If we had to place ourselves in a box when it comes to our financial approach, I would say that we were prudent investors. We tend to err on the side of caution, do a lot of research and try to invest in ways where we feel confident that our financial future will be secure. So when it comes to buying a house, our approach would almost certainly have us looking at the best areas, the resale must haves and the greatest investment opportunities. And considering that the purchase of a home is often one of the biggest purchases a family will make, it would make complete sense to use that forward looking investment approach. But with the purchase of our new home, we found ourselves really weighing up whether future resale value was more important than the true desires we had for our forever home.
1. Number of Bedrooms
Your typical suburban family has 2 kids, a dog and a house with a little white picket fence (sorry i couldn't resist this really overused analogy of the American dream). But there is a lot of truth in it. The average number of children per household in America (for families who decide to have children) is 1.86 children. (Side Note: .86 of a child? I get that its the result of an average, but it just sounds all wrong).
So with a bedroom for the parents and one for each child, it makes sense that homes with 3 or more bedrooms sell faster. Of course, it also ups the resale value of the home.
It has increasingly become the norm for families to own at least two cars (potentially more once those 1.86 kids start driving). So its completely understandable that families are drawn to homes that have a double garage. A mere scroll through the websites of the hundreds of new build communities popping up, will quickly show you that there has become an expectation that new homes include (at least) a 2 car garage.
Hey, i'm not one to argue against the double garage. Having moved from sunny South Africa to a snowy Colorado winter, I completely promote the need to have your car in a garage overnight. The not so sexy alternative is waking up and scraping 6inches of snow off your windshield, with your handbag slung over your neck, baby in one arm and a school bag slipping off the tip of your fingers, while running late for work, again!
3. Storage & Closet Space
While the 2 car garage provides some storage space, we are by nature collectors (I'm not kidding, its slightly concerning how much stuff we have collected in the 6 months we have been in the US). When people look for homes, on the top of their lists are large walk-in closets and extra storage space. An attic or a basement with great storage solutions can also really up the resale value of a home.
4. Location, Location, Location
I previously wrote about things to consider when choosing the location of your home (which you can read about here). When it comes to resale value of a home, the location is critically important. People look for homes that are in good school districts, great neighborhoods and cute little cul-de-sacs.
5. Upgrade my Life
6. Large Lots
What's not to love about a nice big garden (whether your into raising chickens, want a private pool, a vegetable garden or a large space for a private soccer game), homes with larger lots sell quicker. Keeping the landscape and the yard well manicured is also essential for resale value and general curb appeal, so just make sure you have a love for cutting the grass.
7. Neighborhood Amenities
8. Size & Layout of the House
In the past, people looking to purchase a new home were drawn to the idea of bigger is better. But there appears to be a move away from this idea, with buyers opting for smaller spaces with layouts that optimize the use of those spaces. An open design looks and feels much bigger and can have an influence on the value of a home. As I wrote about here, size does matter. There is a lot of work and money that goes into maintaining a large home.
I guess that explains the obsession with all of these new tiny house building shows.
Are there any other things that you think are essential in ensuring optimal resale value of a new home? I would love to hear from you.