If you plan to sell your home in the future, you want to earn a profit…or at least get back what you paid for it. A house can depreciate, or lose value, for a variety of reasons. Some are beyond your control, but you can take steps in other areas to help your home retain its value.
A home’s proximity to an undesirable site can lower property values. For example, buyers may not be interested in a house near a highway, train station, airport, large sports arena or performing arts venue because of concerns about noise and traffic. Buyers might also be wary of a house located near a factory or landfill because of concerns about pollution and unpleasant smells. People generally prefer homes that are located relatively close to schools, stores, restaurants and parks.
A house can lose value because of a struggling economy, several properties in foreclosure in a small area, crime, underperforming schools or troublesome neighbors. You can’t do much on your own to fix a troubled economy, but you and other residents can band together to lower crime rates by starting a neighborhood watch and installing security cameras. Get involved with other parents at local schools and offer suggestions and assistance to improve the quality of education children receive. If a neighbor throws loud parties or does not take care of home maintenance and landscaping, have a polite but direct conversation. Emphasize how creating a more pleasant neighborhood can help all homeowners retain their property values.
Maintenance and Curb Appeal
Prospective buyers want a house that has been well maintained. Any serious problems, such as a leaking roof, a damp basement, drafty windows or mold, should be addressed before you put your home on the market. Most buyers would pass on a house in need of substantial work. You might be able to find a buyer willing to make the repairs, but you would not get as much money as you would if you were to take care of the problems yourself first.
The house should be aesthetically appealing. Trim the grass, prune the trees and plant a garden. Painting the house or replacing the siding can give potential buyers a positive first impression. Even painting the front door can boost your home’s curb appeal.
Find the Right Home and Work to Retain Its Value
If you have not yet bought a house and want to choose one that is not likely to depreciate substantially, consider the pros and cons of the neighborhood. You can’t predict what the area might be like years from now, but if there are any obvious red flags today, you would be better off looking elsewhere.
Houses can depreciate over time for many reasons. In some cases, there is nothing you can do, but if you can take steps to retain your home’s value, you should. Maintain your house and yard and help create a neighborhood of which everyone can be proud.