10 Surprising Things That Decrease Property Value

Your home is one of your biggest purchases, so it makes sense that you'd want to protect your investment. Read on to learn about 10 surprising things that decrease a home's property value.

Bad neighbors

Have a neighbor with a junk-strewn yard, loud dogs or a penchant for wild parties? If so, know that it erodes your property value in addition to theirs. Another issue is living by a registered sex offender—find out if there are any in your neighborhood by searching the National Sex Offender Public Website. And make sure you’re not being a bad neighbor either by avoiding these 12 habits!

Poor exterior paint quality

Your home’s exterior is the first impression people get of your house. So exterior paint that’s faded, cracked, or peeling is a big turnoff. Another negative is painting your home an offbeat color. Buyers favor neutral colors like gray, white, cream, and beige. So pick your colors with care and repaint the exterior when it starts to look bad. And watch out for these paint colors that can make your home look dirty.

Deferred maintenance

Have a backlog of serious repairs, such as a leaky roof, damaged siding, or a sputtering HVAC system? If so, it’s best to tackle them ASAP. Letting them languish on your to-do list will only chip away at your home’s property value. What’s more, it’s often more expensive to remedy these issues the longer you wait.

Neighborhood foreclosures

A foreclosure close to your home hurts your home’s property value. That’s because appraisers look at comparable selling prices in your neighborhood when estimating your home’s value. What’s more, foreclosed homes may sit vacant without any maintenance for a long time. That also doesn’t bode well for your property value. Maybe try out these home improvements that can double the value of your home.

Proximity to certain facilities and businesses

Studies show that living close to certain businesses and facilities can drag down property values. Being in close proximity to the following are associated with these drops in property value:

  • Bad school (22.2 percent)

  • Strip club (14.7 percent)

  • Homeless shelter (12.7 percent)

  • Cemetery (12.3 percent)

  • Funeral home (6.5 percent)

  • Power plant (5.3 percent)

  • Shooting range (3.7 percent)

  • Hospital (3.2 percent)

An unsightly yard

They call it curb appeal for a reason. If your yard is in poor condition or overrun with stuff, expect your property value to suffer. On the flip side, elaborate landscaping or a koi pond can also put a dent in your property value since many homeowners don’t want to handle the extra maintenance. A final yard-related turnoff: trees located too close (less than 20 ft.) to your house.

The address suffix

It may sound crazy, but your address suffix could increase your property value up to 36 percent. Research shows that boulevard, place, and road addresses are the most “expensive.” Suffixes associated with lower property values include street, drive, and avenue.

Too much personalization

When a buyer tours a house, they quickly take note of all the projects they’ll need to do. Topping their lists are things like removing quirky wallpaper, painting over unusual colors and replacing unconventional fixtures. If you’re going for something offbeat, try to ensure it can be easily removed or reversed when it’s time to sell. Or just avoid projects that will lower your home’s resale value altogether.

A garage conversion

Converting your garage to a gym, playroom, home office, or anything else besides a place to park cars is a sure way to lower your property value. That’s because the vast majority of buyers want a space for their cars and yard equipment. If you want to use your garage for any other purpose, do so in a way that makes it easy to convert back to a conventional garage.

Lots of carpet

Carpet tends to show damage easily, can be difficult to clean, and retains odors. What’s more, many buyers are turned off by certain colors. A better flooring option is hardwood or laminate. In fact, one study revealed that 54 percent of home buyers are willing to pay more for hardwood floors.

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman

Amanda Prischak
Amanda Prischak is a freelance writer who began her career in the editorial department of Good Housekeeping magazine. She went on to serve as a copywriter for a major retailer and worked in the corporate communications department of a Fortune 500 company. She freelanced for a wide variety of clients on the side before becoming a full-time freelance writer. She is skilled in article writing, blogging, SEO, web copy, profiles, case studies, and email marketing. She has extensive experience in the property casualty insurance industry and holds the Chartered Property Casuality Underwriter (CPCU) designation. She also has experience in the ecommerce realm from runnning her own online store (shopofminiatures.com). Over her career, she has earned three Content Marekting Awards, a Hubbies award, and two awards from the Insurance & Financial Communicators Association.