Browsing through Austin homes for sale is an exciting process, but it can be frustrating and a little bit frightening, at times. It’s hard to find what you want, it’s hard to find what you need, and, in particular, it’s hard to know what’s fair – what’s a fair price for the home, what’s a fair estimate of its future value, what’s a fair compromise for you to make as a buyer if it’s damaged? Here, we’ll talk about a few basics of evaluating a home’s fair price. These are fundamentals, but they’re important. Keep them in mind as you shop.
Location is one of the most telling and most crucial pieces of information you can be given when evaluating a home’s value. Where it is is easily as important as what it is. A mansion in the middle of a crime-ridden area will not sell for the price you’d expect of a mansion. While such extreme cases don’t actually occur in real life, the principle is the same. Do you think the house is too far away from the city to merit its high price? Or do you think it’s so close the price is too low? Think carefully about this when evaluating a home.
Condition is the most obvious thing to consider. When you tour the house, look at what state it’s in. This is pretty natural, but it’s important to remind yourself to look for the non-obvious. Try to see if the grout is molded, check for loose doorknobs, and see if floorboards are loose anywhere if you can. These sorts of subtleties are easy for even well-intentioned home sellers to overlook, and they may be more thankful than anything if you point them out.
The age of a home isn’t itself a useful indicator of its value, but it does give you an idea as to how much maintenance the owner should have put in over the years. As a general rule, it’s rare for someone to perform sufficient maintenance on a home, so those over 20 years old are generally going to be in worse condition than a newer home, at least somewhere. This should factor into your decisions to buy (or not), and also into your projections of future cost. Older Austin real estate will cost a lot to repair and maintain, but a newer home will only present maintenance costs.