Market Research: Setting Boundaries

What you can compromise on, and what you can’t.

Remember the list of needs vs. wants that you compiled?  It’s also important to take note of any items that you don’t want in a house.  You can thus use process of elimination to find out what really matters to you in a home.

When purchasing a home, especially your first home, it is easy to get so caught up in the here and now that you totally overlook how the house may – or may not – fit into your future plans.  Obviously, something that fits into your current needs and wants is the main priority, but this should not totally block you from considering your future needs and wants.

Deal by Lauren Sadler
Deal by Lauren Sadler

Ask yourself how long you plan to stay in your new home:  will it be for a considerable length of time, or do you plan to sell within a specific time frame?  Either way, it’s often best to buy as much house as you can currently afford.  That way, if you have to stay in it longer than you planned, you have a better chance of avoiding space-challenges; and if you do sell it quickly, it is likely have a higher resale value than a lower end property.

Resale Value: There are two costs that need to be considered when buying real estate:  the sale price of the home, and its eventual resale value – which is something many buyers never think of! Ignoring the factors that could affect resale value (or your ongoing enjoyment of the home if you don’t sell) isn’t smart, even if you are in love with the house now. Jamie will help you identify these factors and do the digging for you on less obvious factors, such as finding out if future development is planned for your neighbourhood (for instance, a monster condo building that will block your view five years from now).

With an eye to the future, here are a few important factors that you should not compromise on when comparing and choosing homes:

  • Size:  If you buy a house that is too big or too small for the street, you might have trouble recouping the premium you paid for such a large house, or face a more difficult sale if the house is too small to meet most people’s needs.
  • Location:  As you’ve heard ad infinitum, location is usually the most important factor in the value of a home.  When buying for the future, consider development trends; is there an exodus going on, or are people calling your prospective neighbourhood ‘up and coming’?
  • Style:  Over time, home styles can evolve and change.  Sticking with more classical styles and homes where any additions or renovations have respected the original architecture, is generally the best tactic when keeping resale in mind.
  • Trends:  Have you ever walked into a home that has not been updated for twenty years – or has been updated badly so many times it’s hard to tell what’s underneath that nasty orange shag carpet?  Even if you like orange shag carpet, you will need to factor in the costs of remodelling and updating – because the next person to buy your home at resale time probably won’t share your tastes.

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