Thinking Resale When You Buy

Jonathan Dalton, Phoenix Real Estate AgentWith a loan approval at $115,000 and a base price fairly close to that mark, we had some tough choices to make. This was spring 1998 when my then-wife and I were buying our first house.

We would have preferred tile in the kitchen and guest bathroom, but were up against the limit and couldn’t do it. We would have liked anything other than carpet in the master bedroom but decided pre-wiring for ceiling fans was more important. We didn’t see a point to a gas stub for the oven or for a full tub in the master bath, so we skipped them.

In retrospect, these all were mistakes. Understandable all the way down the line, but they were mistakes. And since our “agent” had done nothing more than drive us to the builder and disappear, we didn’t have anyone with whom we could discuss our choices.

This week I showed some new condos to potential buyers from Saskatchewan. There are both 2- and 3-bedroom models, with a $10,000 difference in price between the two.

From a resale standpoint, I told them, the choice is clear – take the 3-bedroom condo, especially if there’s such a small price difference. The square footage isn’t tremendously different but there are precious few 3-bedroom condos in the West Valley of newer … well … of any vintage. And those are in demand.

A similar conversation took place earlier in the week while showing homes in Ventana Lakes, a 55-plus community on the Peoria/Sun City border.  Given a choice between a home on the water or off the water, if the prices are even close to comparable, take the home on the water.

Regardless of market conditions, a waterfront lot is going to retain a premium by virtue of the water. So while declines are universal and a rising tide will raise all boats, the declines will be less and the increases more with a finite product like a home on the water.

Very few buyers are thinking years down the line when buying now. Doing so from a price standpoint usually is an exercise in futility, unless you have a crystal ball. (It’s also all but irrelevant if you’re staying in a home for several years. Pick a 10-year period, any 10-year period, says RE/MAX founder Dave Liniger, and a home’s value was higher at the end of the 10-year period than at the start. Might be tested come 2016, but we’ll see.)

But helping current buyers to see the future impact of decisions based on the experience we have gained through our dozens and dozens of other current buyers … that’s some of the value a real estate agent brings to the table.

[tags]Phoenix real estate, new construction[/tags]

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at