This is an emotional purchase and I want to help you select the best home and help you avoid trouble. Helping you make a good investment and finding you a home you enjoy is my top priority! There are a number of important things that are often overlooked by buyers who’re trying to find the best deal on the “perfect” home, or first-time home buyers who have no home buying experience whatsoever. I provide my buyers with the guidance they need to make their purchase confidently and know they’re getting the absolute best value for their money.
There’s a very good reason that the word “location” is repeated three times when given as a selection criteria. It’s that important, not just to your enjoyment of the home but what it will mean when it comes time to sell it.
Maybe the house or yard doesn’t look as good as it could, but if it’s in a great neighborhood, maybe the right updates can mean a really great investment! A bad location will typically stay bad, while a great location and some updates is a SMART investment.
Here’s the fact, a highly rated school district will affect home values. If you have school-age children then it will already matter to you when you search for your home. BUT, event if you don’t have kids, choosing a home in a desirable school district will pay off for you when it’s time to sell your home. Home values are impacted by location and school district and often they go hand in hand.
The home’s property must be considered when selecting your new home. Do trees, other homes, and what is the terrain surround it? How do you feel about it being close to the street? Do you want to look right into your neighbor’s bedroom? Looking out the windows and in a 180-degree radius is important, as this is your daily view once you move in.
Topography is also very important. Ideally, the house should sit at the highest point of the surrounding area for good drainage. If the house sits below grade, you could be looking at a wet basement, if not immediately then in the future. Speaking of wet basement, there are many areas with wet basements. Knowing what to expect is also part of my value to you as your buyer’s agent.
And, if you are considering a condo, a first floor unit may be more desirable than one on the sixth floor. An end unit townhouse is more desirable than an interior unit.
Hmmm, is it too good to be true? Not every buyer is aware of the areas in the St. Louis area. Maybe you are moving into the area and need an agent who can help you find a safe and secure home. Crime stats are easily available at MyLocalCrime.com. At the same time, not getting too spooked is also important. The location’s size can certainly be a major factor in the ratio of crime. The reality is, crime is everywhere and crime such as theft just means the neighborhood is vigilant about reporting it.
Even on Zillow.com you can see the walkability score for each property. Walking to parks, schools, drug stores and restaurants is desirable by many buyers. Are there sidewalks? Is it important to you that your neighborhood be walker friendly? There are many areas in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area with high walkability scores. I am happy to guide you to those areas, which are fairly abundant in the central corridor area, such as Webster Groves, Kirkwood, and the Central West End.
Speaking of neighborhood, many buyers are concerned about what the area looks like or even sounds like. If you don’t want neighbors with loud parties and prefer the quiet, then certain neighborhoods won’t be right for you. It’s helpful to visit areas at different times of the day. But no worries, if you work with me, I know St. Louis neighborhoods and can help you choose the party neighborhood, the neighborhood that really goes all out for Christmas or the family areas with kids laughing and playing. Whatever your desire there is the right neighbor hood for you!
Buying the best house means your home sets the value vs. buying the worst property and seeing your home value go up with some improvements. Chances are you will have more equity in your home than the best house on the block. Of course it does depend on the neighborhood, street or again location, location, location. There are high demand areas in the STL region that are seeing many changes with new home infill and major home renovations. Some areas are seeing many transformations and buying a home in a good location can be a great investment when homes are improving around you.
You could get a great “deal” on your home purchase, but later find it really was a handyman’s dream. With a home inspection you become informed about the property, so you aren’t likely to be blindsided, however, I feel it’s my job to help you find the right home before you pay for that home inspection. Experience does matter and knowing what to loo for has been earned after hundreds of home buys. Helping you make an informed decision is the ultimate goal as your buyer’s agent.
Today you are likely going to pay market value for your home. Considering ways you can improve and the right improvements can make all the difference when recouping your investment. Considering the property for future value also often comes with truly understanding the location and the future impacts on the property.
Once you purchase a home, your mortgage is not all you need to consider. There are costs of ownership such as taxes, possibly association dues and home maintenance costs. If you buy and older home, it will have higher maintenance costs on a yearly basis than a much newer home. Taxes are another factor. Taxes are higher in certain municipalities or cities with the STL region. Some in demand areas can have much higher taxes than others. Zillow.com is a great way to see exactly what a home’s tax history has been and what to expect.