After years of falling prices, real estate experts across the nation are predicting an increase in prices. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, projects that home prices nationally will rise 5 to 10 percent over the next three years. This is great news for Wilmington home owners. It also means that buyers in search for Wilmington homes that will appreciate well will need to get a move on. The longer they wait, the more their choices will diminish. We’re seeing well-priced homes going fast and increasingly more multiple offer situations.
But how does a buyer know a home will have good resale value? A well-informed Wilmington Realtor can reduce much of the mystery. There are a lot of factors to consider – location, features, selling history, current prices, and surrounding developments – some of which you really can’t understand unless you watch the market everyday. However, there are some features that you can look for if you have an MLS portal or online search setup.
- The neighborhood is in a location that allows easy travel in all directions – to the beach, shopping, Downtown Wilmington, etc.
- Shopping, recreation, transportation, and green spaces are nearby.
- The neighborhood has amenities – a swimming pool, tennis courts, club house, golf course, etc. However, you also need to take into consideration the cost of the homeowners association. It needs to be in line with the perks of buying in the neighborhood.
- It’s a waterfront/water access community with a boat ramp, day dock, or access to the beach.
- The lot is .4+ acres or a large lot for the neighborhood.
- The home is positioned on the lot so it doesn’t look directly into neighboring homes.
- The home has nice views of greenery or water. If other homes are in view, they’re well kept.
- The home is positioned to receive lots of morning sunlight (a dark home is less likely to sell).
- The home’s style matches the majority of others in the area in that price range. If most of the homes in a community are Low Country, you don’t want to purchase the one brick ranch.
- The style doesn’t look “cookie cutter”. That’s one of the biggest complaints I hear.
Garage and Driveway
- The garage is designed for 2+ cars and is attached.
- It’s “oversized”, meaning there’s plenty of room for parking and storage.
- The driveway is paved with black top or cement.
Decks, Patios, and Porches
- The home has some form of an outdoor sitting area.
- An outdoor kitchen area is an even bigger plus.
- The outdoor area has been well maintained – no rotting wood or cracked sement.
- The home has a play area/play set.
- The back yard is fenced in.
- If the home is on the smaller side, it has a well-built shed or wired workshop for storage (nothing that will blow away in a strong storm).
Windows and Entrances
- The windows are well-insulated and double paned.
- If it’s a beach property, the home has hurricane shutters.
- The front door is inviting and has good curb appeal.
- The back door opens to an area where coats can be hung, shoes stored, and dirt kept from being tracked into the home.
- The kitchen sits open to the living area/family room allowing for simultaneous cooking and socializing.
- An island sits at the center of the kitchen.
- It has a double sink that sits under a window.
- The kitchen has granite countertops (or something comparable to other homes in the neighborhood).
- There is at least 4 feet of usable workspace (that doesn’t include space taken up by countertop appliances).
- It’s an eat-in kitchen, either with a breakfast nook or hop-up counter.
Living Room/Family Room
- Depending on the size of the home, the living room and family room may be one in the same or separate. Either way, most buyers prefer that one of them share an open space with the kitchen.
- The living room or family room has a fireplace.
- Built-in shelves are a plus.
- If the home is large enough for a dining room, it should be attached to the kitchen by one door and attached to the foyer or living room by another.
- It has wainscoting or chair rail molding.
- The master bedroom is large and located on the first floor.
- Guest bedrooms are nicely sized. If they can’t be large, they have ample wall space for furniture.
- The home has 2+ baths, at least. This depends on the size of the house, but almost all buyers have an issue with single bath homes.
- There is at least one tub.
- The master bath has a separate tub and shower versus a tub/shower combo.
- The bathrooms are against exterior walls with windows.
- The laundry area is inside the home, preferably in its own room or large closet.
- There is sufficient lighting, storage and work space, including cabinets and drying rack.
- The home has a front hall closet for guest coats,
- A linen closet for towels and sheets,
- A broom closet (unless the laundry room has sufficient space) for cleaning supplies,
- A master bedroom walk-in closet,
- And large bedroom closets.
- The home has a media room designed around a home theater with a large television and video game system. This is a growing trend as technology becomes a larger presence in people’s lives.
A home doesn’t need to have all of these features to have a high resale value nor do they guarantee a higher resale, but these are features that Wilmington home buyers are often looking for. The features a home needs in order to be a good object of resale really depends on other homes in the neighborhood, because any home that doesn’t conform to area standards by being too strange, too out of date, or even too upgraded can hurt its resale value.
If you have any questions about a home’s potential resale value, give us a call at 910.202.2546 or send us a message through our Contact page. We’d be happy to take a look and give you an idea if it would be a wise investment.