Buying a home is always a big decision, whether it’s your first or fifth time doing so. Like all major decisions in life, you want to be as informed as you can be before making it. The thing is, there are countless things to consider when buying a home. One of the most important things, of course, is the cost.
Ultimately, it boils down to the question of whether you’re going to get your money’s worth. And this is not always answerable in a straightforward manner. However, there are things you can check to make the best estimate on the value of a home. Here they are.
Outside the Property
Even before you set foot near a house, you can likely get a ballpark of the prices in the neighborhood. This is because the location of a property is more influential to its price than any other feature of the house.
The reason behind the location’s huge impact is the pull of supply versus demand. The more people want to live in a certain area, the higher the prices are going to get per square foot. This demand is also influenced by job accessibility, school and hospital availability, crime rates, and more.
It’s not always as clear-cut as a city-versus-rural comparison. Sometimes even two similar properties, a couple of blocks from each other, can have very different values.
When doing your research, it’s important to compare prices to houses that are very close to the one you’re interested in. As such, consulting with a real estate expert can go a long way. You can ask them to do a Comparative Market Analysis or a CMA.
Inside the Property
Once you’ve got an idea of how much each square foot costs in the location you’re looking at, you can start to gauge the property itself.
Size is the next deciding factor on the list. It’s natural to assume that the bigger the property, the higher it will cost. And for the most part, that’s true. But there’s a lot more to size than just one number.
First, there’s the lot area, which is the size of the lot or patch of land that the house is situated in. Then there’s floor area, which is effectively the sum of the size of all floors in a home. If a property has multiple floors, you get the floor area by adding the area of each floor. Because of this, the floor area can be bigger than the actual lot it’s sitting on.
But size is not the only thing that matters when talking about the area of a home. Room count can be critical, too. Well-designed spaces will always have a higher value compared to those that don’t. That means it’s not about having more rooms, but having well-designed ones that maximize space usage.
Visiting the Property
Once you’ve laid out the groundwork and have concluded that you are, indeed, interested, it’s time to visit the property. For this part, it’s ideal that you employ professionals to help you assess the details of a house.
It may look good on the surface, but with the opinion of licensed electricians or house inspectors, you may miss some things. Ask professionals and get your peace of mind.