Your home isn’t just a place to create memories and retreat from the hectic outside world, though those are the most important things when it comes to our properties. They’re also an investment. It is highly unlikely that you will spend as much money on anything else as you do on your home. As such, you also have a duty – to yourself and to your family – to protect that investment. Alas, try as we might, it’s not always the case that the valuation moves in the right direction. Sometimes it goes down, and this can lead to real financial problems. The good news is that you can avoid devaluation by taking some easy steps! Below, we take a look at thirteen things that can knock value off your home. Read, remember, and make sure you are taking care of any issues when they arise.
Doing Too Much
Leave your home to its own devices, and the value will decrease. But that doesn’t mean that forever tinkering and improving the property is a good idea. There are some “home improvements” that can actually knock value off the valuation. And this obviously hits your finances twice: first, when you pay to have the work done, and then on the value. A luxury bathroom might sound good on paper, but it might not add value. They cost a lot, and because bathrooms are one of the first things a buyer changes, they’re not going to pay you for the work you did, no matter how good or luxurious it might be. If selling is in your future, a simpler bathroom update is the better choice. The biggest home improvement error is the swimming pool. They cost a lot to install and maintain, and most people don’t want one on their property.
The Outside of the Property
Most people are pretty good at working on the insides of their property. They have a sound sense of what prospective buyers would want and keep any general wear and tear issues to a minimum. But for various reasons, they don’t have the same sense for the outside of the property. And particularly the walls. These can fall into a pretty sorry state, and it has a massive effect on the value. If your exterior brickwork looks poor, then it’s worthwhile spending the money having it repaired by an expert. It’s not a cheap process, but you can easily double the expense in valuation. In any case, keep in mind that it’s the first thing people see when they pull up to view your home. What would you think if you saw your walls on a home you were looking at buying?
And there’s another big part of the outside of your home that’s important, too. You don’t have to go overboard when it comes to your yard, but you do have to keep up with at least the bare minimum. If you have overgrown grass or too many weeds, then it’s going to bring down the overall look and feel of your house. If you’d rather not spend too much time doing yard work, then just clear the bulk away and keep things simple. It’s better to have an uninspiring but blank front of the house rather than something that puts people off your house. As said earlier, don’t go overboard; just do what needs to be done.
Too Much Clutter
There are many benefits to having a thorough decluttering session. You’ll feel more at ease, will be able to enjoy your house more, and so on. And good news: if you’re selling your home, then you’ll be boosting its value! A home that is overly cluttered is difficult “to see”; that is, anyone visiting your home won’t be able to see the potential of the house. There’ll only be able to see all the items that are taking up space. Clutter is one of those things that shouldn’t have an effect on the home – it’ll all be gone by the time they move in – yet it does.
Under the Woodwork
Not every problem with your house is going to stare you directly in the face. Indeed, one of the biggest issues you cannot really see at all. You might not even realize that you have pests living beneath the floorboards or in the attic, but they would show up on any home inspection – and you can expect some value to be knocked off your home when they are discovered. If you suspect that some creatures are living in your home without permission have a company like Atkins take care of them. It will make your living experience more comfortable and will ensure that your investment isn’t compromised by some creepy crawlies squatting on your property.
Lack of Efficiency
There was a time when people would approach their energy bills with a “put up and shut up” attitude. Today, that is not the case. Everyone knows that there are financial and environmental benefits to have an energy efficient home. People might love your home, but if it is not efficient then there will be calculations for all the extra money they will need to pay on their bills, and will be less inclined to pay your asking price. It takes no time at all to bring your energy efficiency up to twenty-eighteen standards. You won’t just feel the benefits when you come to sell your home, either: you will notice the impact when you open your energy bill the first time after you’ve made the improvements. Many power companies provide a service to help you identify these issues.
It’s interesting to look at what people want from their homes. It changes generation from generation. Today, people don’t necessarily want luxury – they want places to store their belongings. Indeed, a home that’s savvy with its storage space will see its value increase, especially if it makes clever use of usual “dead” zones, such as under the stairs.
Light and Sound
Your home is supposed to be a treat from the outside world, but you can’t always keep everything from the outdoors away. While this is not a major problem if it’s kept to a minimum, you’ll have problems selling the home if there’s a lot of light and noise drifting into your property. The noise from passing cars, neighbors, planes, and the light from streetlights can put people off, and with good reason. You can solve these issues by insulating your walls, adding noise and light absorbing curtains, and adding thick windows that will deflect all that sound away from your home.
Unfortunately, there’s one aspect of your home value that you have no – well, minimal – control over. People first identify where they want to live, and then look for homes within their chosen zones. If you live in a neighborhood that isn’t fashionable, then your home won’t be valued as much as a home that is in a well-located area. If you’re in a zone that is considered outright trouble, then your home will be even more adversely affected. The good news is that neighborhoods can change pretty quickly. If you’re not in a desirable neighborhood right now, that’s not to say you won’t be five or ten years down the line.
Your home will be sprinkled with your personality. But if you put too much of your personality into your house, then you’ll have to take a hit when it comes to value. A house that has crazy colors in every room – or, worse, on the outside – will be difficult to sell, no matter how awesome it may look. Instead, go for neutral colors. It’s a fine thing to have a property that is also a work of art, but only if you know you have no plans to sell.
What are an animal’s effect on home value? It’s difficult to say. If you have a dog or cat that you generally groom and clean up well after, then you’re unlikely to have any issues. However, if you have multiple animals and it’s obvious that they live there without even seeing them, then you’ll have problems. They say a house isn’t a home without a dog, yet while that might be true, you’ll have to set some limits on what they can do there!
To become a homeowner isn’t just to commit a lot of money to one project. You also need to commit your time. There are always small problems popping up with properties, regardless whether it’s one hundred years old or five. The important thing is to ensure that you don’t let them pile up. You’ve got to attend to the small issues before they all group together to become one big problem. It’s much easier to fix things as you go rather than wait until you want to sell and have to wrestle with one hundred jobs just before anyone will consider putting in an offer.
There’s a growing trend of people wanting to have nature as part of their lives, including in the home. If your home is nothing but technology and concrete, then you won’t hurt the valuation – but you might do better if there are plants, green spaces, and so on. There should be life in your home – just not the creepy crawlie kind.
This is not a to do list, but things to keep in mind as you declutter and clean or plan and upgrade. Keeping these things in mind can pay big dividends on your investment down the line.