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10 Factors That Influence Home Values
1) Location-I am listing this one first because it speaks not only to the length of commute to work, appointments and schools, but also to safety, quiet, school district and resale.
2) Major Roadways-This is different from the work commute, consider that easy access to major highways is a huge resale item. In my area, for example, if you can access Texas Loop 1604, you can easily access IH-10, IH-35, Highway 281 and more.
3) Condition-This is a no-brainer, but be sure to look further than the cosmetics. Structure, roof, foundation, energy effectiveness (insulation, etc.,), age of water heater, air conditioning, windows, preventive maintenance items checklist, recent renovations, flooring (carpeting, wood, tile), updates professionally made or obviously done by a do-it-yourselfer. When purchasing a new or existing home, I recommend that my clients have a home inspection. You should, too.
4) Open Space-Many of today’s homebuyers are looking for open space, whether it is an open floor plan or a subdivision with space dedicated to residents. Home values may be influenced by trends or changes in the makeup of the homebuyers in the market. If I was purchasing a home today, I would certainly think about the flow of the home and the openness of the neighborhood.
5) Renovations/Improvements-I touched briefly on this one above, but any updates to the property that are tastefully and professionally done should add value. I have seen a few “whole house recently remodeled” homes where the renovation did not add value. Buyers should ask their home inspector about any part of a remodel. The inspectors I know don’t give a home a rating, however, they are usually willing to say whether they would have done something “that way” or not.
6) The Market-Most real estate agents will tell you that the market dictates the list price of a home, so naturally it follows that the market influences the home values. A home in San Antonio, for example, appraised at $196.500; perhaps the same home would appraise for much less in Miami, Oklahoma for a variety of reasons. It is important to have an agent that knows the market and is willing to do a quick market analysis on a property you plan to offer on.
7) Foreclosures-Foreclosures happen in most every price point and they have at least a temporary impact on a property’s value. Foreclosures are generally sold for less than market value so that means when an analysis is done, those homes may be included. The lower “Sold” price may drive down the home values in a subdivision and it may take up to a year to clear it from the pool of comparable properties. (If you are a homeowner considering listing a home in a subdivision that has a recent or current foreclosed property, you should find out what impact that home may have on the value of your property before you make the decision to sell right now.)
8) Crime Statistics and Sexual Predators-I always advise clients to look up the statistics on a given neighborhood before they make an offer on a home. Nearly every subdivision has some level of crime, including my own gated community. Only the client should decide whether they can live with the level and types of crimes reported in an area. For example, there was a random “hit-and-run” on my block where someone failed to stop at a corner stop sign and rounded the corner too fast and struck a parked vehicle. I can live with that much better than I could say, breaking and entering. It is something to be aware of and be informed about before you decide to purchase a home.
9) Rental Properties-Many buyers today are looking for stable neighborhoods with homes occupied by the homeowners. Your agent can provide statistics that will show you the number of homes in a subdivision, the number of homes occupied by homeowners and by renters. If that is an issue that concerns you, please ask for the information.
10) Demographics-This is another statistic that is often questioned. I enjoy a neighborhood where there is mix of ages—I enjoy kids playing and riding bikes outside, seniors strolling around the subdivision chatting with neighbors and the working group headed off to work. I like the dynamic of various ages, various styles and landscaping ideas.
I am sure you will find many articles on elements that have an influence on home values. It is partly market driven but the items listed above may factor into the formula. Before you decide to purchase a property, ask your real estate agent for additional information on a neighborhood or search it out yourself. If you don’t have an agent, give me a call. I’d love to answer your questions and help you in your decision process.
Sharon is a military wife who moved at the direction of the U.S. Army for nearly 30 years, a Federal employee who retired after 30 years of service, an active Broker Associate/REALTOR in San Antonio w....
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