Buying a Home in Massachusetts? Consider Resale Issues - Right up Front
The average home buyer in Massachusetts buys and sells a home every five to seven years. Whether your selling time will come that quickly or you are planning to keep your home longer, it is safe to assume that at some point you may need to sell your home.
The time to start planning for this eventuality is during the purchase phase. We all get caught up with emotion during a home purchase. And, why not – finding the right home is a lot like a love affair. Certain bells and whistles are going to go off when you see the right one.
All I’m saying is that practicality needs to be inserted into the process of home buying in Massachusetts and thoughts of resale are part of this equation.
The home you are in love with is also your investment and as such there are certain factors that could affect your ability to get the most for it when you need to.
Potential Resale Problems
Location – Of course, this is the biggest. Say the word three times and you have a real estate cliché. The town and the neighborhood can make or break your ability to sell your home down the road, particularly in a tough economy.
A Busy Street – Your pool of potential buyers will come largely from people with families and they usually feel safer in a neighborhood rather than on a heavily trafficked street. Sidewalks, cul de sacs and places for children to be able to play are high on the list for these home buyers.
Highway Noise – There are some lovely subdivisions in the Metrowest Massachusetts area but, unfortunately some of the homes in them back up to major highways. You may be relocating to the suburbs from New York City and find this level of noise acceptable. However, you need to keep in mind that this factor can be a huge detractor for resale value.
Lot size and Usability - Once again, with family buyers, most enjoy having a flat, usable lot where swing sets or even a pool can be installed. A steep drop off in back is not conducive to safety.
Unusual Easements or Restrictions – An easement should be disclosed to you in the listing and will also be recorded on the deed. Most easements do not affect your quality of life but you should be aware of them. They can include driveway easements, having to allow neighbors to cross your property, pipeline, utility or drainage easements.
Wetlands – For some people buying a home in Massachusetts the existence of wetlands behind or around the home may be considered a plus since it means that nothing can ever be built there. However, having wetlands on your property also means that you cannot build anything on it or disturb any of the vegetation.
Safety or Security Issues – Have there been break-ins or robberies in the neighborhood? Crime statistics can be checked through a number of services on the Internet.
Declining Values – There is a key problem in a community that has experienced a lot of foreclosures. Foreclosures in an area will bring down the values of the rest of the homes in the neighborhood.
The School System – This is a huge factor in the maintenance of property values. Even if you do not have children, the quality of the schools in the town you are moving into will greatly impact resale value. School ratings can be checked for any town in Massachusetts through Great Schools.
High Tension Wires – Electromagnetic fields have been a controversial issue over the years. Some studies have been done that have indicated danger - while other more recent studies have disputed the issue. Whether or not you believe in these studies the fact remains that high tension wires in close proximity to home can serve to stigmatize the property.
Strong, Highly-personal Decorating Choices – Particularly ones that are difficult or expensive to change are not helpful to the potential resale of a home. The best rule to follow, unless it’s the last house you will own, is to keep decorating neutral. Go wild and paint the bathroom purple if you want – paint can be changed. Items like wall tiles, wall-to-wall carpeting (I have seen bright pink carpets) and anything that is physically part of the home is best kept to a color that most people can live with.
Being in a Flood Zone – If your home is in a flood zone you will have to carry additional (flood) insurance. The cost for this is not a minor issue and will not go unnoticed to any potential home buyers down the road.
Enjoy your Massachusetts home hunting. Just remember about an “ounce of prevention” and plan ahead for your resale.
Copyright 2012 "Buying a Home in Massachusetts - Resale Issues"
This post was written by
Claudette Millette, Broker, Owner, The Buyers' Counsel - (508) 881-6230
An Exclusive Buyer Brokerage serving the Greater Metrowest area