How to Buy a Home With Good Resale Value

Couple Taking Self-Portrait in Front of their Home
••• Cavan Images/The Image Bank/Getty Images

The time to think about selling your home is the day you buy a home. If you buy a home with a good resale value, it should be fairly easy to sell if and when that time comes. But some homebuyers never consider resale value when they buy. They make the mistake of focusing solely on whether the home suits their own needs. But it might be pretty only to them.

Number One Rule of Home Resale Value: Location

You hear agents repeat the phrase in triplicate: location, location, location. If you choose a home in a desirable location, odds are that location will remain in favor, which will always attract a larger pool of home buyers. Alternatively, if the location is less than desirable, it's possible that your future sales price will always be less than the other homes around it, and you may attract a smaller pool of home buyers.

When it comes to location, you can't always anticipate changes that will impact your home's value, but you can try. You may not always be able to predict future changes, but be sure to educate yourself about anything that is already in the works.

Basic Indicators of a Home With Good Resale Value

First, define the type of buyer who would purchase such a home. Then think about the type of home that kind of buyer would need. Does your home fit those parameters? Here are indicators of a home with good resale value:

It Has More Than Two Bedrooms

If almost every home in your neighborhood has only two bedrooms, owning a home with fewer than three bedrooms is most likely not a drawback. But it is a drawback if you're trying to attract, say, a couple or young family. Many couples need a guest bedroom and an office, if not an office for each occupant. A home with three bedrooms or more is always a better choice to ensure future resale value.

It Has More Than One Bathroom

Buyers will still buy a one-bath home but they expect to pay much less for it. Given a choice between a two-bath home versus a one-bath home, first-time home buyers will almost always opt for the two-bath home, even if the cost to install a second bath is much less than the price difference between the two homes. Moreover, it's not enough to simply have two or more baths. A home without a master bath may also suffer from a lower resale value.

It Has Family Space

The term "family" is a bit misleading. A family space is any space in which a group of people can congregate. Whether to entertain friends or host a neighborhood gathering, buyers want an extra room that is spacious and informal. The days of the formal living room and parlors are over.

It Has Ample Storage Space and Closets

People in the 21st Century collect too much stuff. They've got to store it somewhere. Walk-in closets are considered almost essential. Homes with small closets are hard to sell.

It's on One Level

Even if the sacrifice is yard space, most buyers prefer a one-story home or at least a home with a first-floor master bedroom. But know your neighborhood. In neighborhoods with a mix of two-story and one-story homes, don't buy a single-level home surrounded by multiple-story homes as those have a bad home resale value.

It Has a Garage

Unless you live in an urban area where most occupants rely mostly on public transportation, you need a place to park your car, preferably two parking spots. If it's a covered, enclosed area, all the better. In some suburban locations, you may encounter resistance to homes with fewer than 3 parking spots in the garage.

It Has a Good Flow and Open Floor Plan

Few buyers want a chopped-up, closed-in space. Homebuyers prefer natural light and open spaces, with a common-sense flow that is interconnected without satellite rooms. A wing is acceptable; however, many families with young children do not want the master suite separated from the other bedrooms.

It is Updated and Remodeled

Simple, do-it-yourself home improvements can greatly enhance a home's resale value. The two best rooms to remodel are the kitchen and baths. Homebuyers prefer central heat and air, and some loans such as the energy-efficient mortgage will provide funds for such updates upon purchase.