Home prices are still rising, so everyone is on the lookout for affordable properties. Though they are scarcer than they were a few short years ago, they still exist. The trick lies in knowing how to shop for something affordable and, especially, what to look for. With that in mind, we offer these 5 things to look for when shopping for affordable properties in Harford County.
1. Less Desirable Features
One important thing to look for when shopping for affordable properties in Harford County is features that are less desirable for other buyers. Because they are less desirable, properties with such features are typically more affordable, but perfectly acceptable with a little work.
According to industry pros, features can affect both pricing and competition, especially features that signal age. These include popcorn ceilings, carpeted bathrooms, shag carpeting, wood paneling, and outdated window treatments. It can be profitable, then, to go against trends and look for properties with features that other buyers don’t want.
To find good properties that are more affordable because of certain features, your best bet is to work closely with a Harford County agent. To discover more about this, just call 443-616-5486.
Looking for fixer-uppers is an effective strategy many buyers use to find affordable properties (or distressed properties). They are cheaper because they need repairs and renovations, so if you take this route, you’ll also need to make sure a potential fixer-upper will be worth the time and money you’ll have to invest in repairs/renovations.
One of the best ways to find potential fixer-uppers is to simply drive or walk around the target neighborhood. Some of the things to look for are . . .
- Lawns that need mowing and maintenance
- Broken/boarded-over windows
- Uncollected newspapers and mail
- Obviously deferred maintenance
As we mentioned, though, a fixer-upper carries some risk. Before making an offer, consult a Harford County agent at 443-616-5486.
Another source of affordable properties is foreclosures. When a homeowner fails to make the mortgage payments and falls into default, their lender can reclaim the home and put it on the market as a foreclosure. Such properties are typically sold at auction and are publicly listed through city or county agencies.
Banks are in the business of lending, not property management, so they are usually quite willing to sell foreclosures at discounted prices. Keep in mind, though, foreclosure can be a lengthy process, so these properties are often in disrepair by the time they are listed. But a good Harford County agent can provide the guidance you need.
4. Taxes and Condition of Major Appliances
And it’s not just the sale price that makes affordable properties affordable. You also need to look at property taxes and the condition of the major appliances.
If you buy in a low-tax area, the property is more affordable regardless of price. For example, the average tax assessment for New Jersey is $7,602, but for Alabama, it’s only $550. If you look at it from this perspective, a home in Alabama would be far more affordable.
There’s also the condition of the major appliances to consider with respect to affordability. Replacing appliances can run into thousands of dollars – many thousands of dollars if you have to install a new HVAC system. So don’t neglect to consider this when shopping for affordable properties in Harford County.
5. An Experienced Harford County Agent
As we’ve indicated throughout, most buyers looking for affordable properties can benefit from the services of an experienced local agent. In fact, you probably shouldn’t even begin shopping until you’ve located a good agent to work with. Many “affordable” properties turn out to be lemons and huge money sinks. A good agent can help you avoid making a poor purchase. If you’re ready to shop for affordable properties in Harford County, be sure to contact us today at 443-616-5486.