No one likes to overpay when buying a home. So, if you want to make sure every home-buying dollar counts, check out these home features Realtor.com says often inspire sellers to boost their price. While it’s fine to splurge a little if you truly want these things, on the other hand, you’re just wasting your money if you don’t.
A huge yard you rarely enjoy
A sprawling green lawn may have a certain curb appeal at first sight, especially if you have kids or plan to spend a lot of time outdoors. If you doubt anyone will be out there much, however, you’re just tossing money out the window. Turns out sellers charge a premium for that patch of grass, and you’ll funnel even more money going forward on lawn maintenance (or else spend your weekends mowing, weeding and pruning the yard).
A short commute you won’t use
Never pay extra to buy a house near mass transit or within an easy driving distance of major office areas if you work from home, commute during off-hours, work in the suburbs or are retired. Those are homes that regular commuters might covet, prompting sellers to charge much more. Is this an important factor to you? If not, consider a home that’s a bit farther out to save cash.
A top school district when you don’t have kids
A home zoned for a great public school always will command top dollar, and you’ll also pay for this come tax time. However, if you don’t have (or plan to have) kids, why empty your wallet? Instead, look for homes just outside the district to save on purchase price and property taxes.
A single-story house when you’re fine with stairs
In many locations, homes all on the same level command a higher dollar value because the baby boomer generation prefers them when downsizing. If you can handle going up a flight of stairs or two, consider a two-story house to get more bang for your buck. (Another bonus? A smaller roof to replace when the time comes.)
A bigger house than you truly need
Buyers often purchase a home that’s way bigger than they actually need. Then they end up with too much house, and they might not even use the rooms they have. Since a purchase price directly reflects things such as size, why overpay for bedrooms or media rooms you won’t use—and have to heat, cool, furnish and clean? Instead, seek homes that reflect how much space you’ll actually use.
A hot neighborhood
A buzzworthy neighborhood can send home prices soaring. But getting caught up in the hype and overspending in an area where prices haven’t quite gelled yet can be a risky proposition where you end up overpaying. Buy homes only in new areas that are still a relative bargain.
Fancy amenities you won’t use
If you don’t drink wine regularly, you don’t need a wine refrigerator—or to pay for a house with one, either. Premium upgrades and add-ons will send a purchase price north, so you’d better make sure you use whatever you buy often. This is especially true when you buy a condo or a home in a planned community since you’ll have to consider the monthly condo or HOA fees you’ll be paying as part of your purchase price. Those fees are for amenities, such as a gym or lounge, so if you don’t plan to take advantage of these features, you’re squandering your money.
The nicest house in the neighborhood
Although it may be tempting to snag the home with the biggest price tag in a certain ZIP code for bragging rights, you never want to buy the most expensive home in the neighborhood. Having the top comp in a neighborhood might become an issue when it comes time to sell. This scenario leaves little room for your home’s price to appreciate, so you may not be able to recoup what you paid.