Buying your first home is a very emotional experience. A home represents security, accomplishment, a new place to create lasting memories with those you love and a sanctuary from the busy world. Knowing a first home may meet your needs for a limited period of time, it is wise to shop with several resale factors in mind. Looking for a home keeping in mind not only your needs, but also what will attract future buyers to your home, will ensure your success. Here are a few of my thoughts and tips.
1.) Take advantage of all that William Raveis has to offer (a bit of a shameless plug!) on our information-packed site, raveis.com. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you will enjoy the ease at which you can search for properties using Find A Home, look at sold property data and area information such as schools, and assess key comparables using our local housing data feature, updated in real-time. In addition, enjoy our award-winning mortgage services and working with our skilled realtors! This will certainly give you an edge when you are buying that first, perfect home!
2.) Buy with the schools in mind even if you don’t have children. You may have a choice of ten towns but purchasing in a town with a good school system is always a wise move. Read up on school rankings and test scores and talk to parents in the town you want to live in. There are many web sites to help as well, such as www.schooldigger.com.
3.) Go for a neighborhood over a busy street or country road if possible. Buying in a great neighborhood will be a real asset when selling your home as neighborhoods appeal to a broader selection of buyers.
4.) Consider the style of the home. Classic Colonials and Capes tend to be appealing to a greater number of buyers than Ranches, Multi-levels or Split-level homes.
5.) Check to see if there are factors that will impact the resale value of your home. For example, due to all of the rain we had in 2010, more homes have been placed in flood zones. It is not the end of the world to live in a flood zone, but the insurance can be costly and another buyer may not even look at your home because of it. There are other factors like radon that can impact the resale value. Having a great realtor who will help you navigate these issues is key.
6.) Consider new trends that add value to a home. For example, homes within walking distance of amenities such as schools, parks and shopping are worth more than homes that are located further away, according to some recent studies. This is known as “walkability.” You can check a home’s rating by visiting www.walkscore.com.
7.) Speaking of trends, energy efficiency is another one to watch. Buying an energy efficient home (or even an Energy-Star home) can save you lots of money. Future buyers enjoy saving on utility bills too. At the very least, when you move into a new home, have a free energy audit to determine cost-cutting measures. Visit Energy Star’s Home Energy Audits site for more information.
8.) Make sure your realtor recommends a very knowledgeable and skilled home inspector. Buying a home with cosmetic issues that you can live with is ok. Buying a home with uncorrected structural issues is not