With all of the real estate listings in Windsor Ontario, how do you find a property that makes a good home? Buyers come to us and they are looking for a house that they can connect with. They want to “find a home.” They are looking for a place to make memories, perhaps raise children and when ready to sell, make a decent profit. Certainly, purchasing a property is a huge investment. Not only financially, but personally as well.
Most buyers do plenty of research before buying a home. They look online, visit open houses and discuss their budgets and options with their real estate agent. This is the smart buyer. They understand and desire a home that will give them most everything they want, while willing to compromise if necessary.
When looking at real estate listings in Windsor Ontario, how can you be a smart buyer? It’s important to know what to compromise on and what not to. The following should not be.
Ask yourself this: Would you rather have a home that the sellers have updated and has everything you need, such as square footage, open floor plan, stunning kitchen and plenty of large bedrooms yet the home is in a not so nice area. Or would you select a home that is in need of updating yet in a highly coveted area with excellent schools? If you picked the latter, then you are being a smart buyer. Why? Because location really is everything. You can always update, but you can’t take a home out of a sketchy neighbourhood. When it’s time to sell again, being in the right location will guarantee you bigger dollars.
2. School District:
Again, whether you have children or not, buying a home in a good school district is a huge plus. Homes tend to hold their value that are within award-winning schools. Much like location, always try to find a home with excellent schools nearby.
If you look at several real estate websites, you will see that many list “Walkability” next to the housing information. Why is this? Because more and more homebuyers want to walk to nearby schools, shopping, entertainment or public transportation. With rising fuel costs, buyers are using their own cars less and like to walk whenever they can.
Surprisingly, there are those buyers that don’t ask about crime rates in the home they are considering. It’s important to investigate the neighbourhood to determine if you are buying in an area that is safe. Ask neighbours as well as checking with your real estate agent if this is an area where concern may be warranted.
5. Buying the best home on the block:
Let’s go back to the scenario that I used when discussing the importance of a home’s location. If a house is the very best one on the block, which means it has been added on, improved, updated in every single way, and dwarfs the other homes on the block, you may think you have hit the jackpot! But it’s very difficult for a seller to get their money back on the majority of improvements, especially if surrounding homes look lackluster in comparison. The property can often stand out and not in a good way, but more like a dinosaur. Statistics show that it is better to buy the worst house on the block in the best neighbourhood, than the best property in a so-so area.
If you are looking at homes that need some work, make sure you are up for the challenge. And don’t forget to add in what it will cost to make these improvements and add a bit more to the budget as it is rare that projects ever come in under your estimates. Buying a fixer-upper is a good way to get into a desirable neighbourhood that normally exceeds your budget, however, you must consider if it is worth it because of repair costs. Also, if you must make improvements slowly, are you able to live in a home that is dated? This is often difficult for first time homebuyers who are coming from nice apartments.
7. Neighbourhood Character:
Always get the feel for the neighbourhood. Are homes maintained? Is landscaping desirable on your block? Do the neighbours appear to get along and is it kid friendly? Always check on a neighbourhood at different times during the day and night. Do the next door neighbours park their cars on the front yard? Do they like to keep late nights? It’s amazing what you can find throughout a day.
Again, if you are unsure about a home maintaining its value, discuss it with your real estate agent and get their opinion. An agent who understands the area can advise you on the long-term value of a property.