July 18th, 2014
Is your house worth what you think it is? Or is it worth more? Today we’ll look at four factors that affect what others perceive your home as being worth.
Location is probably the biggest factor in your home’s resale value. Are you located where people want to buy. Are you located in a good school district. Are you located near essential shopping like grocery stores and drug stores.
As Americans scale back their dependence on automobiles, some home buyers seek out communities that don’t require cars to get around. One resource is WalkScore.com, which rates neighborhoods throughout the U.S. based on access to public transit and proximity to grocery stores, parks, gyms, and more. Empty nesters are looking to downsize in a more urban area where they can walk to restaurants and entertainment.
However, location means different things to different buyers. Some people may be interested in a view. Others may want seclusion or quiet. And others may want to have easy access to freeways.
Some people want to upsize, and others want to downsize. Parents of pre-teens may want to have a basement for a “rumpus room.”
The number of bedrooms also influences a home’s value, so think twice before putting up a wall and subdividing one room into two. “Adding a bedroom will take away value,” Zillow.com chief economist Stan Humphries says. “Fewer but larger bedrooms tend to boost value.”
We’re not exactly talking about historic homes (but we could be). If your home was built in the 1970’s and has been reasonably maintained, a buyer will pay more for it. If your siding is worn, a coat of paint isn’t going to hide that. A buyer is going to review the home inspection to determine how much work they will need to put into the home after they buy it. And that’s going to impact what they’re willing to pay.
Also, if your home had a leak or a fire, and there’s still some residual damage, like black mold, the house won’t seem as valuable.
Finally, if there was a death in the house, it may lower the perceived value, especially if it was a violent crime.
Renovations play into a home’s value, but if your home is considered “over improved” compared with other properties in the neighborhood, it can actually hurt the property’s value. It’s generally a good idea to talk with local contractors and real estate agents to determine what upgrades give the best return on investment in your neighborhood.
And our parting word of advice is to always keep records of repair work and renovations as proof to potential buyers that your home was well maintained.