Both seasoned homeowners and first-time buyers know making the decision to purchase a new home is not one that is taken lightly. There are so many things to consider – from choosing a home with growth potential to finding a community to support a family’s interests and lifestyle. While the decisions may seem endless, don’t be discouraged. Develop a strategic approach to buying a home with our definitive guide to selecting a home and property that will suit a growing family’s needs. Use this guide, along with advice from a trusted real estate professional in your area, to get started on the path to home ownership.
Look For Neighborhoods With Growth Potential
Choosing the right location is one of the most grappled with decisions when it comes to buying a home. While some home-buyers aspire to “keep up with the Joneses,” purchasing a home in the “trendy” neighborhood of the moment, savvy home-buyers know the best bargains can be found in “up-and-coming” locales. Skip the higher property values and congestion and search for a home in an unincorporated area with growth potential. This might require driving a few extra blocks for that morning Starbucks coffee, but this will easily be overlooked once the community grows (and your home value with it).
Unfinished Basements Are Your Friend
Sure, most home-buyers cringe when they enter the sometimes scary, always dark and lonely, unfinished basement. But the savvy home-buyer knows unfinished basements are their friend. A basic renovation can take the space from ghastly to Great Room. Unfinished basements provide a number of options for growing families and are a great way to add bathrooms, bedrooms and common areas for kids and teens.
Choose A Home With Income Potential
While the average buyer is interested in a single-family home, don’t discount homes with basement apartments or mother-in-law suites. These types of home configurations can lead to significant income potential and can help to offset the cost of a monthly mortgage payment. Income potential doesn’t just include garage apartments and mother-in-law suites; it encompasses open space as well. Build a duplex or a guesthouse on extra land for a significant return on investment. Or, take advantage of special land grants to grow crops or house bees on unused acreage.
Think Long-Term When Choosing Schools
When choosing schools, think macro not micro. Remember to evaluate school districts at all levels: elementary, middle and high schools. Don’t choose a community based on the elementary school, if the middle and high schools are not as impressive. A young child might be an elementary school student upon purchasing the home, but will matriculate through the school district during the course of a 30-year mortgage. Be sure to select a home in a community with a school district that can support youngsters at every level.