stores, restaurants, schools or recreational facilities? The more the neighborhood offers the higher the demand for homes in the area, making your home in demand also when you choose to resell.
  • Condition of neighborhood properties and general feel or congeniality of the residential area has a high impact on price. For instance, if you are on a good street with well maintained homes and good neighbors, your home should retain its value. However if it is a mixed neighborhood or features homes that are run-down or poorly managed, or if your neighborhood has a disproportionate amount of renters, it can negatively impact the appreciation potential of your property.

When it comes to shopping for your residential property, the linear footage (or depth and width of the property) matter. The more land you own the greater the opportunity for the home and parcel to appreciate in value. Everyone loves space and the freedom to express themselves with landscaping and gardens. Aim for the biggest sized lot your budget can afford for the best return on your investment.

But it is not just the property size that matters but also the principal square footage of the home. According to the National Association of Home Builders, by 2015 the average American home will have decreased in size to 2,152 square feet from the national average of 2,438 square feet. That is still a big home when you think of it, but when shopping for your next home ensure that the size of the property is not dramatically less than what the average home owner would want. No one wants to be stuck with a house they can’t sell because everyone thinks it is "too small"

Things to look for:

  • Length versus width may vary depending on the area. Urban centers more frequently provide narrow building lots for homes or resale homes on the market. A coveted property in a city is one that has both width and depth where possible, but a wide property is preferred with more street frontage and curb appeal.
  • A home with three or more bedrooms is standard now in North America. Two bedroom homes are more difficult to sell. Most couples will have one to two children or prefer to convert one room into a guest room or a formal office. Buying a two bedroom home (particularly if your neighborhood boasts mostly three or four bedroom homes) will limit the resale value of your home and increase the length of time it takes to sell.
  • Two bathrooms are mandatory for most modern home buyers with three bathrooms being the preference in the average sized residential home. One bathroom homes do sell in every market, however at a much lower price according to Garden Web (The Internet’s Largest Home and Garden Community).

Investing in an Older Home

Taking on the renovation or purchase of an older home is something that many first home buyers should be wary off. While a home that requires repair may seem like a good deal with a far lower purchase price than other options in a desirable neighborhood, the odds of running into an infamous “money pit” is high.

While making capital improvements to things like paint, drywall and fixtures or cabinets are considered cosmetic, many older homes have structural issues that can require a substantial investment. Unstable foundations or truss roofing, dated windows which are not energy efficient and even plumbing problems which are consistent with older structures can present a big expense for repair and renovation.

Things to look for:

  • Uneven flooring can be a sign of shifting foundation and more serious structural problems with an older home.
  • Evaluate the windows and doors for energy efficiency. A poorly insulated home can dramatically increase your heating or cooling bills on a monthly basis, and increase your living costs dramatically.
  • Examine the insulation in older homes. Was it replaced recently? Be on guard for heritage homes that may still have asbestos or other carcinogenic forms of insulation within the attic, around plumbing or inside the walls.

Always have a home inspector assess any property you are interesting in placing an offer on. If purchasing a new home, also ensure that you investigate the home builder and visit previous communities they have built. This will also give you an impression of the level of craftsmanship and quality, and a preview of what to expect in years to come with your own new home.

For more good advice check out “The 7 Top Home-Buying Mistakes You Should Avoid” by Forbes Magazine, which provides more tips on avoiding pitfalls when making your real estate purchase. Remember that purchasing your home is one of the most important financial decisions you will ever make. It pays to be educated before you purchase to avoid buyers regret and other financial fallout from a bad real estate investment. Take your time and leave no stone unturned when it comes to choosing the right home for you.

By Frank Pipolo

Posted by tlangford at 10/25/2013 12:15:00 PM
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