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Buying a Home With Resale
Value - the House
Buying a Home With a View
Homes with a pleasant view of the horizon often sell at a
premium above similar homes without the view. However, if a
view is important to you, buy it mostly for your own pleasure
and not as an investment. Though you may place a considerable
dollar value on the view, future buyers may not be so
like-minded. It may take you longer to find a buyer when it
comes time to resell the house. Or you may end up dropping
your price to more nearly match other sales prices in the
In short, if you are buying a house with a view, try to pay
as little extra as possible. Otherwise, you might not get
your money back.
Lot and Landscaping
Even though most real estate value is usually concentrated in
the building, the lot is important, too. Obviously, it should
be as level as possible. Assuming the property is in a
typical neighborhood, the lot should be rectangular Ė no odd
shaped lots or oddly situated lots.
Yard sizes are smaller in modern homes than in older homes,
but there should still be a decently sized front and back
yard. Do not buy a house where the entire back yard is taken
up by a swimming pool, for example.
Do not purchase an over-landscaped property, either. You
would normally pay a premium for that, which you may not be
able to recover when you sell. You will get your best value
if the house is moderately landscaped or under-landscaped for
the area. You can always improve the landscaping during your
ownership by improving the grass and adding bushes and trees.
Just do not spend too much.
In each residential neighborhood, houses will vary in size
and rooms, but they should not be too different. If resale
value is an important consideration, you should not buy the
largest model in the neighborhood. When determining market
value, the homes nearest to yours are most important. If most
of the nearby houses are smaller than your house, they can
act as a drag on appreciation.
On the other hand, if you buy a small or medium house for the
neighborhood, the larger homes can help pull up your value.
This is one of those times where determining your "wants"
versus your "needs" can be extremely important. Buying what
you need in a more prestigious neighborhood may provide more
financial reward than getting what you want in a less
Bedrooms and Bathrooms
Three and four bedroom houses are the most popular among
homebuyers, so if you can stick in that range you will have
more potential buyers when it comes time to resell. Five is
okay, too, as long as you do not have to pay too much extra
for the additional bedroom.
There should always be at least two bathrooms in a house,
preferably at least two and a half. One bathroom with a place
to wash up for day-to-day visitors, one for the master
bedroom, and at least one to be shared by the other bedrooms.
Closets, Garages and Laundry
Walk-in closets are extremely desirable for the master
bedroom. For the rest of the house, just be sure there is
plenty of closet space. Donít forget space for linens and
Garages add to the resale value and you should always make
sure to get at least a two-car garage. Lately, three-car
garages have become desirable in some areas of the country.
The laundry facilities should be located somewhere convenient
on the main floor of the house, but not in a place it will
create an eyesore. Think about whether you want to walk up
and down stairs when carrying loads of laundry.
Family activity centers around the kitchen, so this is the
most important room of the house. Larger kitchens are better,
and they should be provided with modern appliances.
Obviously, the dining room and breakfast nook should be
located adjacent to the kitchen. In newer houses, the family
room should also be extremely close to the kitchen.
There should be easy access to the back yard, as there will
be occasions for barbecues and outdoor entertaining. In
addition, it should be a short trek between the garage to the
kitchen so hauling groceries in from the car does not become
a horrendous chore.
The only room where you absolutely have to have a fireplace
is the family room. A fireplace in the living room may be
nice, but you pay extra for it and will probably rarely use
it. At best, it serves as a focal point of the living room,
but does not add much in real value.
Swimming pools do not provide as much added value as they
once did. Safety issues about families with younger children
have become more publicized than in the past, so families
with small children tend to avoid homes with pools. As a
result, having a pool may actually reduce the number of
potential homebuyers when you try to resell the home.
Buy a home with a pool for your own enjoyment, not as an
Since we are on the subject of swimming pools, here is a word
of advice: If you want a pool, buy a home that already has a
pool. Paying a contractor to install one for you is like
throwing money away. You will never get a dollar-for-dollar
return on your investment