Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The house dream revisited

Everyone's dream--buy a house. Yeah, good times, good times.

Now, out here in Arizona, you better like your house ‘cause you ain’t going anywhere. A third of homeowners owe way more than their houses will ever be worth again.

Ellen James Martin, Universal Syndicate, says people now look for a bargain price plus some element that makes the house salable in the future.

Some of those “elements” include: Neighborhood. Select the right location, spend a couple of days walking around assessing the assets. Talk to residents. See if prices on resales have held up.

If you are moving into a city or area, talk to coworkers, anyone you can. Maybe even ask real estate appraisers.

Try to find a neighborhood near an employment center or office park. Even if you don’t work there, those seem to add value.

Stay away from freeways or truck noise. Also stay clear of major discount stores.

Even if you don’t have kids—check out the schools. The next owner may have tots.

Schools, in fact, may be the single most important factor.

Soooo…due diligence. Times are changing. Or have changed—forever.

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