Real estate is all about location, location, location. Consider both your needs and those of future buyers.
- Schools – One of the largest determinants of property values is the school district. It is an oversight to ignore the school district, as future buyers will most certainly take it into consideration.
- Amenities – Access to parks, lakes, trails, the arts, sporting events, dining, etc. can all add value to a piece of property.
- Neighbors – Pay attention to the neighborhood and the neighbors. Owning the nicest home in a lousy neighborhood is often a money losing proposition.
- Zoning – Check the zoning around the property. If a vacant lot next door is zoned commercial your home could suddenly sit next to a large industrial building.
- Crime - Review crime statistics for the neighborhood and general area.
- Noise – Spend time in the neighborhood at different times each day to determine noise levels (traffic, planes, trains, etc.).
- Accessibility – Review access to roads, highways, bike trails, and public transit. Certain areas can become very difficult to access during rush hour or on weekends, which is not something that may be immediately obvious during the buying process
Make a list of home features that are must haves and non-starters. Keep a clear focus on wants versus needs, and remember that some projects can happen over time. To the latter point, an existing bathroom may not be ideal, but it could be perfectly functional for the time being. The more rigid the list of must haves, the more limited the options and the more likely you are to miss a good value.
Lastly, maintain a long-term focus on family needs. Often, families will purchase based on what they need in the moment, while losing sight of the long term. This often occurs with square footage, bathrooms, and bedrooms. Kids grow into young adults with friends and their own needs for space. The home that worked when the kids were small can become impossible when there are five adults trying to share a bathroom. Ultimately, moving is exceptionally expensive. Purchasing a home that only meets family needs in the near term, and being forced to move down the road is often more costly than purchasing a home that can meet needs long term.
This is not a recommendation and is not intended to be taken as a recommendation. This material was prepared for general distribution and is not directed to a specific individual.
LPWM LLC does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisers.