How to Pick the Right Location for Your Home

When you drive up to your dream home it’s difficult to imagine a substitute residence, especially if you are a first-time buyer. Its curb appeal is unbeatable, you think to yourself.

But there are a number of things to consider before you take the plunge.

Location is one of the big factors.

Even in a down market people are willing to pay more for a home when the conveniences and other features indicate a favorable property.

Check out the conveniences and ask yourself some questions. Is the neighborhood safe? How about the schools? Are they among the best?

Real estate agents used to provide buyers with information about crime and whether the home was in a safe neighborhood, but that may now be more difficult to come by as the National Association of Realtors warned in a recent issue of Realtor magazine that agents should not disclose crime statistics, state that a neighborhood is a safe place to live or mention anything about the quality of the schools.

Why?

Agents must not violate Fair Housing Act steering guidelines. Agents are now suggesting that clients contact police for crime data and set up personal visits to schools for their quality performance data.

Some other things to think about include:

Noises and Smells: Are sounds from trains audible at bedtime? What about fire truck and ambulance sirens? Is freeway or factory noise constant? Are odors from a landfill obvious?

Construction: The city will know if planned roads and open land developments are acceptable.

Be Observant: Is the street a main thoroughfare for kids and teens, especially after school? Chat with neighbors if possible. A walk up and down the street will reveal barking dogs, and too many cars parked in driveways may indicate renters who don’t take pride in maintaining their properties. At night, watch out for drag racers and/or band rehearsals.

How a Market Analysis Benefits Buyers and Sellers

A comparative market analysis (CMA) is one of the most important considerations in any real estate transaction. It not only benefits both the buyer and seller, but a properly performed CMA is a critical step in establishing price versus value. Here is what you need to know about a CMA before buying or selling a home:

How It Works

A CMA is typically done by a real estate agent with extensive experience in the property type and location. A careful evaluation of the parcel is done to assess the condition, amenities and unique status of the specific property in comparison with others in the same vicinity. To obtain the best CMA, it is necessary to work with a qualified real estate professional who knows and understands the location.

How It Benefits the Buyer

A CMA helps the buyer differentiate unique aspects of the property so it can be compared with other potential properties in the immediate area. By weighing price, amenities, location and other variables, the buyer is more informed and able to support fiscal and other factors involved in the purchase.

How It Benefits the Seller

An important aspect of selling a property is the ability to price it right. A CMA alerts sellers to comparable properties and helps set an entry price point. Aggressive or highly motivated sellers would want to list their homes at the lower end of the spectrum, while others may take a more leisurely approach by pricing at the higher end but appealing to specific amenities.