When buyers are asked what they are looking for when they begin the house hunting search, one answer we often hear is, “I want to find a home.” In other words, buyers are looking for a place they can settle, where they can raise their families and hopefully when they are ready to sell again, be able to profit. Homes are such a huge investment, both personally and financially, that it is imperative that buyers take a long-term view of a property.
Buyers spend an incredible amount of time online looking for housing properties, visiting open houses, and discussing their options with their real estate agents. The smart buyer is not only considering purchasing a home, but also, researching on what homes will give them the most bang for their buck. Here are a few things to consider while looking for homes:
1. Location: What would you rather have? A nice home with everything but in a tacky neighbourhood, or one that has the ugliest kitchen but in the nicest neighborhood? This should be easy. Buying a home, despite the fact that it needs some updating, in a highly coveted area, is a huge plus when you want to sell your home again. Remember, you can always update, but you can’t change your home’s location.
2. The school district: This is right up there with location. Regardless if you have children or not, buying a home in a good school district is always a good purchase. Homes tend to hold their value in desirable locations and school districts.
3. Walkability: This has become a more important factor with homebuyers than previously. People like to be able to walk to nearby stores, schools, work or public transportation. In fact, walking has become very big with homebuyers who are trying to drive less and travel by public transportation to save on rising fuel costs.
4. Crime: Well, this seems obvious, but buyers, pay attention to crime rates when you are looking at homes. By investigating a neighbourhood, you can check the latest crime figures and see if your area is relatively safe.
5. Best House on the Block: By buying the best home on the block, one that has been added to, updated and improved in every way, it’s difficult for your investment to grow, because there may not be any room for improvements. Statistics show that it’s better to buy the worst house on the block, than the best, because you can always improve and add value to a home in an already great location.
6. Neighbourhood Character: What is the overall feel of a neighbourhood? Do neighbours get along? Are there stray dogs running loose or trash cans left out for days on end? Always check out a neighbourhood throughout different times of the day and week. You may be surprised at what you see.
7. Fixer-Upper: If you are considering a fixer upper for a home, make sure you are up for the challenge and costs. Make sure you have the property inspected so you know what you are getting into. Also, make sure your intentions are good. Are you trying to get into a desirable neighbourhood and this is the only home in your budget available? Or do you really want a fixer upper because you enjoy this sort of renovation?
If you are unsure about what can maintain a home’s value, talk with your real estate agent. A good agent who understands the neighbourhood and community can advise you on the long-term value of the property. This is where it’s important to hire a professional agent who understands the business of home buying. Why else should you hire an experienced real estate agent?
1. Agents weed out the bad. Think of it this way, we take out the spam in your property search. We don’t waste your time looking at what you don’t want.
2. Neighbourhood Specialist: Don’t hire an agent that doesn’t know the area. At the very least, experienced agents work with other professionals, and we often rely on each other to gather information and the buzz about neighbourhoods that you desire. For instance, you may see online that a home you like is available. But we can tell you if it has any upgrades, how many offers have been made, and how long it has been on the market.
3. Negotiation: Experienced real estate agents are professionals trained to present their clients offer in the best possible light. We hold your information to the strictest of confidence and can work to get you the best deal for your home.
4. Paperwork: The paperwork is massive. One tiny mistake can cost our clients thousands of dollars, or an omission can land someone in court. Our job is to handle this.
5. Education: We know the business. If you hire an experienced and professional agent, then it shows that you don’t have to know everything about buying or selling your home, because you are in good hands. Follow the recommendations of friends, family and co-workers, do some online research, and find the agent that can best work for you.
6. Guidance: Finally, an agent will guide their clients to make the right choices for themselves. Concerned about a home in a new neighborhood? Can’t figure out why your home isn’t selling? A trusted agent can answer your questions. When making such a costly purchase, don’t you want someone working for you?