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20 Things that Effect the House Value
If you're in the market for a new house you need to be able to identify factors which can increase or decrease the value of a home. You will not get any help from the seller or their agent. If you had a rail line running through the backyard they will more than likely tell you the home is perfect for commuters.
Here are 10 assets which can add value to a home, followed by 10 liabilities that will actually lower it.
1. A Modern Kitchen
Kitchens are critical; people prefer a large kitchen with plenty of workspace.
They are also attracted to high-quality flooring like wood, laminate, tile or stone and like solid surface counters. It is also important that all appliances are modern and in good working condition.
If the kitchen is not overly large it is desirable that it has countertops and cabinets that are in good condition and won't need replacing in the near future. A kitchen that is large enough for the family's needs and is well equipped is also desirable. Many families like kitchens that are open and part of another room. They also like windows over their sinks, too.
It is also important that any renovations that have been performed do not significantly set it apart from the neighborhood. For example, having a granite countertop will probably sell a house quicker than one with plastic laminate counter tops. However, if all the neighboring houses have plastic laminate countertops you cannot expect it to sell for a higher value.
2. Master Bathrooms
Buyers like to see bath tubs that are larger than average and allow a comfortable soak. Spas and whirlpool tubs are selling points of distinction. They are still valued features even if people have them and don't use them. Buyers also like to see a separate shower unit which has steam and /or multiple jets, a double sink and a separate room for the toilet.
It's also important that the existing plumbing and hot water supply can provide a reliable service. The pipes need to be large enough to carry enough water. The hot water heater also needs to be correctly sized for the demands on the hot water supply. A 75-gallon heater is recommended as a bare-minimum, with most people preferring 100 to 150 gallons.
Some people make the mistake of paying $30,000 to upgrade their bathroom but don't spend the few thousand dollars required to upgrade the pipes.
3. A Well-Appointed Master Suite
A well-appointed master suite is a sure-fire way to excite buyers. Things like luxurious bathrooms, lots of lounging area and walk-in closets are a big hit.
4. Natural Materials
People like natural materials such as ceramic tiles, hardwood floors and granite. Simulated materials that give off a natural feel work as well. People have fallen back in love with the natural, antiquated theme. For bathroom and kitchen flooring it is worth looking for ceramic tile or wood, as opposed to linoleum, which has a tendency to tear. Wood or laminate products are preferable for other areas of the house rather than wall-to-wall. It is important that any carpet your home has is good quality and well maintained. The potential costs of restoring it to former glories will put-off a prospective buyer.
5. A Good First Impression
It has been noted that houses in the same neighborhood can vary in price by as much as 10 percent, assuming all other things are equal. A good first impression can add as much as 5 or 10 percent to the value of a home.
6. Spacious and Light
Prospective home buyers prefer space and light. This makes sense as most people do not like dark and gloomy houses. Having a house that is light and airy is a redeemable feature and will help it sell.
7. Insulated Windows
With the recent cold winter people are worrying about energy efficiency and how well their windows keep them insulated. Insulated windows have been shown to pay for themselves in just five years. For an average 2,600 square foot home, allow for around $10,000 for new windows. Benefits have also been observed by having a well-placed skylight, too.
8. Good Landscaping
Having good landscaping can increase the value of your home. Mature trees can be worth as much as $1,000 and having outdoor areas with features such as pergolas and Victorian garden swings can also add value.
9. Lots of Storage
Some great additions to any house include an oversized garage, attic space and lots of closets. Space is important. It's worth making sure if you have a 2-car garage that there's enough utility space for common things like lawnmowers, bicycles, snow blowers and tools.
A "his-and-hers" walk-in closet is also a very saleable feature in the master-suite, too.
A dry basement is an advantage but a basement with water problems is a real negative. Finished basements are also currently in vogue, especially compared to ten-years ago when nobody attached any value to them.
1. A Pool
Despite the common conception, having a pool in the majority of areas in the country does not necessarily increase a house's value. People are advised to actually avoid pools because they will automatically limit your market when it is time to sell. The pool also requires constant maintenance, they are prone to cracks, the equipment breaks and is costly to repair and the liability is high.
There is no doubt that those in the market for a pool are willing to pay for it. However, there are many people who just don't want a pool.
Factors that need to be considered are your home value bracket and your location. If your property is worth $1 million dollars and doesn't have a pool it will be seen as a negative. On the other hand, if you do have a pool it will not add that much value.
2. Small Garage or No Garage
The majority of buyers are looking for a 2-car garage unless your property is a condo, a historical or in-town neighborhood or part of a retirement community. If you only have a one-car garage it's a real problem. Not having a garage at all will certainly have a negative effect on your properties value and appeal.
3. Illogical Floor Plan
If your home has an illogical floor plan such as small bedrooms and bathrooms, or having to enter one room to access another, it will reduce the value of your house.
4. Outdated Appliances or Systems
There is little appeal in an electrical or plumbing system that is unable to cope with handling modern appliances. Similarly, if the appliances very old or broken it would be hard to attract a buyer. First impressions are of the upmost importance. Imagine the impact an oven door falling off or an air-conditioning system not working when showing the property would have. These things can and do happen.
5. Unattractive Décor and Color Schemes
Having purple and electric green walls might appeal to some people but it's a good bet that many more will not be enamored. Currently, red is in fashion for walls but for how long? It is important to take into account these considerations when selling your home.
6. A Bad Roof
Most people expect a house to have a good roof. Fixing up a roof in bad condition is costly and this amount will be reflected by a reduction in the house's value.
7. A Poor Location
Houses in the same neighborhood could still be worth less due to their specific location. An example exists of one street where the odd numbers backed onto an interstate highway and some unsightly utility lines. The even numbered houses didn't have these problems and as a result were valued 10% higher.
8. Poorly Maintained
There's no point having a brand-new kitchen and bathroom if your roof is old and the paint is flaking off. Prospective buyers will probably not bother to get out of their car. It is advisable to undertake any repairs that you think are required else people will lower their offers or not bid at all. Also, if potential buyers can see visible signs of poor maintenance they might also wonder what else they're not seeing.
9. Environmental Hazards
If the home has environmental dangers like lead, mold or asbestos it can not only be a health risk but also significantly lower house prices.
10. Many improvements required
A house which requires a lot of work will suffer a reduction in value. Buyers are looking for houses that are able to be lived in immediately. A long list of things that need doing will scare of many buyers. First-time buyers will be especially wary as they find it difficult enough to afford the cost of the home without any improvements.