4. continued – New to the area and not sure about crime rate? you can contact the police department and ask for the undercover detective assigned to that area. They’ll provide you with the details for your area.
5. Never buy a house that is mixed use or next to a commercial area. Mixed use requires a more substantial downpayment 25-30% for financing which eliminates the majority of buyers. Remember you want your property to appeal to the masses not the minority. Most first time buyers don’t want the noisy commercial businesses near their home. also stay away from properties near low income housing, high tension power lines, train tracks and sewer treatment plants.
6. Be careful if you are considering buying a property with no garage. I have purchased 276 houses in the past 12 years. I actually went back and looked at how long it took me to sell houses with garages vs no garages. My average holding time for homes without garages is 239 days. Yes that is correct it takes almost 4 months longer on average to sell a property without a garage.
7. Never buy a house where you can not correct functional obsolescence. Examples would be a house with low ceilings, narrow stair case, bad layout because the flow of the rooms is weird or tiny bathrooms or kitchens that can’t be expanded.
8. Never buy an entry level house in a flood zone because the insurance cost will be high. Most first time buyers are extremely sensitive to their monthly payments. The extra premium for flood insurance can make the monthly payment much higher than other houses in the same price range.
So what’s left to buy? you ask. As a seasoned investor in a depressed real estate market, I can tell you that I’m being more picky about what I buy than ever. I am only making offers on two out of ten deals that come across my desk because I want to sell at lightning speed. The fastest properties to sell are four bedroom + houses, with over 1500 square feet in great school districts with garages, formal dining rooms and big master bedrooms.
I look forward to giving you more information on the Selling process at this month’s meeting Tuesday, July 27, 2010 6:30 pm and our All-Day follow-up Saturday, August 7, 2010! Robyn Thompson