If you are looking to buy a new home, try to find a home that will have a good resale value down the road. This concept applies to first time home buyers who are just looking for a “first home” as well as home buyers who plan on living in the home for the rest of their lives. It is important for both types of home buyers to have an exit strategy so that if you for some reason needed to sell your home in the future, you would be able to. This exit strategy is even more relevant with the cooling housing market we are experiencing. There are seven basic areas to consider for resale.
1) Bedrooms and Baths: Most people who are looking for homes want at least 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. If you find a 3 bedroom and 1 bath house that you love, do not completely rule it out simply because it lacks the second bath. You can always add it on to the house later, but it will probably cost more to add it than it would have cost to just buy a house with 2 bathrooms to begin with. So, just get accurate estimates from contractors so that you can compare house prices. Also, buying a house with more than 3 beds and 2 baths is a good idea, but do not feel the need to buy that extra room simply for resale if you do not need the extra space.
2) Kitchens: Look for spacious kitchens that are open (and preferably have a window). If a kitchen seems outdated (older appliances, bad color schemes, etc.), then it may be a good idea to make a list of repairs along with price estimates when you compare homes to buy. Buyers want functional kitchens with nice appliances.
3) Garages: In Charleston, SC, it is harder to find homes with garages compared to some other parts of the country. However, we have so many clients who make this option a required part of their home search criteria. The more searches you can make your home fall under, the more likely your house will sell. So, try to get a house with a garage (even if it is just a one car garage).
4) Lot sizes: Many clients make minimum lot size requirements the way they make garages a requirement in their home search. Depending on the area, large yards can be hard to come by. But, people always want that extra room and privacy. So, look for homes with at least .2 acres.
5) Fireplaces: Having a fireplace is not as important as having a garage, but it is definitely a desirable feature and can actually be a selling point for a house. Wood burning versus gas logs is always a mixed debate, so just look for a fireplace in general.
6) Square Footage: Many of our clients make minimum square footage requirements in their home searches. Look for homes with at least 2,000 square feet. A room over the garage (sometimes called a ROG) is also great if it is finished (then it is called a FROG). FROGS can make good home offices, play rooms for kids, and even extra bedrooms.
7) Swimming Pools: So many neighborhoods either have community swimming pools or are close to public pools, so it is almost better to use those than to get a private pool. If you really want a home with a private pool, look for homes that already have them built. Paying a contractor to build a new pool will never give you a full return on your investment – instead you will lose money. It would be better to use the extra money towards buying a nicer or larger house when it comes to resale value.