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When it comes to buying a home, interior features and finishes can only go so far. While marble waterfall counters, custom walk-in closets and elegant staircases can invoke a certain luxury aesthetic, there are exterior and neighbourhood features that can actually decrease your home’s value. Even worse, unlike an unsightly bathroom, you have no control over them. Avoid these if you can:

Living adjacent to an ugly commercial property. Setting down roots next door to a messy auto repair shop or smelly fast-food drive-thru can actually decrease your home’s value. Avoid buying a home that’s next to, or backs onto, an unsightly hub.

A street with heavy traffic. While living on a street that’s close to amenities is one thing, purchasing a home on a major artery with dense traffic and lots of noise can pose a problem, especially if you want to sell to families at some point. Opt for a quieter side street or cul-de-sac that’s still within walking distance of shops and restaurants for maximum value.

A neighbour with an unsightly property. No matter how much curb appeal your own home might have, a neighbour with an unmowed lawn, shabby facade or discarded patio furniture out front can impact your value as well.  In the case of a condo building, you might be able to complain to property management about an unsightly balcony, but in a detached home, you’ll have little recourse over your neighbour’s style choices.

Living near power lines. Many buyers consider power lines to be unsightly at best, and hazardous to ones’ health at worst. Neighbourhoods with buried power lines will often get your home a higher value.

A sharply-sloped front- or backyard. While adding texture and interest to your landscaping is one thing, front- or backyards with too steep of a slope can be difficult to enjoy, hazardous for children playing and even a flood risk. Sloping driveways can be treacherous during icy Canadian winters, so it’s best to opt for a home with a flat backyard.