Ask a Realtor

Ask a Realtor Jim Mulholland, Cy-Fair Real Estate[/caption]

Local Realtors answer questions about trends and offer tips to homebuyers and sellers considering buying or selling a home in or around Cy-Fair.

What would be the better investment:  buying a larger updated home in an older neighborhood or buying a newer smaller home?  

My first instinct is to say the smaller home because newer neighborhoods tend to have nicer amenities and better schools, which are keys for resale. However, a sample set of data points does not agree with that assessment, at least for Cypress. I compared home sales in 2000 and 2015 for Lakewood Forest—an older neighborhood with bigger lots—and Coles Crossing, a newer neighborhood with better amenities. Home values in Lakewood Forest have increased 50 percent between 2000 and 2015, while Coles Crossing values have only gone up to about 26.5 percent.

What upgrades should one look for before buying a home? 

Energy-efficient features such as double-paned vinyl windows, a radiant barrier in the attic and an energy-efficient AC unit are must-haves to cut down on energy costs. Interior upgrades such as flooring, counters and cabinets are important, but depend on the buyer’s tastes.

What information should a buyer research before purchasing a new home in an unfamiliar area? 

Schools ratings and crime statistics are a good start. Talk to your Realtor about sales statistics for particular neighborhoods you are interested in. Are values going up or down? How fast are homes selling on average?

Ask a Realtor
By Shawn Arrajj
Shawn Arrajj serves as the editor of the Cy-Fair edition of Community Impact Newspaper where he covers the Cy-Fair and Jersey Village communities. He mainly writes about development, transportation and issues in Harris County.