by Amy Downs with HomeSmart. Contact Amy Downs

Scottsdale Area REALTOR®.

What Makes a Property Prime Real Estate

Several factors influence the supremacy of a home. Whether you are in a buyer's market or a seller's market, follow this advice to get the most for your money when you purchase your next home.

Location, location, location. We have all heard it and we all know that it is subjective. So how do you know if you are choosing an up and coming desirable location? One solid indicator is the rating of the schools in the neighborhood. Even if you do not have kids, look up the data for the schools closest to your possible address. Enter your zip code at the Great Schools website to look up independent data on the schools. If you see neighbors nearby at an open house, ask them what they know about the schools located in the area and of course, ask your real estate agent for other sources of information you can use.

Less may be more. If your budget is tight, but you still want a great neighborhood, consider buying the smaller place on a street that has larger homes. You can upgrade your home, but not your neighbor's home. Look for signs of any neglected or rundown properties in the immediate 3-block radius. Chances are, you won't be able to overcome that issue later as a drawback when you sell the home in the future and may end up disliking your new location because of it. Know the price per square foot in the neighborhood over the last 12 months and check to see if it is trending up , stagnating, or going down.

Watch out for bubbles. Some areas will have a pricing bubble that may burst soon. You do not want to buy for an inflated price only to start losing money on the first day of ownership. Try to think of buying a home as a chance to make money. If there could be any reason you might have to sell the home in the first year of owning it, could you break even? If the answer is no, you may be overpaying for a hot zip code or trendy area that may not be able to withstand any market changes.

To help you navigate real estate information about your area of interest, contact a real estate agent. They work for you and are usually paid a commission by the seller. An agent will provide you a market analysis for similar homes, help you watch out for pitfalls in the inspection process and give you the history of the neighborhood's pricing and trends.