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. Although, a view is desirable especially in the Portland, the nest person to purchase your home pay not be willing to pay the extra cash you paid for it. 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 on this part of the investment.
Lot and Landscaping
Curb appeal is what brings potential buyers into the house. The curb appeal start with the landscaping and the look of the house. So, if the homes lacks curb appeal and you don't have plans to change the landscaping while you are living there, realize this will be an obstacle in resale.
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 - 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. Obstacles in resale would be a huge front yard and no back yard, a swimming pool that takes up the whole yard, not front yard and the house is located on a double yellow lined road, no back yard and there is a convenience store located behind the house, etc.
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 desirable neighborhood.
Bedrooms and Bathrooms
Three and four bedroom houses are 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. With so many home based business additional bedrooms are an asset, most home buyers want to dedicate an entire room to the computer/office area.
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. 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, 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, many new homes have the laundry room located on the bedroom level. Making it easy and convenient to carry the laundry to and from the bedrooms.
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. The great room floor plan is extremely popular with buyers recently, which is where the living room and kitchen and joined together.
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. Gas fireplaces are very popular so if you have a wood burning fireplace converting to a gas start or complete gas fireplace would help increase 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 investment.
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.
For more detailed information on how to get more "bang out of your buck" when it comes to home improvement, please don't hesitate to call. With my 30+ years of experience in remodeling homes, I can confidently advise you on how to strategize your next rehab project!
I look forward to hearing from you,