Searching for a home can be stressful and exciting. You are striking out on a new adventure to become a homeowner, but there is so much money involved that it can be scary. Don’t worry, you are not the first homebuyer to experience these doubts.
A home is probably going to be the biggest investment of your lifetime, so it is natural to feel a little stressed about getting the right home for a fair value.
One of the best parts about moving to Philadelphia is the combination of the resources and amenities of a large city with an affordable cost of living. It is not nearly as expensive to live in this metropolitan area as it is in Boston, New York, Miami, or D.C. However, you still get to reap the benefits of living in a major population center on the East Coast.
Even knowing that Philadelphia is a great place to live, you are still worried about purchasing the right home. That is okay, this article is going to help you make the right decision. Here are a few signs that the home you are interested in will be a good investment.
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Short Inspection Report
When you buy a home, you have the option of paying for a professional inspection. This report will reveal any issues with the home that will need to be addressed either before the sale, when you move in, or in the coming years as the owner.
Most importantly, you should NEVER waive the inspection to purchase a home for a lower price. You could be saddled with all sorts of costly repairs if you skip this step. Also, the shorter the inspection report, the better.
If the inspector finds few issues with the home, and there are no obvious signs of future problems, then you should be relatively safe from unexpected repairs in the early days, which will allow you to build up your savings again before additional expenses kick in.
Sustainability is immensely popular in the housing market. Owners want their homes to have a smaller impact on the environment while lasting longer. Sustainable architecture benefits the environment and the homeowner, especially when it comes to costs.
Features like additional insulation, resource conservation/repurposing, natural building materials, and renewable energy systems can promise a longer-lasting home that reduces your carbon footprint. Since this is a wave that is likely to continue growing in residential real estate, your home will not lose value because of outdated architecture.
Strong Local Market
The location of your home also has a big impact on its quality as an investment. The simplest way to identify a home with higher value is to look at the surrounding area. Are the homes being sold on the same street going for higher prices?
Do they have comparable amenities and curb appeal to the property you are looking at? If you are purchasing a Mainline Philly home in the historic district, this is a strong real estate market that represents a good investment.
What you do not want to see is neighboring houses that are in disrepair or local parks that are not well-maintained. These reflect a lower-value neighborhood, which could make the home a risky investment.
When you see a home listed for sale, you can look into a brief window of its listing history, typically to the most recent sale.
This valuable information can help you determine if the price the seller is asking for is a good deal. For example, if the house has been listed before but then taken off the market and is now listed again, it may show that the sellers were unable to get an offer last time.
Perhaps they were simply stubborn about the price and were not willing to accept less than what they wanted. You should also look out for house flippers, which is often the case when a home was bought recently for a low price and is now being offered for much more.
They may have made upgrades that were not properly permitted or were done hastily, so a flipped home could be risky even if much of the home’s features are new.
In general, if the previous owners lived in the house for a long time, this is a safe bet that they have taken care of the property.
Take Your Time on This Big Investment
Real estate transactions can be stressful, especially for buyers who are trying to save money and may need to move by a certain date because of lease agreements. This can lead to rushed purchase decisions that may be poor investments or bad deals.
Taking your time as a buyer in Philadelphia is important so that you have time to research the home you are interested in. Consult the inspection report to make sure there are not too many issues with the home.
Look for sustainable architecture and a strong local market, which will both indicate a safer investment. Check the selling history to see if there is a high turnover for owners, which usually demonstrates that the property has issues. The more research you do, the better informed your home purchase will be.