You might think it's strange to consider selling a house you don't even own yet, but what if you decide to move? Do you want a house that has grown in value and sells quickly? Sure you do.
Many of us won't live in the same house forever, so when considering a purchase it makes sense to look at resale value. Although it takes a little more time to think about the resale value when considering a home, if there comes a time when you have to sell, you'll be glad you made that earlier effort. Begin finding out about resale values from the very start of your home buying search.
When deciding on location, don't necessarily pick somewhere that has a desirable status today, but rather, look at the reasons why it has become so, and then look for a location that includes those same things or will within the time you're living there. Some things to consider could be availability of services, areas in town increasing in desirability, community changes (for good or bad), etc. Allow these factors to influence your decision on where to buy. Remember to always find a home that suits your needs and wants best, but if possible, someplace that others might end up wanting as well.
Think also of what type of people are moving in. If a lot of recent buyers are families with small children, search for a house with a large yard, lots of room, and away from a busy street. If there are elderly people buying where you're looking, consider homes with few or no steps, as seniors sometimes have difficulties. Also try reviewing real estate ads in your area. If there is a particular feature mentioned in several areas, it could be one that is in demand. Also avoid buying outdated homes, unless you plan to fix it up. A home with two bathrooms is worth a lot more than a home with only one. Central air and heating are more popular than swamp coolers or baseboard heat. Although you might think outdated means character, keep in mind that in order to resell, you'll probably have to change those older features.
If you see the home needs just a few cosmetic touches, don't be afraid to do them yourself. Often homes in need of cosmetics are priced below market value. Fresh pain is fairly inexpensive and can make any home look almost new. A few new appliances can make an old kitchen come to life. Consider adding glass to your front door or cabinet doors to lighten things up. New light fixtures or switch plates can change the entire feel of a room. Take a trip to a nearby hardware store and check out what they have to offer. However, be sure to buy good quality product so that your fixes stay fixed.
Important features change, depending on your area. If you want to find out what is in demand, talk to a realtor, look in a realtor magazine or even ask the hardware store for some input. Some features that nearly every buyer looks for include storage space, closets (the larger the better), homes with natural lighting or bright, open areas, and floor plans with bedrooms on each end of the home are becoming every more increasing in popularity.
If you know that you will be moving in three to five years, carefully consider the resale value of any home you consider purchasing. Even if you think you'll stay for awhile, find a house that's right for you, but don't hesitate to think of how it might be right for someone else, somewhere down the road.