Purchasing a Home with Adverse Features

It's not your real estate agent's job to pick the house you will buy; however, it is prudent for your agent to point out any unchangeable adverse features the home may have.  These are features that may cause it to appeal to less buyers resulting in the home taking longer than average to sell, and conditions that will cause the home to sell for less than similar properties.
If the home has any adverse conditions that you can't change, and you still want to buy the home, then your agent should caution you about the effect they may have when it's time for you to sell.  That doesn't mean you shouldn't buy the home.  If you love it, then buy it.  Your goal should be to buy it at below market value, knowing that you will be selling it at below market when that time comes.
When our past clients call and ask us to sell the house we helped them buy, we don’t want them to be surprised by the fact that their home has an adverse condition that will cause it to sell for less money and take more time.  We want them to be fully informed.
So what are some of the possible 'adverse conditions' we're referring to? 
1.  The home may be on or very close to a busy road.  There are several potential issues associated with a busy road.  Some buyers may object to the noise associated with traffic or heavy trucks traveling the road.  Some may be concerned about the safety of their children and pets.  If the home is quite close to the road, some people may feel like they would be living in a fishbowl with very little privacy. 
2.  The home may have a very small yard area relative to the size of the home. If the home is the size that appeals to families with children, these buyers generally want some yard space for the kids and/or pets to play.  If it is a small home that would appeal to singles, or a downsizing couple, then this may not be an issue.  However, for a 3-4 bedroom home over 1800 sq.ft. or so, the buyer pool for a home with little or no yard space will be relatively small. This does not apply to condos, of course.
3.  What about homes located very close to power lines?  Many people have fears about how low-level radiation from high-voltage power lines may affect their health.  Whether or not that fear is unfounded, it is a concern for many, and many buyers won't consider a home near power lines.  Even if not concerned about possible health issues, many buyers don't want power lines to be part of their view.
4.  If the home is located adjacent to a business, it may be a turn-off for many buyers.  There could be a litany of issues, from the noise of delivery trucks, to increased traffic around your home.  Depending on the kind of business, it could cause an eyesore with vehicles or equipment parked there, or could make noise at times when you or your family need to sleep. Bottom line, your neighbor does not live there with their family and doesn't have the same priorities as you.
5.  Homes located in or near the flight plan of a nearby airport, or very close to a busy train track, can be quite hard to sell.  Planes and trains don't just run during the day when the noise is canceled out by music, TV, and other things going on in your house.  They run on a regular schedule that includes late night and early morning hours that can be disruptive to your sleep.  In order for a buyer to accept the disruption, the house needs to be an exceptionally good deal.  That translates into below market pricing.  Even if you really like trains, don't assume that it will not be a problem for a large majority of potential buyers, because it will.
Even if a home has some of these 'flaws', it just may be perfect for you.  It's fine to buy it, but you should be aware of what you may face when the time comes for you to sell. You should also be very mindful that you don't make too many expensive improvements to the home that you will never be able to recoup in the final sale price.
If you have questions about the value of your home, please don't hesitate to CONTACT US.  We are available to help you whether you are buying or selling, and will ensure you are well informed and equipped to make the best possible housing decisions.