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Rich Dad Poor Dad author Richard Kiyosaki uses the example of a sale at the local supermarket to illustrate a common investor mistake – focusing on price movements instead of value. He notes that if a supermarket held a “25% off everything in the store” sale, the store would be packed.

But when prices plunge in the stock market or real estate market, many investors hear the bad news and head for the sidelines until prices begin climbing again. In any market, it’s important to consider value along with the price. Supply and demand dictate that real estate values are easier to find in slow periods and become harder to find when markets heat up. 

So what’s lasting value? Here’s a list of homebuyers’ most sought-after features, according to the NAR:

  1. Central Air Conditioning
  2. Garage with two or more spaces
  3. Walk-in closet in master bedroom
  4. Backyard/play area
  5. Cable/Satellite TV/ready
  6. High-Speed Internet Access
  7. Seperate shower in master bath
  8. Patio
  9. Fencing
  10. Home newer then 10 years old

Source: NAR 2007 Profile of Buyer’s Home Feature Preference

If you have looked in the past and not found these features in your price range, it may be time to check again, while properties are “on sale.” Be sure to consider features that will make homes more valuable in the future, such as energy-efficient construction and appliances and shorter commuting times. Features like water or mountain views, good schools, recreation opportunities and unique architecture never go out of style.