Jan 14, 2021

Real Estate Values - There Are No Bargains

There is a saying in real estate that the three factors that govern real estate values are Location, Location, Location.  It really is true.  The same home with the same amenities will be worth a lot more in a desirable location.  Generally homes near the ocean sell for a lot more than properties further inland.  Homes closer to business centers nearer to job locations are usually worth more because a shorter commute is worth a lot to many people.  The fact is that there are no bargains in real estate just mitigating factors that impact value.

Since people value peace and quite, homes on busy streets, near airports, train tracks, or freeways usually sell for less than homes that are further away from noise factors.  Homes in good school districts, or more importantly that have good schools nearby in the neighborhood generally sell for more than homes in school districts with low academic scores.  Ratings are readily available on the Internet.  Even if you don't have kids, it probably not a good idea to buy a home in an area with schools rated lower than 7 out of 10.  A higher score would even be better.

People are often willing to give up square footage, which could be attainable with a longer drive for homes with less square footage closer to job centers and with great schools and other amenities.   Buying a home in a master planned community with strict rules is usually a good idea in terms of property values.  The rules are there to protect property values by prohibiting people from doing dumb things that hurt property values like painting a home purple, or failing to maintain the home.  

It is important to realize that when you buy a home, you should always be thinking about resale value.  If you buy a "bargain", there is usually a negative reason that will make it more difficult to sell the home when the times comes.  Homes that have obvious negatives often don't even get a walk through.  And, be conscious of curb appeal.  If the home is a White Elephant in terms of its exterior design no matter how nice it might be on the inside, it will diminish value.  Think before you buy.  Buying wisely will result in a home that appreciates.  Buying a "bargain" could actually go down in value when a downturn comes.   

Real estate is a long term investment.  Generally, over a 5 to 10 year period homes in great areas appreciate based on the rate of inflation and supply and demand.  If you are only going to be in an area for a few years, it might be best to rent, particularly if the area is at the top of the market.  If you have to move sooner, you could get caught in a downturn and lose money, which is never pleasant.  Buy wisely and you will do just fine over time.