First-time house buyers can follow several tips for navigating the market, according to Spencer Rascoff, the CEO of real-estate website Zillow. Nationwide, the best time to list a home is mid-March, but potential sellers should wait until after the initial spring listings have emerged on the Internet. Buyers should also not look for the worst home in the nicest neighborhood, but the best they can afford in the neighborhood. Female real-estate agents might be more willing to negotiate and close the deal faster for buyers, but research shows that a male agent will get sellers closer to their asking price. The choice to rent or buy depends on location, but typically buying is better if the property will be lived in for at least two years. Home values in the most desirable neighborhoods appreciate more slowly than in the neighborhoods nearby, while homes located near a Starbucks appreciate at 96 percent over a 17-year period, compared to 65 percent for other homes. For resale value, renovating the bathroom is preferable to renovating the kitchen, and basement renovations should be avoided. Street names can be important, with homes located on a “court,” “way,” or “lane” valued around 2 percent to 3 percent more than a home on a “boulevard” or a “street.” Superstition associated with the house’s numbers also can influence home value. | Read More