FIND OUT WHAT YOU CAN BUY FIRST
Looking for a home? Do you know what you can afford? It's too easy to look for the houses you like. Everyone loves the 5 bedroom, 5 bath modern luxury home in the trendy neighborhood with the great schools, but can you afford it? The trick in buying a new house is get the best value for your money. So how do you do that? Well, that just depends on what you really want and value. Everybody is different. For some, that trendy neighborhood with the new schools is what it's all about. For others though, it might be the construction of the house. Or the pool outside. Or the Feng Shui.
One important aspect is the value of the land versus the value of the improvement. When you look at houses, the price is just the price. It doesn't break down in terms of the lot size or the lot value and yet that may be a critical part of the equation. In neighborhoods like West Universtiy Place in Houston or Alamo Heights in San Antonio, the lot price drives the cost of the home. This means that the square footage cost that the realtor tells you for the house in some place like Tarrytown in Austin is inflated dramatically by that lot value.
For instance, if a 5000 square foot house is being sold for $500,000, then the simple basic math is that the house is being sold for $100 per square foot. But that number is factored by the cost of the land. If that same house was in a small community like Seguin, it might sell for $400,000 or $80 a square foot. If it was in West University Place, it might sell for $2,000,000 or $400 a square foot.
So how can you find out lot values and the impact a neighborhood has on the price of a home? You can DIY online by searching the appraisal district values for any address. They will tell you the cost of the land for any given house and you can sometimes search entires streets for that information.
If you really want better information, you can ask your realtor to give you that information. If you need a great realtor in the San Antonio area, contact Devin Holland at 210/330-5552 or go to his website: http://devin-holland.homeluxerealty.com/