Given the current state of the economy, for all of you home buyers out there, I’m guessing that, when you do find a home you’re going to purchase, that you want to find one that won’t lose value. You’ll want to look for features that will appeal to a seller when you do go to sell, whether that’s in one year or 20. Here’s a quick list of features in homes that won’t lose value in a recession.
1. Choose a single-family home. Sure, you may be starting out and want something small, preferably a condo. However, in a worse economy, condos and townhomes lose their value more quickly than a single-family home. So ask your Realtor to help you find a smaller detached home. I have sold many first-time buyers one- or two-bedroom single-family homes, which was just the right size for their needs.
2. Keep carrying costs low. When you do go to buy, make sure you find a property that is well-maintained and one that doesn’t require a lot of work over time, especially if you don’t plan to stay long. New buyers get scared with all the costs of a mortgage, taxes, insurance, and maintenance, so whatever you can do to keep costs low will help you in the long run. Here’s another tip. If you see a problem, such as water dripping from the roof, make sure to take care of it BEFORE it turns into a large hole, which will just cost you more money because you waited.
3. Know your market. Certain markets will never lose much value because they are important to certain segments of the population. For example, a home within walking distance of the Metra in the Chicago suburbs is a great feature for commuters heading into the city. A home with a swimming pool is going to sell quicker than one without in Arizona.
4. Keep your kitchen and bathroom up to date. As I have mentioned in the past, if you’re going to update or remodel any room in your home, these are the two to focus on. These are the biggest rooms that “sell” a house. Try to include appliances if you can. Many first-time buyers don’t have these at their disposal, and it’s another thing that will help keep their costs down. If you must take yours with you, consider offering an appliance credit instead.
I hope these tips help both potential buyers and sellers. And to all my readers, have a very Happy Thanksgiving! Visit me online.