When you watch any homebuying show, such as HGTV’s “House Hunters”, you are often surprised to see the things that bother potential homebuyers the most. People will often walk into a home and notice one small detail—the color of the cabinets, the shape of a door handle, or something along those lines—and immediately decide that the home they are looking at simply is not for them.
While things like cabinet color are important, homebuyers should also remember that these things can be changed in the future—and if the fix requires something as simple as a fresh coat of paint, they can often be changed for relatively little money. Because these things can be changed, they should never be the determining factor regarding whether or not you want to buy the home.
Instead of thinking about these tiny details, you should think about the things that are permanent. Below, we’ll discuss eight components of your home that you will not be able to change, as well as how these components might affect your property values.
1. Location 🍀
Every realtor will tell you “location, location, location” is the most important component of a home which, without a doubt, is absolutely right. You will never be able to change where your home is physically located. This means you will want to make sure it is in an area you will actually want to live in. The city, the neighborhood, and the location within the neighborhood can all have a tremendous impact on property values.
2. School District 🍀
Purchasing a home in a good school district will increase the value of the property and, due to the fact the property will be more appealing to parents, will also widen your base of possible buyers as soon as you are ready to sell. Parents will also be interested in nearby alternatives to public schooling, such as charter schools or private schools.
3. Access to Transportation 🍀
Access to Transportation
Not everyone wants to drive a car all the time—about 5 percent of American commuters rely entirely on public transportation (and this figure is much higher in big cities, like New York). Having a good bus, train, or subway system within walking distance may help add permanent value to your home.
4. Property Taxes 🍀
Property taxes are a major component of the cost of owning a home. Living in a high tax or low tax area can potentially cost you thousands of dollars per year. Some people will overlook property taxes when homebuying because they feel they don’t really have a choice—but others might be deterred by higher taxes, particularly out-of-state property investors.
5. Crime Rates 🍀
Changes in crime rates will usually be at least partially reflected in the value of the property, which is especially true for property crimes such as car break-ins. In addition to seeing how the neighborhood compares to other neighborhoods nearby, you should also look at how these rates have been changing over time. A high-crime area that is in the process of improving can expect near-term price increases.
6. Public Services 🍀
There are many public services provided by even the smallest of cities. In addition to the public school systems, services such as the fire department, trash and sewer services, water services, police department, city parks, and more can all affect the value of your property. When comparing homes, be sure to check to see how these things are paid for (they may require payments outside of property taxes).
7. Zoning 🍀
Zoning can have a big effect on the value of your home. Some people want to live in an all-residential neighborhood which is common in the suburbs, but others prefer mixed-use neighborhoods which is common in the city. You should also think about the type of each zone category that is present on your street. For example, people might be reluctant to buy a stand-alone house that is surrounded by apartment buildings on all sides.
8. HOA 🍀
In the United States, roughly half of all owner-occupied households are part of a homeowner’s association (HOA). HOAs often provide common services (pool, common area, events, etc.) and are designed to help “maintain” property values. However, some people do not like them due to their monthly (or yearly) fees and sometimes strict rules. HOA properties typically sell for more money, but they have higher monthly expenses and might be an automatic turn-off to certain buyers—it will be up to you to balance this tradeoff accordingly.
At the end of the day, there will be some components of your home that can be easily changed and some that remain beyond your ability to control (maybe you can run for mayor). By thinking about each of these permanent features of your prospective home, it will be much easier to determine if it truly is the one for you.
First Option Mortgage NMLS#123411| All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2022.
Corporate HQ: 1100 Circle 75 Pkwy SE, Suite 300, Atlanta, GA 30339
Phone: (770) 423-8200, Fax: (770) 423-8201, Toll Free: (888) 766-3506
Get an official Loan Estimate before choosing a loan. This is not an extension to lend credit. Your actual rate, payment and costs could be higher. Not all applicants will qualify.