Buying a home is one of the most personal decisions you’ll make in your life. You consider your current budget, your investment potential, the needs of your family and your cosmetic preferences. You’ll weigh storage space, location, and debate if the backyard is big enough for your fur baby. Yet, one of the biggest (and completely unnecessary stressors) for many of my clients is someone else’s opinion or the resale value of their potential new home.
The average homeowner will stay put for 8-10 years. Doesn’t it make sense to be happy and not try to predict the future? Join me as I dispel these common misconceptions about resale value.
Myth 1: There’s a magic home style/number of beds and baths
One of my best friends has a quote that I use constantly in Real Estate- there’s a lid for every pot. My clients constantly ask me which style of home is best for resale, or what the magic number of beds and baths is when they decide to list their home in the future.
The answer? It doesn’t exist! Peoples’ preferences are more varied than I ever imagined, and throughout the course of the day I’ll show homes to people who are looking for the exact thing that the other person passed on! There’s truly a buyer for every home (as long as the price is right).
I run into this constantly with multi-level homes, ranches and master bedrooms on the main floor. Some people were raised in 2 or 3 story homes and can’t fathom one-level living. Others require a single story out of a physical or logistical need. I find that many people must have their master on the first floor, but others can’t bear the thought of being separated from the rest of their family.
Barring a home only having one bathroom, or an extremely limiting floor plan, I can’t even begin to advise on the “ideal” home for resale, because it’s different for everyone.
Myth 2: Buying in a certain school district: I hear this a LOT, especially in first time homebuyers who haven’t even begun a family yet. If you’re in Wake County or any fast-growing area, it is completely useless to buy in a certain school district, hoping nothing changes by the time you decide to sell. Schools redistrict sometimes yearly, new ones are built, leadership changes. If you make your purchase solely on where someone else’s children will attend school when you sell your home, you’re gambling on a fact you have no control over.
Furthermore, even if you currently have school aged children, it’s important to double and triple check their school assignments, if that’s important to you.
Myth #3: Our home has to be generic You’d be surprised at the number of people who take the opinions of future buyers into consideration when they’re buying their own home. Whether it’s a particular type of flooring, style or color of a home, a pool or even a cosmetic upgrade once they own the home, it always begins with “well I like this but…” Say no more! If YOU like it, then you have to trust that the right buyer will find your home when the time comes. You are the one in there day to day, you are the one who is making the investment, and you are the one who should be happy in the home you create.
This goes for fixing things up along the way and adding to your home as well. People often think there is a dollar for dollar return on re-doing their floors, remodeling bathrooms and even painting. There’s no guarantee that doing things to your home will net you more money when you sell, but it could potentially help it sell faster. The personal touches you make in your home should make it better for you, while you’re living there and while you can enjoy them.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there are certain things that I do think impact the potential resale value of a home. Living on a busy road, certain unchanging land characteristics (like being in a flood zone) or major un-permitted additions that you would be responsible for dealing with should certainly be considered. Kitchens and bathrooms statistically “sell” a home, so if you aren’t interested in remodeling at any point, always keep those in mind.
Other than that? Follow your heart and do what YOU want throughout the home search, and leave the decisions of future buyers up to the market at that time.