Are you searching for your dream home or planning to sell your current home? Either way, you probably have some fairly specific ideas of what is (or should be) perfect about the inside of a home. But what about the value of your home in external terms?
The stability and increasing value of a home depends on a combination of factors. Primary factors include the curb appeal and condition of the house itself, and the neighborhood and community in which it is situated. Here are some external factors to consider:
· Location – to good schools, to transportation, shopping, cultural and activities venues
· Quiet – a quiet neighborhood and environment often support higher value to the homes
· Neighborhood condition -well-maintained area also factored into a home’s value
· Low crime area
It is often easier to think of conditions that negatively affect the value of a home:
· Poor quality school district
· Transit systems or busy roads too close to the residence
· Apartment, commercial, or mixed use (commercial/residential) buildings next to a house
· Location near high voltage towers
· Higher crime area
· Dilapidated neighborhood
· Many homes for sale and homes in foreclosure
So let’s consider some of the steps a home owner can take to support or improve the value of a home:
· Refresh the exterior with paint or siding
· New roofing
· Replace old windows with energy efficient vinyl or wood framed windows
· Upgrade the entryway area with a new door, fresh paint, plants
· Update and add exterior light fixtures (for improved appearance and safety value)
· Replace the hardware – door handles, house numbers, mailbox, etc.
· Replace an old garage door
· Refresh the landscaping
Determining the value of a home from exterior conditions requires more than the loving eyes of an owner or the enthusiastic “love-at-first-sight” eyes of the home hunter. Other tangibles and non-tangibles influence the value of a home:
· Keep exterior home improvements in perspective with the rest of the neighborhood. Elaborate brick pavers or unusual exterior remodeling do not necessarily improve the value of a home if none of the other homes have been so extensively customized. As one property writer recommended, improvements should be undertaken with “Fix right for the home type,” in mind.
· The value of a home may increase in a neighborhood that is undergoing a renaissance – one where property values are improving after a period of decline. Depending on the economy that is driving this gentrification, well-maintained and improved homes will likely increase in value over time.
· What used to be considered less desirable in terms of home and neighborhood have undergone changes. More people are opting to invest in areas that are situated close to reliable transit systems. Home buyers are also looking with increasing favor on mixed-use communities. The “home-and-picket-fence” model is not the same ideal that it once was.
There are no absolute guarantees as to the current and future value of a home. The decline and rebirth of an area’s industries are external factors, as are other economic shifts in a neighborhood. Another external factor is the arrival of even one neighbor with unpleasant habits. This neighbor’s conduct and/or property maintenance can unfavorably shift the value of the surrounding properties.
Pride of current or future residence does not always require extensive investment. Developing a plan of reasonable and regular external home care can do a lot to help maintain and increase a home’s value.