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How to avoid purchasing a home with declining value

How to avoid purchasing a home with declining value

While the housing market today is more or less guaranteed to keep home values rising for potentially years to come, there are certain things that would-be buyers will be wise to watch out for. Over a long enough time period, issues can arise that hinder a home's value, or at least slow the rate at which it rises relative to the properties around it, so knowing what to look for is vital.

For instance, if homes are relatively close to high-tension power lines, they are less likely to see their value increase at the same rate as similar homes in their areas, according to Max Real Estate Exposure. While there is no definitive link between proximity to power lines and any negative health consequences, the perception that there might be can pose real problems for homeowners where property values are concerned.

Other issues
However, there is a clearer hurdle when it comes to properties that are relatively close to train tracks or highways, the report said. These issues can arise simply because of the potential for noise pollution and perhaps even physical risk, particularly when trying to sell to certain buyers, such as those with children. Even something as unexpected as proximity to billboards can have a negative impact on a property's value growth going forward, especially if located near busy thoroughfares in a city or town.

In addition, it's wise for buyers to ask about their potential new neighbors, according to Investopedia. If they find that some people living on their street might be at risk of foreclosure, that can have a significant negative impact on their property's value. But this is also true if neighbors are noisy, don't tend to take good care of their yards as well as they probably should, allow the houses themselves to fall into disrepair, and so on. Furthermore, if those neighbors are older, that might be a turn-off for families with young kids who might be moving into the neighborhood.

Of course, buyers and sellers alike don't get to choose their neighbors, but it's nonetheless an issue to be cognizant of throughout the shopping process, the report said.

Appraisal considerations
At the same time, it's also important for would-be buyers to get the properties appraised before they sign on the dotted line, according to Bankrate. The reason doing so is a good idea is relatively simple: This will not only help shoppers more ably determine the right price to pay for the property, but also aid them in identifying potential issues that could negatively impact the property's value potentially years down the line. Moreover, shoppers should ensure that whatever appraiser gets hired is from their community, or at least county, so they know what the local housing market is truly like.

There is so much to consider when looking at a home, but for some shoppers, the long-term prospects of price appreciation may be particularly difficult to ignore. Talking with a real estate agent about the issue is vital to understanding what market forces might impact the home for potentially decades to come.

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