Buying a house or condo is more than simply purchasing a place to live. It is an investment and to treat it as such you should learn more about the factors that can lead to a property’s value appreciating. Between the different factors that determine real estate prices and market fluctuations, there is no absolute certainty that your investment will appreciate. However, there are indicators that will minimize your risk and increase your chances of getting a great return on your investment.
The surrounding area of the property you are considering buying is a major determinant of the property’s value. Is the property facing an ocean, abandoned buildings, a lake, undeveloped land or a shopping mall? If there is undeveloped land nearby, can you find the plans for the property? Your property’s value may not appreciate if a nice open lot nearby turns into a casino or a strip mall rather than a park. Remember when you are buying a house or condo you are buying more than just the walls, floors and ceilings, you are investing in the impression it and the area around it gives off. You’ll want to explore the area by car and by foot and see how you feel. Visit the closest grocery store and nearby plazas and parks.
Research the closest elementary, middle and high schools. Even if you are not planning on having children, this is important because future home buyers will be and the quality of the closest schools is an indicator of the area. If you are planning on having kids, stop by the schools. Talk to teachers and see if you would be happy sending your kids there. The rating of schools can be the factor that attracts buyers or pushes them to another area so do your research.
Aside from walking around the neighborhood and the surrounding area, you should do your research on the amount of crime nearby. Is it a safe neighborhood? Are there registered sex offenders living too close to the property? See how far the police station and fire department are from the property and stop by and ask about the area and the specific neighborhood. The last thing you want is to move in and not feel safe in your home and not be able to make your money back if you sell it.
How does the house look walking by? This can go both ways because if it doesn’t look great then you can improve it to increase the value of the home. If it’s already attractive from the outside, then you’ll simply have to maintain it. Landscaping can make or break a first impression so if this is something the property is lacking consider how much you would have to invest to improve it and maintain it over the years.
Besides the view from the street, consider the attractiveness of the inside of the home and what changes, if any, you will do. New floors, recessed lights, open floor plan, etc. can all increase the value of the home. How old are the appliances and light fixtures? Consider the cost of investing in the property by updating appliances and improving the aesthetics.
Up And Coming Area
What future plans does the city have for that area? New parks? Malls? Visit the city website and try to find more information about new development projects. You should be able to find details online that can provide a better understanding of the city’s priorities and its future. If you find great plans in the works for the city then it’s a good sign for the value of the property to increase over time.
The Price of The House
The biggest mistake you can make when buying a house or condo is not negotiating the price with the seller. The real estate market is constantly shifting between a seller’s market and a buyer’s market. If possible, consider waiting to buy a property when the market is cold and in the buyer’s advantage. Chances are the seller will come down on their price since they know there are less active buyers. Additionally, the sellers may have listed it for well above what their minimum price is to begin with. Do research on the area and the prices of recently sold properties and have your realtor do the same. If you find that a comparable property was recently sold for less than the asking price, then you can confidently offer to buy it for less. Paying the right price for a property is a big factor when it comes to creating a solid return on your investment. Read this to find out how much house you can afford so that you get the best property for your budget.
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