Location, but what else?Real Estate Thursday, June 25th, 2015
Everyone has heard the phrase “location, location, location …” as applied to home ownership. It is agreed that this is the most important factor in choosing a home. And this surely cannot be denied. One can change just about everything else about a residence, but place is immutable. A super house on a noisy street can be a disaster, and a long commute can just about cancel out the pleasure of a pretty house. I once owned a home near a train line, and I don’t think I enjoyed one night of sleep in all the years I lived there.
But what else do home buyers look for? What are the top considerations and items on the wish list? Some are obvious, like good schools and proximity to services. But some of the others may surprise you. This week we’re studying that list of pluses, and in the next article, we’ll tackle the downers.
Though comfort used to be primary, studies today report that access to services, facilities and in particular tech connections are paramount. Root Metrics recently reported that 76 percent of adults surveyed found mobile service to be more essential than the 60 percent who listed good school districts. Tech features in a home are also viewed as highly desirable especially to the younger demographic who simply cannot exist without their tech devices.
Following location, buyers seek homes that reflect their personal sense of style. The little extras like period details, nooks, porches and embellishments, often are the tipping points that sway potential buyers.
Price, always a factor, limits where and what we can purchase, but future appreciation is always something to consider. Is it best to buy the worst house on the block, or the best? When considering appreciation, probably the former, if you can afford to improve it. It’s wise to consider the cost of maintaining and operating that home, something that many buyers overlook. The best built home can offer the most appreciation in the long run, and a well-designed, efficient, smaller home may be the best investment of all.
USA Today reported on the 11 features buyers were willing to pay extra for. Topping the list was central air-conditioning, which makes sense in our currently warming world. New kitchen appliances and especially the stainless steel variety came in second. Snazzy kitchens, in general, are pretty up there when it comes to home priorities, and buyers will pay more for those that are also eat-in and sport kitchen islands and granite counter tops.
Turning to the bedrooms, the ensuite master bath ranked high, as did the much needed walk-in closet. The extra niceties like fireplaces and hardwood floors, still so popular, made houses more desirable for most buyers.
Buyers in the study were willing to pay an extra $5,000 for homes that were less than five years old. A new house is likely to be more efficient and less expensive to maintain, so that extra $5,000 could be eaten up in short order.
So there you have it: location, good Internet, some style and a few sought-after features, and you’re sold. But if you are savvy, you’ll remember to look under the hood, and won’t be swayed by a house that is more than your family requires. Find something that’s “just right” and enjoy it.
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