A home is a massive investment. Any new homeowner will naturally hope their investment will gain value. While nothing in life is guaranteed, there are some excellent indicators that a home is likely to substantially increase in worth over the years. Here are the six main signs to look for.
1. A nice neighborhood. Location often plays the largest role in determining home value. Consider what can be found in close proximity to home. Are there quality restaurants, cafes, good grocery stores, banks, and department stores relatively nearby? How about pleasant parks and trails? Most importantly, is the area safe and crime-free?
2. A pleasant street. Virtually all home buyers prefer a house found on a quiet street with a nice atmosphere. Think big leafy trees and well-maintained lawns -- the kind of place it would be enjoyable to walk in. Homes that are obviously run-down are a huge negative -- for example, a house that looks as if it hasn't had a fresh coat of paint in decades.
3. A strict homeowners association (HOA). Restrictive homeowners associations can be a huge pain to deal with. On the flip side, they are also great for resale value. The restrictions an HOA places on homeowners helps ensure the neighborhood doesn't go to seed and thereby damage home values.
4. A family-friendly design. Many homes are bought by young couples who are either planning for children or already have them. To be suited to families, a house should have three or four bedrooms and multiple bathrooms, including at least one bathtub. An open layout and the presence of a yard are also advantages.
5. A good school district. When deciding where to buy a home, parents may care more about the local schools than the home itself. While schools rise and fall in quality, the change is generally gradual, so being located in a solid school district is a strong indicator of future home value.
6. Timeless design. Generally, a home that stands apart is worthless. A home with quirky, unusual features will have less mainstream appeal and thus less resale value. In contrast, design choices that appeal to almost all tastes will always sell well. Think features such as hardwood floors, a spacious, open floor plan, tall ceilings, and lots of natural light.
Many homebuyers imagine they will stay in their new home for the rest of their lives. However, that usually doesn't happen. The exigencies of life mean that moving at some point in the future is likely. That's why the potential resale value of a home always matters a lot, and should always be taken into consideration.
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