For most first-time home buyers, signs of a home’s value aren’t immediately apparent upon initial glance. However, if you know what to look for, you can start determining its value before you even pull up to the curb.
Doing your research on the neighborhood will tell you a lot about a home’s value before you even step inside. A home purchased in a sought-after neighborhood will hold its value longer than one in a neighborhood deemed less desirable.
These are some signs that will indicate the neighborhood will inject value onto the home:
An active neighborhood – look for signs of children playing, people exercising, people walking dogs, parks, community centers, and churches. Active communities tend to be safe ones.
Home improvements – look at the exteriors of the homes in the neighborhood where you are looking to buy. Do the roofs looks newer? Do the homes look like they have been painted in the past few years? Are the shutters clean and free of cracks? Signs of upkeep in the neighborhood show that its residents are comfortable in their investments and intend on an extended stay.
Highly rated schools – check out national ratings at Great Schools
If the neighborhood passes the test, it’s time to turn to the home itself. With the home, look for these signs of value:
Roof and foundation – As you approach the home, immediately look for cracks along exterior walls, especially along the base. Cracks can be a sign of a weak foundation, which is perhaps the most costly repair a home can have and can severely affect a home’s value. And don’t forget to look at the roof. Look for signs of sagging or misplaced tiles. The second most expensive repair can be a new roof.
An open floorplan – Spacious homes with open floorplans are the desired design for today’s buyer. If the home already has one, you won’t need to undergo a pricey remodel if you ever want to sell.
Natural lighting – Natural lighting is a huge selling point in the contemporary real estate market. Home’s that are brightened with invigorating daylight or soothing moonlight from bay windows, sliding glass doors, skylights or sky tubes are more valuable than those with little outside light.
Wood or tile flooring – Wood or tile are often “what you see is what you get” with little in the way of surprises. One glance and you can determine the value of the flooring. Look out for carpet and laminate flooring. They could be covering up damaged floors that may need repairs sooner rather than later.
Walls painted in light colors – Light paint not only brightens up the home, but it can make it easy to see any blemishes in the walls. Be wary of home’s with dark paint or wallpaper, which can be covering up cracks, holes and water damage.
Newer appliances – a home with newer appliances will help keep maintenance costs low and the value of the home up. One bad appliance can put pressure on others. For example, an old oven that gives off a large amount of heat makes the home warmer, causing the air conditioning to work harder to cool it.