The L Formula
When looking for your dream home, most people are concentrating on the “L” formula – location, layout and lot. It is important for two reasons: 1. Future resale value and 2. Lifestyle convenience. Future resale value may not seem important to you now but in the years to come when you want to upgrade or downgrade and retire, this factor’s value will become all too apparent.
Let’s examine them.
Everyone wants to be in the best area of town and if you can afford it, it’s a good idea for resale ease and increase in value. If you can’t afford the best home, then at least buy the worst house in the best area. This has long been considered a smart thing to do and still is. However, price will dictate whether you can afford to buy here. Some buyers simply need more space because of the size of their family and can’t afford to purchase a home large enough to accommodate them in an exclusive area. These buyers will gravitate toward a “secondary” area where they will be able to have size and affordability. In a seller’s market “location” isn’t really important as far as a “quick sale” goes because all homes that are priced accurately in any area will sell promptly. However, in a buyer’s market this is not ture. Homes that are priced well in a top location will usually sell much quicker than those that are priced well in a secondary location. The demand for the “right” side of town will always remain steady, whereas, demand in a secondary area may not.
Most people, whether buying a home or condominium, want that spacious feeling that brings the outside in. Small bedrooms and kitchens are a turn-off for a lot of people as is the lack of closet space. When purchasing a home look for a workable flow to the home. Keep in mind that the faults you yourself see in the home now regarding layout abnormalities or deficiencies, will also most probably be seen in the same light in later years when you come to sell it to new buyers.
As a norm, flat and larger lots are usually the most desirable to buyers. Homes that are an “eagle’s nest” and perched precariously on a mountain hillside are not usually considered to be child friendly and therefore, are usually not worth as much because of the limited amount of buyers who would actually entertain the idea of buying them. However, if that same home were perched on a waterfront bluff, then obviously, the scenario would be different. Waterfront, lakefront and riverfront can be highly valuable and if the lot is gently sloping, so much the better.
Privacy is a huge asset to most people but a yard that has too many trees may be too dark to some. You may believe that this problem can be easily rectified by cutting them down. That is not always true. Some cities have strict by-laws protecting trees – even ones that are growing on your own private property.
Homes that have “side” yards instead of “back” yards lack privacy and are not as much in demand. Therefore, their value is normally marginally less. Corner lots have a privacy problem and are harder to maintain (there are two boulevards to mow instead of one). These type of lots also have more street noise to contend with.
The good news is that not everyone wants the same type of lot. Some people want one that is low maintenance to free themselves from being tied to a lawnmower and rake. However, most want space – so keep that in mind when you yourself are starting to look for your dream home.