Decisions, Decisions: How to Choose Between Two Southern Maryland Houses

Kimberly Bean
Kimberly Bean
Published on January 10, 2017

It can be feast or famine in the Southern Maryland house-hunting game. Depending on the market, you may find few – if any! – suitable homes in your price range. Then, there may be times when you find several that seem perfect.

When that happens, how to you decide which Southern Maryland home to pursue, and which to leave behind?

There’s an age-old solution, and we’ve found it quite effective with our clients: The pros and cons list. Naturally, the list works best for singles and couples; the more members in your family, the more compromises you’ll need to make.

Here’s a roadmap of sorts to help you compile your pros and cons list.

Location, location, location

Location is typically tops in determining a Southern Maryland home’s economic value, so we’ll start here to determine its functional value to you.

If you have kids, choosing between Southern Maryland neighborhoods is a little easier than those without children. You’re probably looking for a neighborhood with other kids that is close to schools, parks, and recreation.

Other homebuyers may need to dig deeper. What do you know about the neighbors? How well they keep up the exterior of their homes will tell you a great deal about them, but a trip through each neighborhood during different parts of the week and during the day will tell you even more about whether this is the community for you. Depending on when you visit you may be fortunate enough to hear or see something intolerable — such as a yapping dog or loud music — that will knock the home out of consideration.

Use schooldigger.com and greatschools.org to research the nearest schools. You may not be thinking about future value right now, but that doesn’t lessen its importance. Homes near quality schools hold their value better than those near poor-performing schools.

Additional considerations about a home’s location include:

  • If you use public transportation, determine the distance to the nearest stop.
  • Is the neighborhood near the conveniences you frequently use?
  • If homes in one neighborhood are increasing in value faster than the others, make note of that.
  • If you’re concerned about crime rates, contact the local law enforcement agency with questions.

Comparing the homes

When you compare Southern Maryland homes, try to look beyond the attractive staging (or lack thereof) to see what architects call the “bones” of each home. This includes the design, the floorplan, and the home’s soundness of structure.

Your primary concern should be your lifestyle, so determine how well each home fits the way you live. The number of bedrooms and bathrooms are important, but what about storage space, room to entertain (if this is important to you), and outdoor features?

Consider your future plans as well – including whether you’ll be starting a family or dealing with an empty nest.

Scrutinize those features of each home that can’t be readily changed without spending a lot of money. This includes the flow, the number of bathrooms, closets, and room sizes.

Finally, don’t forget your wish list, if you compiled one. Which home hits more of the items on your list?

Try to remain unemotional during the process. If you find yourself going back to a particular home because of the gourmet kitchen yet another home has more of what you want, your emotions will keep yanking you back to the former. Is it possible to add some gourmet features to the other home?

Have you ever noticed something new in a movie you’ve watched for the second time? It’s the same with houses! Tour each home again to help you decide.

Naturally, a fast moving real estate market won’t accommodate your vacillation, and you may need to make a quick decision. In that case, remember that your new home is also a financial investment, so consider choosing the home that will hold its value better than the other.

White Plains MD Homes for Sale and Real Estate Services in Southern Maryland. You now have a search engine to help you with your Southern Maryland home search! And I’m ready to provide you with a custom home valuation if you’re considering selling your home. Let’s connect to discuss how I can help you. Contact Kimberly Bean at 301-440-1309

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