Today on the Tuesday realtor tour, I looked at three homes in a similar price range in the Ward Park subdivision–this is the area south of 71st, north of 75th between State Line and Ward Parkway. It’s a lovely neighborhood: mature trees, every house different, conveniently located to amenities, shopping, grocery. As I walked through them I thought, which house here is the best buy?
All three homes had the traditional center hall plan, a two car garage, and curb appeal. House #1, priced at $259,950 features a large new kitchen, front porch, fenced yard with deck, original leaded glass windows, a master bath with a walk in shower and tub. This three bedroom, 1.5 bath home has 1726 SF according to tax records. House #2, just across the street, is priced at $287,500. It’s a bit larger at 1935 SF, no deck in back but a very small patio, a large bonus/breakfast room, walk in closet, updated kitchen and first floor laundry, three bedrooms and 2.1 baths. . House #3 is $279,900 and offers a smaller kitchen, not as updated, with a main floor laundry, 3 bedrooms, 2. 1 baths, a master suite and looked rather cluttered, 1924 SF.
There is about a $30K spread in these house prices. A typical buyer considering these homes would be in the $260-$280 price range. If you were the buyer, what would be most important to you? Would you be willing to spend less and have only one full bath but a large, updated kitchen? Would you like two full baths and a smaller updated kitchen, no back deck but a first floor laundry? Or how about the one with a kitchen that hasn’t been updated for several years but offers a walk in closet and main floor laundry?
Does this sound like an episode of HGTV’s “House Hunters”? That’s exactly what it’s like for a buyer–and particularly for buyers in the Brookside area. You have to decide, ‘what features are most important to me?’ because the house you buy probably won’t be perfect. That’s when your agent can give you some good advice and ask lots of questions to help you decide: is it better for your budget to go with the least expensive home? do you love to cook and must have the large kitchen–a second bath can be added later? Having that first floor laundry–more important than the newer windows? One sentence I hear over and over with buyers goes something like: “I wish I could put that kitchen in this house!” or “I want that large master bath next to this home’s bedroom!”. Think about your day to day lifestyle–what features are most important, what rooms will you use most often, how much do you entertain, what can you live with now and perhaps change later?
As you tour homes, make detailed notes about what you like and don’t like about each house–especially if you go back a second time. Once you’ve found the location you like, it’s all about the individual features of a house. Talk it out honestly with your agent and discuss the pros and cons of each– you’ll pick the right one!