A friend of mine called me last week. Her son was about to buy a house sight unseen in a different state and she wanted to know what I thought. While I did not have any specific knowledge or experience in a market that was a 10 hour drive from Lexington, what I chose to tell her should help insulate her son from making a bad decision. It will do the same for you.
The biggest thing to think about is how a house fits in with the other homes in the neighborhood. If almost all the houses have a 2 car garage and the one you want only has a 1 car, that is bad because buyers will view your house as inferior to others. You don’t want a small lot when most are bigger. A smaller house when most are bigger.
About the only way being different normally helps is if a house is better than most in the same neighborhood. Like, having a 3 car garage when most have 2. Having a bigger lot when most are smaller. These things make the house superior to the rest and help with resale potential. (When buying though you have to make sure you are not spending a lot more than the typical house in a neighborhood-these superior features do add some value but it is generally not a good idea to be the most expensive house in the neighborhood.)
Resale potential is about how appealing a house is in the market place…..not to be confused with resale value. Values fluctuate. Appeal is consistent. In a hot market, all houses sell. In a bad market, only the best sell. When the market was in the toilet several years ago, the better houses kept more of their pre-crash value and sold faster than others.
Pick a good one.