Assessing a Home Listing
If you're looking at a real estate listing, take into consideration what the various characteristics described actually mean. You'll have to consider how they fit into your desired lifestyle and whether or not they'll help or hinder it.
What Kind of Home Is it?
The vast majority of listings you find will be for single family homes. These have significant advantages that are worth considering. Those advantages include:
- Good appreciation
- Room for a yard in most cases
Condominiums and townhomes are other common property types. Their advantages include:
- Lower cost
- Lower maintenance requirements
- No yard
The eventual decision that you'll reach will have to include whether you want more privacy but are willing to shoulder more of the burden of upkeep or whether you want an easier home to take care of. Condominiums are sometimes great choices for first homes due to their lower prices.
Location is everything where your home is concerned. There is no good or bad location; it depends upon what you want.
- Countryside homes are far away from resources, but are usually cheaper than in-city homes.
- Homes in the inner city usually are more expensive, are more convenient to resources but the crime rate is oftentimes higher than other options.
- Cul-de-sacs give you less privacy but more safety.
- Busy roadways mean cheaper home prices but the noise might be a bit much. They're much more dangerous to pets and children.
Big or Small
Square footage is a concern with most homebuyers. It means more than how much footage you're getting for your money, so consider the following:
- More square footage means higher heating and cooling bills
- More than one story also means higher heating and cooling bills
- Extra rooms require extra energy to heat and cool and furniture to fill them out
- The size of your home affects your property taxes
The square footage of your home makes a huge difference in the cost of it. Consider buying a larger home if you're planning on having more members in your family soon. If you're looking to reduce your cost of living, you can look at smaller homes as ways of accomplishing that goal. Reducing the square footage and number of stories in your home can make a huge difference.
Consider the other elements of a house that truly make it a home. Fireplaces are great additions and they offer a lot of comfort on cold nights. Having a pool in the backyard might be a real asset for you if you've always dreamed of lounging by one on hot summer days. Some homes have built-in networking for computers and, if you work from home, this can be worth a bit of an increase in price.
You'll also want to consider the utilities and heating and cooling system in your home. Septic tanks require permits and need to be maintained. Home heating systems that are old will likely need replacement. Make sure you take a look at all of this information and, if you get lost, ask your realtor for assistance.