Both seasoned homeowners and first-time buyers know making the decision to purchase a new home is not one that is taken lightly. There are so many things to consider and the possibilities may seem endless. Here are 4 things you may not be considering that can make a big difference in your future happiness with your choice.
Look for Neighborhoods with Growth Potential
Choosing the right location is one of the most important decisions when it comes to buying a home. While some home-buyers aspire to “keep up with the Joneses,” purchasing a home in the “trendy” neighborhood of the moment, savvy home-buyers know the best bargains can be found in “up-and-coming” locales. Skip the higher property values and congestion and search for a home in an unincorporated area with growth potential. This might require driving a few extra blocks for that morning Starbucks coffee, but this will easily be overlooked once the community grows (along with your home value!
Unfinished Basements Are Your Friend
Sure, most home-buyers cringe when they enter the sometimes scary, always dark and lonely, unfinished basement. But the savvy home-buyer knows unfinished basements are their friend. A basic renovation can take the space from ghastly to Great Room. Doing some of the work yourself is a sure- fire way to add instant equity, as well as great additional living space for you to enjoy.
Choose A Home with Income Potential
While the average buyer is interested in a single-family home, don’t discount homes with basement apartments or mother-in-law suites. These types of home configurations can lead to significant income potential and can help to offset the cost of a monthly mortgage payment. Income potential doesn’t just include garage apartments and mother-in-law suites; it encompasses open space as well. Build a guesthouse on extra land for a significant return on investment. Or, take advantage of special land grants to grow crops or house bees on unused acreage. (Be sure to check with all the necessary local authorities to make sure your plan is feasible.
Look at The Big Picture When Choosing a School District
When choosing schools, think macro not micro. Remember to evaluate school districts at all levels: elementary, middle and high schools. Don’t choose a community based on the elementary school, if the middle and high schools are not as impressive. Evaluate the districts and community’s commitment to quality education by their past and overall performance. Get good information about schools on websites like greatschools.org.