According to the National Association of Realtors, the average home seller lived in their home for 9 years before selling. Anyone can see from looking back at the recession that started in 2007 that a lot can change over 9 years. Still, there are ways to increase the chances of a home maintaining a good resale value. To do so, consider these important factors.
You can change a home’s condition and price, but you can’t change its location. Yes, there are exceptions, but how often are entire homes moved? To maintain resale value, choose the home with the best location possible. You may ask, “What makes a good location?” Here the top most rated factors:
1. Community amenities (clubhouse, swimming pool, tennis courts, golf course, etc.)
2. Quality of schools (check North Carolina school report cards)
3. Access to public transportation (check its Walk Score)
4. Nearness of jobs (think large job providers like GE, Corning, Duke, etc.)
5. Distance from major highways and/or low sound pollution in general
6. Waterfrontage/Water access
8. A sense of community (neighbors working together to maintain the area)
A good location doesn’t need to have all of these factors, but the more, the better. It’s also important to keep in mind that future public and community improvement projects, like proposed bypasses and drainage improvements, can affect property values, as well as new construction communities nearby.
Age and Condition
Unless a home is located in a historic district or has been consistently updated over the years, a newer home will always appeal better to a buyer, because it’s been built to current building codes and has trendier features. Of course, the home needs to have been kept in good condition. Just because a home is only 10 years-old doesn’t mean it hasn’t seen some wear. It all depends on the owner. So, try to choose a newer home that has been well-maintained and updated, and expect to uphold the home’s value by making your own updates.
Speaking of updates, one pitfall of homeowners is over-updating a home. That is, choosing features and materials that are too nice or uncommon for the community the home is located in. While you should make your home your own while you live there, be aware that you may not receive a full return on investment if you choose upgrades that are outside the sphere of buyer expectations.
At some point, everyone imagines themselves living in a large home with a fancy living space and bedrooms to spare, but the majority of the American population cannot afford homes over a certain square-footage or price range. Some of those who can have also learned that bigger isn’t always better. With larger homes comes higher taxes and more to clean. This is why, historically, certain price ranges sell better than others. Furthermore, if you’re going to invest in a larger home, you should know that buyers of higher priced homes have higher expectations. If they’re going to be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, they want the most up-to-date features and the best condition possible. To provide otherwise could mean a slower sale.
In addition to a home’s size, the design is an important factor for maintaining resale value. That includes the home’s floorplan and layout. If you want to keep a high resale value, try to appeal to the most buyers as possible. That means buying to the trends. What’s popular now may not be as trendy down the road, but choosing the most sought after features now will appeal to more buyers in the future. What’s popular? This can depend on the area you’re buying in, so it’s best to talk to a Realtor about that; however, open floorplans, eat-in kitchens, 3+ bedrooms, 2+ baths, and 2 car attached garages are some of the most sought-after features.
It’s a good idea to buy in a neighborhood that has good sales. That may seem obvious, but you don’t want to look at just the past year. You want to observe sales over a course of multiple years, as long as the age of the neighborhood allows you to. Neighborhoods that have maintained an extended period of popularity are more likely to uphold a healthy position in the real estate market, which positively affects home values.
Likewise, demographic trends can have an effect on home demands and, consequently, home values. Young families attract other young families and older couples often look for retirement friendly areas with other people their age. Both of these groups represent a large source of buyers and homes that appeal to them are likely to see more buyers. It’s a numbers game.
In the hunt for a home with good resale value, your Realtor can be your best friend. They are immersed in the local real estate market. They see homes every day. They know what’s selling and what most buyers are looking for. They are an invaluable first-person resource for statistics and knowledge. Don’t rely on third-party websites for market stats, because they only have half the information.
If you’re looking to buy in the greater Wilmington area (New Hanover, Pender, or Brunswick County), we’d be happy to pull together all of your options. Just give us a call or send us a message through our contact page, and we’ll provide you the facts you need to make the best investment for YOU.