Inflation is real, and the housing market is continually increasing in pricing. But that isn’t something to freak you out, instead it’s an opportunity to invest your money into something that is guaranteed to increase in value over time. Nearly all real estate, when it is taken care of, will increase over time. But there are a few tips that can help you pick properly that will increase in value much faster than others. So, as a real estate agent myself, I (Chris) would like to share my top 4 tips for choosing a property with value.
1. LOCATION. LOCATION. LOCATION.
The top factor on a house with value is location. This drives people’s home decision more than anything else. So when trying to buy a home that has value in the future, I recommend buying a home where people really want to live. Some factors for this are school district, good jobs with a nice commute length, access to major routes so you can get out to good jobs, and local amenities (gyms, shopping, good restaurants, etc). The higher the local jobs pay, the higher the home values will be in this area. For example, if there is an area where a hospital is being built this will probably lead to a lot of high paying jobs which will help to drive up the value of local homes.
2. LOOK AT THE BATHROOMS & BEDROOMS
Another one of the things that I look for is homes that could easily be changed to be more desirable in bedroom/bathroom size. Most people find that either a 3 bedroom and 1.5 bath, to a 4 bedroom and 1.5 bath, is the range of the most desirable homes. I find that 4 bedroom 2.5 bath houses have a higher demand than almost any other bedroom/bathroom count so the best scenario is when you can create this size of home. When homes are smaller than the most desirable sizes you tend to cut out a large portion of buyers; and homes that are larger than the most desirable sizes also tend to start to appeal to a smaller group of buyers. So if you can buy a 2 bedroom home and figure out a way to easily turn it into a 3 bedroom home, by creating a bedroom in the basement or some other area, this can really increase the value.
We did this with our Airbnb, by adding a bedroom and bathroom in the basement.
3. PAY ATTENTION TO THE KITCHEN
The kitchen is a room in the home that you will likely pay a lot of time in. Whether you enjoy cooking and baking or not, everyone needs to eat and if you’re like us, you’ll find that often guests will even gather in the kitchen before the meal to hang out together. We’ll admit that renovating a kitchen can be a lot of work, but if you can upgrade an outdated kitchen, knock down some walls, install newer appliances and replace the countertops, you can increase the value of the home significantly.
4. DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE CURB APPEAL
Finally, I always take into account the lot layout and curb appeal. People tend to really value level lots. A home with a level yard has a lot more value than a home perched on the side of a hill. It can be used for hosting, yard games, and just in general looks a lot more inviting. Also, a home that is set a nice distance from the road, but not too far, and just slightly higher than the grade of the road is most ideal. People don’t like to have to look down a steep hill to a home where you mostly see the roof of the home. Plus a home that is a lot higher than the road grade tends to have driveway that is annoying because anything left in the driveway easily rolls out onto the road. This also doesn’t look as inviting if you have to look up really far to a home sitting way above the road grade.
You may need a little imagination to see the potential that an outdated kitchen has, or the renovation that an empty basement would need for that added bedroom or bath. You’ll want to do a little research into the location and check out that curb appeal. But don’t be overwhelmed by it all, if you express the things you need to your real estate agent, they should be able to help you. And if you’re in the Chester, Berks or Lancaster county area, reach out to us and we might be the right fit for you.