Definition: A stand alone house also called a single-detached dwelling, detached residence or separate house is a free-standing residential building. Sometimes referred to as a single family home as opposed to a multi-family residential dwelling (Wikipedia).
This is the most common residential real estate in America. When most people think about buying a house, this is what they mean: a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house with a yard, driveway, and maybe a 1 or 2 car garage. And if they're lucky, it may have a nice porch with a fenced in yard. Single family homes are great -- most of my clients want one, I've had a couple, and they are some of the best real estate investments the average buyer can make.
Single family homes, if located in strong locations, tend to have steady appreciation (meaning the value goes up over time), and can serve as good properties for resale and/or rental. If your house is located in a good school district, you will attract people that both want to rent and buy your home. Popular school districts are generally the number one driver for people wanting to purchase in a certain location.
Single family homes in Virginia Beach and Norfolk are awesome -- they give you the space to have a dog, let your kids run free, and have some cookouts and get together's during the nice month's of the year (which is 75% of the year here!). But don't be fooled -- there are some downsides to single family homes, and so let's examine both the pros and cons of purchasing a single family home and how to purchase a single family home.
How to Purchase
Purchasing a house is really no different than purchasing a condo or multi-family unit. You see the place, you get the bank to lend you money, and you buy it. But when purchasing a house, you want to consider more than just the purchase price.
How much maintenance is required? Is it a big yard, or small one? Are the trees massive and a concern when we have a hurricane or tropical storm (because we have one or two a year)? I remember watching our huge tree split and missing demolishing our house by 12 inches during Hurricane Isabel. We were watching helplessly from a neighbors house. The cleanup was incredible for the next week. The damage, fortunately, minimal. On the note of trees, consider where your neighbor's trees are and talk to your insurance adviser, because your neighbor's trees could be your problem too. I had a friend in Richmond buy a house and within weeks had a dispute with his neighbor about an insurance claim. Needless to say, it was not a great way to start his move in to the neighborhood.
Aside from trees, look at how the property does when it rains. I once met a couple that only views properties when it rains -- like seriously, who does that? Most people stay home. But no, these people were serious -- and smart -- and only viewed houses when it rained. They wanted to see how the house reacted to a downpour, if it flooded, and how muddy the yard got.
There is plenty more to consider when it comes to maintenance, such as the age of the house, the type of electrical wiring and plumbing it has, and more.
These points are in no particular order. If they were, location would probably be the first point. But the point is not just about buying in a popular location. It's about buying in a location that fits you. Do you like houses on a corner? Do you just like a certain neighborhood? Do you mind a little jet noise, or do you want a super-quiet community? Are sidewalks important?
With regards to location, neighbors are a big one. They may not be moving. I knew someone that was unhappy for seven years (since the day he moved in) because of a dispute with his neighbors. No, this is not the Richmond guy; it's someone else. But these things are real. Meet the neighbors before you buy! Sure it's a short impression but it's something. Neighbors can make or break your enjoyment of a house. And they have everything to do with the location, so that's why I listed them here.
In addition to the location of the property, consider what else is important to you: shopping, parks, employment centers, etc.
757-288-8680 | Southerland Real Estate, Inc. | 638 Independence Pkwy., Suite 240, Chesapeake, VA 23320
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