As military families on the move, we focus a lot on personal wish lists when we’re looking to buy our next home. Since we move around a lot (like, a lot, a lot), we have the opportunity to try out a ton of different properties and discover all the things we want in a home and all the things we don’t. Then, if we decide to buy a home at our next duty station, we look for one that encompasses as many of the right things as possible.
But let’s look beyond the amenities we love and focus on the bigger picture. For instance, what’s your plan with the property, the house that has the garden tub, mud room, gourmet kitchen, etc.? What do you plan to do with it when you PCS again in a couple of years? Chances are, you’ll probably try to sell it or turn it into a rental property.
More important than the latest trends is the property’s resale value. While outstanding finishes will provide a beautiful backdrop for the next few years, a house that serves as a smart investment for your money is more important. Luckily, there’s some overlap.
So, what is resale value? Just as the name indicates, a home’s resale value is the amount it’s expected to sell for in the future. Good resale value increases the likelihood that you’ll be able to sell the property quickly and make your money back or (hopefully) walk away with a profit.
What does good resale value for a home look like?
1. The property is in the median price point of the neighborhood.
Though the nicest house might have all the bells and whistles that you and everyone else like, it doesn’t leave room for the opportunity to increase value while you own it. Plus, if the neighborhood begins to depreciate, there’s a strong possibility that you’ll lose money after paying top dollar for it in its prime.
2. It has a strong resale history.
What’s the average number of days the house sat on the market before previous sales? Less than 60 days is a good indicator.
3. There’s potential for equity improvement in updates.
Buying a home with room for small updates and repairs that provide a high return on investment will help increase the value and help the home sell more quickly later. Think paint, updated fixtures, hardware, landscaping, and possibly new appliances. Learn more in our post: Which Home Renovations Are Worth Your Time and Money?
4. Great schools nearby.
It’s no secret that parents want the best for their kids. Homes located in desirable school districts with the highest ratings will sell or rent faster and for more money than those that aren’t.
5. It has three or more bedrooms.
It’s important to appeal to as many potential buyers and renters as possible. A three-bedroom home meets most people’s needs, whether they’re a couple looking to accommodate a guest room and office or a family with kids.
6. There’s plenty of storage space.
For military families especially, our stuff doesn’t fit right in every home, while some items won’t fit at all. Don’t underestimate the value of a home with storage space, saving the future owner from renting a storage unit.
7. It’s in a prime location.
Location really is everything. Finding a neighborhood full of friendly faces, parks, and sidewalks with short commute times and close proximity to stores will make every penny of your investment worth it.
8. There’s a garage.
Not only does a garage provide a protected space for cars, but it can also serve as additional storage space.
9. It has curb appeal.
A home’s landscaping is a huge selling point. A property with a groomed yard, vibrant foliage, and well-kept exterior will have a higher value than those that aren’t well kept.
Now, back to your wish list. Keeping the above list of home resale value in mind, how many items overlap with your own list? Probably a lot. When you find your preferred home and neighborhood, there’s a solid chance that you won’t have to compromise on much when you’re looking for your next home to buy. After all, if it’s on your wish list, then it’s probably on someone else’s too.
Understanding resale value before you buy a home will help ensure that you’re looking at the big picture and ultimately make a wise financial investment.
By Danielle Keech for MilitaryByOwner