Before picking out a home, there are many factors you should pay close attention to, not only for yourself, but because you intend to eventually sell the home to someone else. Carefully choosing your community can help maximize your future potential resale value.
Even if you do not have school-age children or do not intend to have children, you should pay attention to the local school system. When you sell the property, many of your potential buyers will have concerns of this nature.
Homes with a view often sell at a premium above similar homes without a view.
Lot & Landscaping
Even though most real estate value is concentrated in the building, the lot is important, too. Level lots are the most desirable to buyers. Assuming the property is in a typical neighborhood, the lot should be rectangular. Odd shaped lots or oddly situated lots are harder to sell because use can be limited.
Yard sizes are and can be important for entertaining and raising families. Yards can be scarce in the city, so anytime you can find a house with a yard, patio and gardens, it will be more desirable.
An overly landscaped yard will cost you a premium. 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.
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 desirable neighborhood.
Bedrooms & Baths
Three and four bedroom houses are the most popular among homebuyers. If you can stick in the 3 to 4 bedroom range you will have more potential buyers when it comes time to resell.
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, Laundry & Storage
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. Don’t forget space for linens and towels.
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.
The kitchen is the most important room in the house. Family activity and entertainment centers around the kitchen. Larger kitchens are better, and they should be provided with modern appliances. 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.
A great kitchen will have easy access to the back yard, as there will be occasions for barbecues and outdoor entertaining. In addition, the kitchen should be easily accessible to the garage so hauling groceries in from the car does not become a horrendous chore.
Consider a Cosmetic Fixer & Improve
Buyers shy away from cosmetically unattractive properties (the reason that so many homes are staged before marketing). An ugly duckling can often be improved with simple and inexpensive enhancements. You may find value in replacing a bad paint job, removing carpets to refinish hardwoods or overlooking clutter that can be removed. Reap the benefits on future resale value.