As the real estate industry grows, home buyers have become spoiled for choice. Looking at online home listings and working with a competent realtor, you have the world at your fingertips. With so many options available, you will want to consider your real estate priorities carefully. Consider how the following important factors might affect your decision-making as you search for your ideal property.
LOCATION AND NEIGHBORHOOD
According to data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), just over 50% of home buyers see their future home for the first time on the internet. It is no wonder why most home searches begin on the internet, as online listings make it easy to see a wide variety of real estate in any geographic area you’d like. When beginning your online home search, there are a few things to be aware of. First of all, online listings just show you a particular home, but not necessarily the street or neighborhood in which that home is located. Also, modern listings often use professional photography, sometimes with additional technology such as virtual staging. Here and there, you may even see illustrations in lieu of photography. Therefore, you will want to check out a home in person before becoming too invested in the idea of buying it.
Families with kids will typically be interested in researching the local schools. Whether or not you have kids, you may also be interested in the walkability of a neighborhood or the available public transportation. Consider also whether you would like to live in a strictly residential neighborhood or an area with more things to do.
Most home buyers today are looking for detached single-family homes, townhomes, or condominiums. Detached single-family homes are a great option for families as well as those seeking more space. However, this type of home comes with a lot of responsibility. You have to consider not only the home’s interior but also the exterior maintenance and landscaping. Townhomes and condos are great for single people and smaller families. These options can offer a lot of luxury without the hassle of maintaining a large single-family home. Different areas have different mixes of property types. For instance, you would not expect to find many condominiums in the middle of the country or single-family homes in the financial district of a major city. Talk to your realtor if you’d like to learn more about the property types available in your desired area.
SQUARE FOOTAGE, LOT SIZE, AND LAYOUT
Modern homes can vary widely in terms of their size and layout. Lot sizes vary from a small fraction of an acre in an urban area to any number of acres in the country, with everything in between available depending on your budget and where you are looking. Determining your ideal lot size, square footage, and number of floors will help you to narrow down your home search. While, as a general rule, you will pay more for more space, the price of a home is not proportional to its size in any fixed ratio. This is because the value of homes also depends upon their location, age, features, and condition.
ou may have certain features in mind when you are purchasing a home. However, you can be flexible about this aspect of the home search if you keep in mind the potential to make renovations later. Generally, it is possible to add something like a pool or a deck to a home as long as the size, layout, and local regulations permit. Internal features of a home, such as the appliances, paint, molding, and flooring, can almost always be changed. Therefore, if a particular feature is essential to you, you do not necessarily want to rule out homes that don’t have that feature. What you should do is look into whether or not it will be feasible to add some of your desired features later and determine what the cost would be.
Home buyers approach the market with a variety of goals and strategies in mind. You may be buying a residence for long-term occupancy, a rental property for income, or a property that you plan to renovate and flip. If you are interested in purchasing a home for the purpose of deriving income or reselling later, then market conditions may factor more heavily into your decision-making. If you are new to the market and are looking to invest in real estate for the purpose of generating cash flow, you will definitely want to consult with your realtor in order to ensure that you have all of the information and tools that you need for this purpose.
Homeowners associations (also called neighborhood associations or HOAs) are contractually attached to modern homes. You should consider carefully how the presence or absence of an HOA factors into your decision-making. The pros of an HOA have to do mostly with the protection of your property’s value. Think about it: you could do everything right as a homeowner, but what if your neighbors allow their property to fall apart? This would drag down the value of your home to some degree, as a nice home is less valuable in a bad neighborhood. This is the basic logic behind why many homeowners value belonging to an HOA. HOAs set simple, sensible rules for property use and modifications that help to preserve the value and reputation of a neighborhood. On the other hand, the restrictions and costs associated with an HOA constitute the cons that turn off some buyers who would like to have more control over their property. Fortunately, HOA fees are generally proportional to the value of a home, and regulations are not usually unreasonable relative to what most homeowners would like to do with their homes.
WORKING WITH A GREAT REALTOR SHOULD BE YOUR TOP PRIORITY
The ultimate non-negotiable in planning any real estate purchase is to work with an excellent realtor who can help you to meet your goals. Lauryn Dempsey is a Colorado realtor specializing in luxury homes for sale in Westminster, CO. Her listings of Westminster homes for sale are a great starting point for your online home search, and her team can give you the advice and guidance you need in order to narrow down your search. Check out the Dempsey Group’s portfolio of featured listings to see high-end Denver, Boulder, and Westminster homes for sale, as well as other properties in the surrounding area. Contact Lauryn Dempsey and her team when you are ready to set your priorities and fulfill your real estate goals.