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Am I Paying Too Much For My House?

Buying a home can be a confusing process with a lot of uncertainty. While everyone wants to find and buy their dream home, nobody wants to get ripped off. So when you find a property you’re excited about, how can you be certain the price tag on it is fair and not way beyond what you should actually be paying? While this can be easy for some people to check, it’s not always so straight forward for others. Here are a few tips for finding out if the listed price on a property is fair or if you should look elsewhere or try to talk the seller down.

Use Public Records

Whenever a piece of property transfers ownership or has a new structure built on it, the public record regarding that property is modified. When that ownership transfer involves a sale, the sale price also goes into the public record. Public records can be an exceptional research tool for a particular area, giving you information as to how much similar homes with similar features have sold for. While this is not a guarantee to the proposed value of the home you are interested in, it’s a great place to start your research. If the listed price is far below or way above other recent local sales, you may want to look elsewhere or try to figure out why.

Think About the Amenities

If you’re considering buying a tract house, consider what benefits the neighborhood can offer you. While things like swimming pools, tennis courts, or community gyms can be extremely beneficial, there are other things to consider. How far away are local schools? Supermarkets? Restaurants? If these things are within a very short distance, the home’s value could be significantly higher. In fact, if you can reach these facilities without even having to get in the car, your value could go up even further.

Look for Value Decreasing Features

There are factors in a neighborhood which can significantly decrease a property value as well. Location near amenities is one thing, but being located near major noise sources like busy train tracks or freeways can drag a property’s value down rapidly. Other negative factors include overhead high-tension power lines, nearby power production plants, and industrial facilities which produce a lot of noise during the day and potentially into the night. Neighborhoods with a lot of foreclosure also suffer from mutually-decreasing property values. Finally, unkempt and unsightly neighbors can actually cause a dramatic value loss for the entire neighborhood as a whole. While several hundred extra dollars per month in homeowners association fees may seem like a lot, they actually perform a very important task when it comes to preserving home value for the neighborhood residents.

Is There Potential?

A neighborhood in an area that is being developed or improved is said to have a lot of “potential” in that homes bought now will likely see big value increases in the near future. While these can be difficult to spot, look for signs, such as indications of widening streets or future construction projects nearby (especially if those projects are markets, restaurants, or schools). Development is a sign of an area improving in value, and buying before that development begins could be a wise investment. This is a double-edged sword, however, as too much development could lead to increased noise, added crime, and property values dropping quickly.

If you’re looking to buy a new home or sell your current one, call Dippy today at (661) 441-3304 and schedule an appointment!