Do Your Research: What to Look for When You Look Through Home Listings

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If you’re shopping online for a house, check the detailed home listings to find the best value for your purpose. Although there are many things to consider when buying a home, here are four that are among the most important to help ensure that you don’t inadvertently end up buying a money pit.

Location

Most realtors will tell you that the gold standard for choosing a property is location. Of course, neighborhoods can change over time, and a great community now could go downhill in a few short years to decrease the value of a property or change the neighborhood vibe.

Assess your own needs, and look at what the surrounding area offers. If new homes are being built that attract young families but you are a retiree looking for quiet surroundings, that might be an area you want to avoid. If road construction is planned nearby for the next few years that could disrupt traffic in your neighborhood, that is another property you might want to bypass.

Style

Choose a home style that you can live with for several years or as long you plan to reside there. A colonial house with two or more floors could be very appealing to certain buyers who don’t mind climbing steps each day, but others prefer a ranch-style house with the all the main living areas on one floor.

Plan ahead to determine what your future lifestyle needs may entail when browsing new home listings. A huge back yard for entertaining now might seem like a breeze to maintain with a lawn tractor, but ten years from now that task might not be as enjoyable.

Age

Consider a home’s age when you are house hunting. A century home may be decorated with adorable antiques that makes it appear irresistible. However, if the foundation is cracked, the roof is leaking, or the electric is not up to code, you may be facing significant repairs and expensive updates to get the house in living condition. Some older homes are well maintained and need little additional work. A home inspection can help to identify potential upgrades that may be needed soon.

Resale

Factor in the resale value of a potential property you are interested in buying. Ask the realtor about the marketability of the house in the foreseeable future. You might love having an in-ground swimming pool or horse barn on the property, but finding a similar buyer when you are ready to sell might be difficult. If this will be your forever home, though, you probably don’t need to be as concerned about resale value.

Buying a home is one of the most exciting things you can do. But it also carries a bit of risk. Research the real estate market in your area and the properties of interest to get a good deal with a rosy future.


Anita Ginsberg is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg


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