Keeping neighborhood home values high
October 3, 2011
Home sellers and homeowners who may want to sell in the future can benefit from keeping their neighborhoods in good shape to encourage stable, high home values. While a property's location is fixed, the condition of a home, and those around it, affects price.
According to Investopedia, homeowners can take several actions to help
neighborhood home values remain high. For example, helping struggling neighbors by contacting housing counseling agencies or community organizations may help them maintain their property.
If a property is falling into disrepair or the grass is becoming overgrown,
contacting the property owner may cause them to deal with the situation. In the case of currently vacant properties, the seller or owner will likely want to maintain the home in order to attract buyers. Tall grass may seem unimportant when it is not on the homeowners' property, but one study found good lawn care and landscaping can increase home values by as much as 5 or 10 percent, according to MSN Real Estate.
Bankrate.com notes some of the larger factors in home value are external, such as school district quality and local job opportunities. While homeowners cannot generally control these factors, they can do research on them and be aware of their effects.
Access to amenities also affects home value, and this aspect is partly under homeowners' control. For example, add-ons to a home may need to remain consistent with the existing style to avoid clashing and making the facade less attractive.
Landscaping that blocks a good view may eliminate an existing advantage, so homeowners should keep aware of what assets their home has and be sure to maintain them.
Spotting home value factors
Investopedia notes homeowners looking to sell should keep an eye open for problems such as signs of running water in neighboring properties, which may signal negligence on the part of their neighbors. Leaving trash or other items visible outside, allowing visible damage such as a broken window to go without repair or even structural damage on a neighboring property can lower home values.
If the owner of a vacant home does not object, neighbors who care enough can clean up trash and perform basic landscaping to ensure it will not negatively impact the community. Basic measures can prevent a single home from dragging down property values in an otherwise desirable neighborhood.
According to Bankrate.com, neighborhoods can frequently show short-term gains or decreases in values, and the important factor is the long-term trend. Diligent and observant homeowners can take action which may prevent or reduce a slide in home prices.