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8 Things That Could Destroy Your Homes Value!

June 6, 2011

Here are 8 things that can seriously devalue your home, and even though you may have heard of them, its always good to be reminded when out there looking for a new place, putting your home on the market, or even just doing some remodeling!

1. Location – Focus on being in a location that is close to public transport, grocery stores and everyday necessities while maintaining a safe distance from large streets, airports and trains that can cause noise concern. Hazards are also very important to look for. Typically flood plains and tornado belts are good places to stay away from!

2. Renovations with vision, from 2 years ago! – Focus your efforts on 1 or 2 projects at a time, and make sure you hire a contractor with GREAT references OR you study up and pay close attention to the details that will make it or break it as a worthwhile renovation. If you have too many projects going at once it can look cluttered, unfocused and as though it may never get finished. This alone can make it a daunting task and deter even the person who started the project!

Also, a great way to get design assistance if you are not sure what to do is go to your local university that offers Interior Design and ask professors to post a listing for students. They will be more than willing to help, often for free (or pictures of the finished product) just for portfolio content.

3. Customization – Any options that need work to be changed can deter a buyer from your home in the future. A hot pink wall? Repainting. A monogram over the fireplace? Needs removing (unless its a wall decal made for that). Wall paper? Might not be everyones taste. Keep the customization to easily removable items as this will keep the value of your home at its highest when you decide to put it on the market!

4. Unappealing Curb Appeal – Unmowed grass, branches, dead plants and weeds that have taken over will make the yard look like a lot more work than it actually is. Keep your yard in check from day one so that maintenance is easy. To conserve water and go green, try xeriscaping – or using plants native to the area. The won’t die in a drought and take any type of sun!

5. Pets – Yes we love our four legged friends, but not everyone does. Allergies can mean a buyer can’t even put an offer in a home with dander. A good cleaning of the entire house, a flush out of the vents and good filters will definitely help keep this at a minimum. Make sure to replace or clean anything that could say “PETS RULE THIS PALACE”!

6. Neighborhood Niceties – This should go with location, because typically a neighborhood will maintain itself. However, odd colors, awful additions and the like can make a nice neighborhood unappealing. Try to choose a location for your home that will maintain its appeal.

7. Reputation – If a house in the area has a reputation, say for crime, a specific murder or abduction, housing a well known criminal and the like, it will probably devalue your home. Now, its not easy to predict what will happen, but finding a place that does not typically have a high crime rate is a good start! Also, check the sex offender registry. Most clients will look at that if they have or want kids soon, and although you cannot control where someone moves to, making sure the area is free and clear of any issues is a great place to start.

8. Foreclosures – Clearly having a neighborhood full of foreclosures can bring your homes value down, (and also YOUR taxes!!!) so working on maintaining your property, and as I have seen a number of times, the property across the street (as in, the neighbors took turns mowing and pulling weeds every week) can help keep your property at its best value. In the meantime, have a local agent pull comps in the area and take it to get your taxes lowered! Go ahead and take advantage of a poor situation!

All in all – maintaining your property, keeping it clean and in great condition is the best way to maintain value. If you find yourself in a situation where the property around you is falling apart, it may be time to sell OR start working on the foreclosures!

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