Listing Courtesy of COLDWELL BANKER RESORT REALTY - S
It does seem that whenever a story about some faraway homeowners association finds its way into Laurel newspapers, nearly always it’s because something has gone awry. Either there’s an ongoing dispute about a flag display (“Indiana Couple Violate Rules for Flying U.S. Flag”), a fencing disagreement (“Border Feud is Childish and Dangerous”), or something else to catch readers’ eyes. The pettier, the better (“North Carolina Man in Dispute over Pansies Planted in Common Area”). Why does this hit the local news? Let’s face it: it is sort of fun to read about!
The downside is that when those instances are all we hear about, it can lead Laurel buyers to believe they should stay away properties with HOAs when they are buying a home. But the fact is, town homeowners associations exist to protect the common interests of owners and residents. Homeowners associations can and do offer many benefits. The key is understanding what they are, what the costs are—then choosing the right association.
Know the Rules
The first step in evaluating any Laurel homeowner's association is to thoroughly examine a current copy of its rules. When you realize that it’s natural to focus on the individual property instead of the community, it’s more understandable why many prospective buyers pay too little attention to this step. Later, they may find themselves in violation of rules they should have noted before. Those stories about flags are typical: usually the problem was not with the flag, but with rules about flagpoles. Small details can become big problems when the homeowners association ‘covenants, conditions and restrictions’ remain unread in a kitchen drawer.
Comparing Costs and Amenities
In addition to the rules of a contending Laurel homeowners association, there is the matter of its fee structure. Older homeowners associations are often (not always) less expensive than newer HOAs. Yet price is not the whole picture. Especially when evaluating two or more associations, it’s time to sharpen a pencil and compare what the fees cover. One association may include lawn maintenance, while another leaves that as your responsibility…and there may be value for the community (and your property’s resale value) in guaranteeing proper maintenance by everyone. One HOA may have a pool, tennis courts and other amenities, while another may only offer a community room. Newer Laurel homeowner associations are tending to offer more features, but not always.
Homeowner's associations offer a sense of community along with amenities and other benefits…but for some, the cost in individuality weighs against it. When I’m invited to be your real estate representative, I help you ask the right questions—the ones that will guide you to a new home that’s the right fit for your family. I hope you’ll give me a call! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit more listings at www.beachrealestate.com
There are two kinds of situations that homeowners looking at Sussex County comparables run into:
1. THE SIMPLE COMPS: Your Sussex County home is part of an area that’s more uniform than not, in a neighborhood where there are a sufficient number of similar houses to have produced several sales recently. Your street may not be part of a literal development with models that have near-duplicate floor plans—but the area is, in general, homogenous. When it comes to selling your Sussex County home, you’re in luck!
2. THE NOT-SO-SIMPLE COMPS: AKA, the incomparable situation. Your area home is one of a kind, almost totally unlike any other in the neighborhood (two bedrooms, six-and-a-half baths) or unlike any other in any neighborhood (who else has a swimming pool built into the attic?). All right, maybe your house isn’t quite that weirdly incomparable, but it’s still the case that no similar home has sold within a 5-mile radius within the last year or two. When it comes to selling your Sussex County home, you may still be in luck—but not because of ‘the comps’!
When your property falls into the first category, one whole part of your selling situation becomes a piece of cake because of the comparables. Sussex County comparables from previous sales make the ultimate, convincing case that your home has at least $X value, because the market says so. In writing. Real people have plunked down their hard-earned dollars as proof. Even better, real banks have backed them up with their also very real dollars. It’s all verifiable in the public records.
When your property falls into the second category, in terms of the comparables for our town, it really doesn’t matter if you have the most attractive house or the best bells and whistles and bathroom renovations that will take a buyer’s breath away. If no other home within a reasonable distance has sold with a reasonable period (say, six months) that are close to the same size as yours, or if none has anything like similar features, you and your Realtor® are going to be pretty much on your own even settling on a listing price. Here’s a few lesser known reasons why paying attention to comparables is important when selling your home.
· Unique amenities won’t always guarantee a higher comparable value. If the amenities are unusual for Sussex County, it might make it that much more difficult to find enough comparables in your area to come up with a listing price.
· School districts factor heavily into value. You might have grumbled about paying school taxes if you aren’t sending your own children off to school, but the quality of the school district has a large influence on comparables.
· Scarcity of housing inventory in your neighborhood can be either an advantage or disadvantage. It’s a plus if the housing inventory is low due to high demand (there will be enough recent sales information to set an accurate listing price). It’s a negative if scarcity occurs because no one is buying nearby homes—and appraisers will find it more difficult to place a value on the property.
It’s my job to get your home the best offers in the shortest amount of time for either category of Sussex County comparables. Give me a call—regardless of which one yours falls into, we’ll discuss how we can produce results that are truly incomparable! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at email@example.com, visit more listings at www.beachrealestate.com.