For those seeking maximum value at a minimum price, keep these essentials in mind.
Bigger Isn’t Necessarily Better: Bigger spaces are associated with higher cooling and heating costs, increased property taxes, expensive insurance and additional maintenance concerns. Instead of picking the largest house you can afford, search for the one with the amenities that your family will truly use.
Good Neighbors Make Good Neighborhoods: Friends, family and wonderful neighborhoods are major attractions. In fact, research shows that homes located in top-rated school districts routinely fetch 10% or more than do similar-sized homes in less desirable districts. Family-oriented neighborhoods with parks and other amenities are highly desirable, while empty-nesters can save thousands by searching for similar homes outside of popular school districts.
Fruit Trees and Gardening Are a Big Trend: Throughout the nation, high-maintenance lawns are giving way to eco-friendly (and budget happy) gardens, fruit trees and other down-to-earth activities. Ask about HOA restrictions and the cost of water bills prior to buying with the intent of starting a garden.
Going Green Is Bigger Than Ever: From energy-efficient appliances to environmentally friendly building materials, green is not only “in” but bigger and better than ever. Save thousands of dollars by searching for homes that already have implemented upgrades like LED lighting and Energy Star appliances.
Entertaining: As the economic excess of recent years continues to drive down the market, people are interested in entertaining, exercising and even eating at home more. Focus on properties that support your interests and lifestyle for today and tomorrow. Remember, the average person remains in a home for seven years, so buy right to make sure that your next house truly feels like home.