It’s one of our biggest investments and some of us are doing it more than once during our life.
Like many things in our life that have changed dramatically, so did our habitation practices. Most of us don’t stay in one house for the full duration of our lives as it used to be for many people in previous generations.
Our modern dynamic life style and economy, calls for flexibility, mobility and frequent changes, People are following their jobs and careers even if it means moving from one side of the nation to the other.
This tendency is in line with our culture of consuming society. We replace everything faster, we treat cloths, cars (some just lease), refrigerators and our dwellings like fashion items with short longevity.
When we decide to buy a house we need to think in terms of sort to medium range periods of time and that should bring us to consider the resale value of our home in the future.
Buying a home with good resale value might take a little longer, and it might take a bit more work on your part, but you’ll love the payback later, when it sells quickly and puts extra money in your bank account.
The first consideration should be your family needs but it’s cleaver to keep an open mind about what might suite future buyers as well.
The most important three factors are: location, location and location… :-)
Indeed, it’s first thing to consider when looking for a home. So, what makes a good location?
There are some general elements which are obvious like:
– Does the neighborhood have easy and fast access to the schools, shopping centers and country club.
– It’s wise to pick a house that is located relatively elevated above the area, that can provide two advantages: a flow of good air and a nicer view.
– How many neighbors are adjacent to you and/or across you in proximity, off course the less the better.
– A house located at the end of the street will suffer less noises from the neighbors and their guests. If the street is a dead end it’s even better. A corner house may have more light and air.
– The positioning of the house towards the north if it’s a warm area as opposed to the south in cold areas. In general, a rule of thumb and this one is general and found right to many locations around the world, as strange as it may sound, the northern neighborhoods are usually more desirable than the southern ones exactly as the western ones are more prestigious than the eastern ones.
– The size of the lot, its shape and the square footage of the house itself.
If the majority of buyers in your area are young families with children,
consider a house with a large yard that’s not fronted by a busy street.
– There are many other environmental aspects to consider with respect to
personal preference like a green agricultural area vs. urban area,
quality of schools and other social services and facilities.
Demographics and population trends influence almost every decision in modern life, from business planning to healthcare provisions, from education needs to fashion and style. Age, ethnicity, gender, income, mobility, employment, geography and other demographic factors determine the shape of our society.
Real estate is no less affected by the ebbs and flows of demographic trends, particularly income, aging, family situations and employment. Consider a real estate broker, whose livelihood depends on people changing homes. Economic mobility is a key determinant in the future of his business, as is the economic health of the region.
“I look to see how fast the economy is growing, and how many jobs are likely to be created as a result, to determine the resources my business will need over the next five years,” says Terry Denoux, a Bend, Oregon, real estate broker.
Development planning relies even more on demographic data to determine priorities. The average age of the population is a major factor in the type of housing that will be required over the next couple decades.
“A young population in an area will require more single family homes with multiple bedrooms and plenty of space for children to run,” explains Wendy Cobrda of Catosphere, a demographic data reporting company. “On the other hand, an aging population will need more hospitals, more medical clinics, more housing that requires minimal maintenance.”
For investors, the stakes are just as high. Investing in commercial real estate, for example requires the ability to forecast where there will be a growing population, and/or where the population’s average income will be increasing.
In fact, commercial property investment requires a deeper understanding of demographic data; it is not just the population trends that need to be considered, but the demographics of the competition. And even those cannot follow a set formula.
For instance, an entrepreneur looking to set up a new car dealership needs to consider where established dealerships are located and set up shop nearby. Car buyers wanting to compare similar models need to visit several dealerships, so they need to be close to one another.
On the other hand, an entrepreneur looking to set up a new hardware store, should look for an area underserved by the competition or where new residential developments will be opening up. Hardware shoppers can compare brands of similar tools within the same store, so ease of access takes on a greater importance.
On the topic of ease-of-access, road traffic patterns can also make or break an investment, especially near busy intersections in competitive markets. The demographics of traffic can add to the complexity of making a commercial real estate investment.
Understanding where to invest in retail properties is one of the main reasons that demographic mapping is such a popular service, Wendy Cobrda explains. “To visually see the movement of people and their spending dollars helps businesses ‘see’ where they should open their next store.”
Demographic data plays a role in vacation rental real estate, too. “Do you buy vacation rental properties, or do you sell the ones you have now?” asks Steve Curtis, owner of FabVillas, a website listing vacation rental properties in Florida. “Well, that depends on how much disposable income people have for vacations and, more importantly, on the age of the population. A younger person is more likely to backpack through Europe, and stay at a hostel. An older person in more interested in comfort and privacy, which is what vacation rental properties offer.”
If you are buying or selling a home, the chances are good you struggle with the meaning of descriptive real estate terms. Here are explanations and definitions for more terms.
“Living Room” & “Family Room”
When a home has both a living room and a family room, we know which is which. It used to be that when an ad mentioned a family room, we could assume it also had a living room. Now some builders are building houses with something akin to the first use of “Great Room” above and calling it the “Family Room” on the floor plan. Thus houses and their terminology seem to be evolving. I suppose in the new builder speak we should just think of the room as an informal family living room.
“Patio” & “Terrace”
Both are outdoor living areas paved with something like slate or brick. A patio is level with the ground around it. A terrace has adjoining areas of ground which are higher, or lower, or perhaps both.
“Solarium,” “Sun Room,” “Florida Room”
These terms are used to describe rooms with lots of windows (often on three sides). Many times these areas also have skylights. The choice of what to call them seems purely personal. They tend to be charming, bright, sunny places in which to over winter plants and sit in the garden in chilly or downright cold weather.
“Jack and Jill Bath”
A bathroom with two doors into it. It is frequently situated between two bedrooms with doors to each. Sometimes the doors are into a bedroom and into a hallway.
“Waterfront” vs. “Water View”
Waterfront property actually has a common boundary with (frontage on) the water. Sometimes the property line actually goes into the water. Water view just means water can be seen from the property. Sometimes there is a beautiful view. Sometimes it means the water can be seen from one upstairs window when the leaves are off the trees! Also, many times a new structure might block the view at some time in the future unless there is a protective covenant or something to prevent it.
If you can get the verbiage down, you’ll be way ahead in the real estate game. Look for future articles on this subject or visit our site to read more terms.
In this country the act of buying and flipping real estate has been refined to a fine art form. More and more people are making their fortunes in the real estate market and its a simple truth that it can be done by anyone. It takes a great plan and some money to invest, but if done right the rewards can be astounding. No other area of investment has consistently shown such a high profit margin and such a pattern of growth.
So what does it take to successfully fix & flip a home? This depends on you. Are you a bit of a handyman? Or could you cut off your own finger with a spoon? If you are the latter you may want to engage the services of a contractor, it will likely save money, time and band-aids. Whether you choose to DIY or to hire someone to do the fixing aspect of this there are a few things they almost all fixer-uppers will need.
Paint is the most likely of these suspects. Most older homes have a somewhat neglected cosmetic makeup. A new coat of paint both inside and out can take years off a homes appearance and add nicely to its value. One place that usually needs a bit of love is the kitchen. As the highest traffic area in any home, kitchens can deteriorate faster than any other room. If you are looking for a quick way to increase you asking price, install all new appliances and redo the countertops and cupboards. A modern and inviting kitchen is a great selling point.
If you have purchased a home as a “fixer-upper” chances are there are some aesthetic improvements that are going to be essential in terms of the property itself. To take care of the yard bring in a landscaper to create a new and dynamic flow for the property. New plants and flowers add a beautiful touch to a yard and can be one of the most inviting aspects of a home. The exterior of the home is critical as the “visual impact” can make or break a sale. Just remember, the new asking price must justify the improvements