You can obtain statistics on local new home sales through a good real estate agent.
Eyeball a neighborhood in terms of upkeep. A neighborhood that's not well maintained will depreciate. If a drive through a community reveals the presence of junk cars, poorly kept yards and unkept houses, it's reasonable to fear that values there will decline.
Unfortunately, poor maintenance is contagious. When one neighbor lets his yard go, the other says, "Why should I bother to keep up my yard?"
Think specific schools, not just school districts. People are becoming a lot more aware of education.
It used to be that homebuyers with children were satisfied to buy into a general district known for "good schools." But these days, increasingly, they focus on a particular school within a district.
Buying a home in the neighborhood by a "crème de la crème" public school could be a safer bet in terms of the stability of property values than buying within an area where schools are generally considered good.
But buy close enough to the prized school that you won't likely lose access to it if school boundary lines are redrawn.
Seek to buy one of the least expensive houses in a splendid neighborhood. If your home is the vine-covered cottage surrounded by large chalets, you can expect the neighboring homes to pull up the value of your cottage. But buy the grandest chalet on the mountainside and you can expect the more modest homes there to hold down its value.
Buy the cheapest home in the best neighborhood is one widely known ideal that continues to prove true, time and again.
Buy a house not dressed in its Sunday best. One way to get a great value in a prime neighborhood is to buy a house with cosmetic or other superficial problems.
Houses that are messy and not all fixed up are often the best buys.
Because homes with cosmetic problems are a turnoff to most buyers, who can't see through the mess to the potential, they typically go at a discount of 10 percent to 15 percent off similar properties in tip-top condition.
And a few inexpensive improvements, such as a thorough cleaning and a new coat of paint, can result in a big change for very little cash.
Get a "market analysis" before you commit to a particular purchase. It's long been common for real estate agents to provide neighborhood market information to their home-selling clients. A "market analysis" compares a house to similar homes nearby that are on the market and can help spot an upward or downward trend in values. Smart sellers have traditionally relied on market analysis data to set the right price for their homes. Buyers can also have their agents tap those same statistics to be sure they get a good deal.
Buying a home dispassionately - The more carefully and rationally you make your home selection today, the better your chances of doing well when you sell your home in the future.
To be calculating is merely self-preservation.
If you have questions as a homebuyer, and I can be of assistance, please feel free to contact me!