You may not be in the market (yet) to buy another home, but when you do, here are nine things to consider. And if you are selling your home, these things also apply.
1. Good View = Higher Price: The view really doesn’t matter. It could be a pond. A view of a mountain or valley. The rule of thumb is that you can expect to pay a higher price.
2. Sold AS IS: Sellers will sometimes negotiate the price or give a dollar concession rather than put the home back on the market and start all over again.
3. Gated community: It might have a gate—but what does that really mean? Can anyone push a button to open the gate? Or is there a special card or access code to gain entry? If security is an issue, it pays to find out.
4. Curb appeal: If the yard is neglected, the weeds are taking over or the outside paint job is fading, the inside is usually neglected too. Get a home inspection and be especially careful to look for hidden maintenance items.
5. Check the area for crime: It’s still about location, location, location! You can get crime stats from your local police or sheriff’s department.
6. Check out the school system: Same as above. In addition, use the Internet to do some of your own research to compare it to other schools in your area (including private schools).
7. Don’t buy into the “marketing” fluff: Beware of descriptions such as “cozy, cute, fixer-upper, charming,” etc. Pay more attention to the “facts”!
8. Lowest price in the neighborhood: This is a red flag because people usually don’t sell at a lower price because they don’t need the money. It’s priced low because of some other issue.
9. Don’t believe what you read: Remember that the real estate agent is the one who creates the marketing strategies – and it’s all in the way they “perceive” it. So if you are interested in the home, go ahead and view it, but make your own decision. (If you are selling, ask to review the listing information before it is published.)