Turns out that the pros look for the same things the general public looks for! However, they place more importance on future resale.
The following are comments and advice from the pros, courtesy of HouseLogic:
Be Willing to Compromise for Your Priorities
One veteran real estate agent knew exactly what she wanted in her home: ranch style, three bedrooms, high ceilings. But you know what she bought? A two-story Colonial. Why? The home’s location and price trumped style.
Her advice: Make sure your practical and functional priorities don’t get lost in all the home buying hoo-ha. You can always add the hoo-ha, but you can’t make a home fit all priorities, such as location and price.
Dig Into the Details
You certainly want to find out if the house had a newer roof, good siding, and a newer furnace. However, agents typically go deeper to uncover a home’s not-so-obvious maintenance costs.
For example, check the sewer line to make sure there aren’t any tree branches or other debris clogging up the works. Know what is and is not covered by homeowners insurance. And find out how old the appliances are. Sellers are only required to fix what the inspector finds is broken; they’re not going to upgrade working appliances for you.
Focus on Lifestyle
Some agents want a home that “grows” with his/her family. Multiple bedrooms and baths, large yard, and an eat-in kitchen.
Others find that a condo affords them the perfect lifestyle. Not wanting to commit to yard upkeep, not interested in spending time on exterior maintenance, and being able to leave and travel on a moment’s notice are some of the lifestyle options available to condominium owners.
One agent who was interviewed for this article says her millennial clients aren’t forward-thinking about their lifestyles. Some are childless and say they don’t care about schools, pools, and tennis courts. Then they become parents a few years later and have to move. “Once they have kids, the first question they ask is about school districts, and the second is about where the parks and pools are,” she says.
The pros’ bottom-line advice: Think of your lifestyle preferences and how those might change in the next few years.
Filter Your Choices Through the Lens of Resale
All the real estate pros we talked to emphasized resale. Don’t buy or build something unique that you can’t resell.
Don’t overspend for the neighborhood if you buy a home priced higher than average for the area. If the home is not in line with the neighborhood’s average price, you’ll have a tough time trying to sell it and get your price a few years down the road.
Other advice from the pros: Watch out for unfixable flaws that could affect resale. Issues include what’s next to the home (such as vacant land that could be developed), high-traffic businesses, noisy power generation stations, a cell tower, etc. Check out lot issues (i.e, steep driveway or poorly graded lot that sends rainwater into your foundation.
Of course, a home isn’t just about resale. It’s just one factor to consider. Remember the first point: Be willing to compromise for your priorities. If the home meets your priorities and you’re going to stay there awhile, then resale might be where you compromise.
All the experts advise a potential buyer to start the process with a discussion with an experienced mortgage lender. The Brandee Kelley Group’s preferred lender is Don Kelly at Affiliated Bank. Don and his team go above and beyond for their clients every time!