10/7/2011 6:12 PM ET|
Weird stuff that hurts home values
All sorts of factors can diminish what your home is worth, such as the way your house compares with others in the area, your neighbors or a faulty appraisal.
If you know anything about real estate, you know that location matters most.
A house in a nice neighborhood is worth more than the exact same house in a sketchy area. A good school district adds value, while struggling districts detract. A house on a quiet street is worth more than one on a busy thoroughfare.
But there are other factors that can significantly affect the value of your home that aren't so obvious. Such as:
Your house sticks out like a sore thumb. If your house is dramatically different in style or scale from its neighbors, its value could suffer.
A contemporary-style house in a neighborhood full of colonials, for example, may not get the same value as it would if it were in a neighborhood of similarly modern homes, said Don Boucher, a senior residential appraiser in Washington, D.C.
Likewise, if your home is 3,500 square feet and neighboring homes are typically 2,000 square feet, you also won't get full value, Boucher said.
"People who want a 3,500-square-foot house are generally looking in other neighborhoods," Boucher said. "People tend to congregate in homogenous groups . . . they want to be in a neighborhood with bigger homes."
This can come as a shock to someone who poured a small fortune into adding rooms or upgrading the kitchen and bathrooms far beyond the general level of the neighborhood. If you add too much square footage or "over-improve" your home, compared with your neighbors' houses, "you're not going to get your money back," Boucher said.
That's not to say your outsize or fancy home won't be appraised for more than your neighbors' houses. But you'll likely get less per square foot than comparable homes receive. When it comes to real estate, bigger isn't always better.
"It's OK to have one of the smaller homes in the neighborhood," Boucher said.
If your decorating taste veers far from the mainstream, you also could wind up with a white elephant. Painting the house bright orange or lining the driveway with David statues isn't going to help get you top dollar when it's time to sell.
You're missing a bedroom, or a family room. Here's another area where conformity pays off. It's perfectly fine to have two bedrooms, or even just one, in a hip urban neighborhood that caters to singles and childless couples.
But if your neighbors all have four bedrooms, your house should, too. If you own one of the few houses in the neighborhood that has only two or three, Boucher said, your home value might get punished for that.
Likewise, if family rooms or "great rooms" are the norm and your house doesn't have one, your appraisal could take a hit.
That doesn't necessarily mean you should spend the money to tack on a room. Most home improvements are money losers, returning less than you invest even if you sell right away. If your plan is to move within a few years, skip the remodeling, and let the next homeowner decide whether to add.
But if you're thinking of expanding your house anyway for your own enjoyment, bringing it up to the norm for the neighborhood can get you a better return when you do decide to sell.
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From what I just learned from this article, I'm f#%&ed. Across the street from my very nice 2bdrm, well maintained home, is a house that belongs in a ghetto. Two houses down lives a sex offender. And my street dead ends in a school parking lot. So much for my home's value. According to this article, nobody would ever buy a house in my neighborhood.
The cost of maintaining a home on top of taxes, insurance, and mortgage payments aren't worth it. Not in this economy with too many people out of work or those who are fortunate to be employed, just don't make enough money or are underemployed.
One of the first things they teach in Bankruptcy is not to incur such long debts, and the typical 30 year debt of house payments IS too long. Plus, college grads that have borrowed already have too much debt that CANNOT be defaulted- not school loans anyway.
Not ever buying a house and I don't care; but at least I'll have money for retirement and health issues, something I wouldn't have with having the huge expense of a house.
Only the banks win here.
I disagree with the advice about avoiding buying a home in a historical district. While it's not for everyone, many of us like living in a designated historical district precisely because we know the people who choose to live there actually care about maintaining their homes's architectural integrity. Living in a historical district is meant to protect your home from being "remuddled." Come on, admit it, we've all seen the 1920's Craftsman bungalow destroyed by en-caging the front porch, or the beautiful Victorian home, covered in new siding such that the original ornate woodwork was lost.
My advice is, if you don't want to live in a historic district, don't. But for those of us who realize that by being entrusted with the care and maintenance of a beautiful historic home is part of our legacy, it's a privilege.
RE: Historical districts. There are classifications. National Historic and Municipal Historic.
If you are in a National Historic district, you have more freedom when it comes to modifying the exterior of your house e.g. color etc.
The thing to watch out for is an area that in addition to being in a National Historic district, the RESIDENTS voted to have the additional distinction of "Municipal Historic". Under those circumstances, you can't do anything to your home without prior review from various commissions and boards.
Residents PLEASE don't vote for Municipal Historic status. Remember you are not going to live forever. Even the oldest of homes show different architectural styles incorporated as times and trends changed. Don't freeze these home values. Don't be such control freaks to the extent that any "change" has to be "approved" of these small boards.
Good common sense reminders. Noise (neighbors, road, dogs, etc.) is such a key point. We walked away from a nice home "on a corner lot" in a decent neighborhood because the people across the street appeared to live 90% of their time in the front "yard" and a weekend drive down the street proved that they were as loud as their "curb repel" appeared to be. Life is too short to spend your money to live next to the jerk store.
These days, also very important for condo owners to do what they can to ensure good financial health of their HOA. It's more than keeping up the curb appeal now, too - new buyers will be frustrated by your neighbors who aren't keeping up their HOA payments, as the bank will check them out as closely as they are doing for mortgage applicants!
This has to do with the comment---> ( called someone who is a nurse and claims she's beautiful ) Her comment is a few below mine, marry a millionair.com. First off, I wouldnt trust to many realtors, I have delt with them in the past, nor would I trust any women who is looking out to get into my bankbook, hence ( marry a millionair.com ) . I've been there and done that and ever since my wife left me and my son I have had many encounters with females looking for somebody to take care of them while they unload there partner of his money etc.. Now there are men out there that are willing to part with much money just to keep a women, I say ****, what I have which is plenty is my sons when im gone, not some gready money hungry female and when you mention singing a prenup to any women, there gone in a flash, so what does that tell ya, they are more interested in your money than you. My point is that person who is a nurse and pushing marrying a millionair.com needs to step back and make her own millions rather than milk someone else out of there millions. LOL
something very strange about this story..
new chain gang or " mega corporation home builders" , have been building or rather throwing up 85 thousand dollar houses next to 150 thousand dollar houses for over 10 years now...
kb homes was , up until 4 years ago, throwing all price range stick houses up beside each other. in the kb homes "hoods", especially in the southwest..
kb wanted the square footage and upgrades of the house to set the sale price, not the "phony" average home value for the area or neighborhood.....
realtors all think, well it seems they do, every home buyer is going to want to turn their house in 5 to 7 years to make a quick buck off of the artificial equity they think they have in the house they are wanting to sell.
manipulative realtors hope that same home seller than will want to move up nto a more "expensive propertyy value neighbor hood".. higher value property bigger commission for the realtor..
its just a game realtors play , same as car salesman...
Example does the realtor really care if he or she is selling your home to a convicted or known pedophile, thief, family beater etc or helping sell you a house with a criminal living next door??? hell no they don't.... Million dollar home plus gated neighbor hoods help conceal drug dealers, Mop Leaders , perverts, etc..
the price of the home and upscale of a hood does not always mean the neighborhood is good ...
ponsie scheme madoff did not live in a run down trailer, nor did or does any of the CEOs , politicians that put america in the mess its in.. they all lived in upscale areas with over priced houses that dont all look the same.... set themselves apart from the herd.....
however the normal working american must have a home that looks just like the other 40 thousand houses in their town to make it easy for the broker or realtor to sell those houses....
its all fixed, believe it .........................
realtors just want it easyyyyyyyyyyyyy... be your friend
-----M'arry'Millionaire.dot .C óM------- .a nice club for y'ounger women and old'er men, or older women and younger men, to interact with each other.
Maybe you wanna check it out or tell your friends.
----------Run away from any development with a HOA. I made the mistake of buying my first house in a Planned Neigborhood. It was such a hassle, don't think of putting your trash out before 8pm the night before pick up and be sure you are home before 6pm trash day to put it away. If not you'll have a notice on your door. many other little things happened that drove me crazy. I was so glad that I was able to move after 4 years of headaches. I have bought 2 homes since then, and the first thing I tell the realtor is NO HOA's!!
@AxemanJoe - its more than what I think; its been mentioned here about how much easier a single level is on aging joints and I've had several people, over the years, tell me how much more convenient it is not to have to carry laundry up and down stairs, once they finally had the laundry on the same floor as the bedrooms and bathrooms (where 95%+ of the laundry is generated).
They don't disagree about the convenience, once its explained to them. Some of them do question "where do I put my stuff?" even though we have plenty of closets and lots of square footage. There's just something ingrained in this area that says they have to have a basement. Other areas I've lived in don't have that mindset.
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