10 Surprising Things That Decrease Property Value

Your home is one of your biggest purchases, so it makes sense that you'd want to protect your investment. Read on to learn about 10 surprising things that decrease a home's property value.

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Bad Neighbors

Have a neighbor with a junk-strewn yard, loud dogs or a penchant for wild parties? If so, know that it erodes your property value in addition to theirs. Another issue is living by a registered sex offender—find out if there are any in your neighborhood by searching the National Sex Offender Public Website.

Poor Exterior Paint Quality

Your home’s exterior is the first impression people get of your house. So exterior paint that’s faded, cracked or peeling is a big turnoff. Another negative is painting your home an offbeat color. Buyers favor neutral colors like gray, white, cream and beige. So pick your colors with care and repaint the exterior when it starts to look bad.

Deferred Maintenance

Have a backlog of serious repairs, such as a leaky roof, damaged siding or a sputtering HVAC system? If so, it’s best to tackle them ASAP. Letting them languish on your to-do list will only chip away at your home’s property value. What’s more, it’s often more expensive to remedy these issues the longer you wait.

Neighborhood Foreclosures

A foreclosure close to your home hurts your home’s property value. That’s because appraisers look at comparable selling prices in your neighborhood when estimating your home’s value. What’s more, foreclosed homes may sit vacant without any maintenance for a long time. That also doesn’t bode well for your property value.

Proximity to Certain Facilities and Businesses

Studies show that living close to certain businesses and facilities can drag down property values. Being in close proximity to the following are associated with these drops in property value:

  • Bad school (22.2 percent)

  • Strip club (14.7 percent)

  • Homeless shelter (12.7 percent)

  • Cemetery (12.3 percent)

  • Funeral home (6.5 percent)

  • Power plant (5.3 percent)

  • Shooting range (3.7 percent)

  • Hospital (3.2 percent)

An Unsightly Yard

They call it curb appeal for a reason. If your yard is in poor condition or overrun with stuff, expect your property value to suffer. On the flip side, elaborate landscaping or a koi pond can also put a dent in your property value since many homeowners don’t want to handle the extra maintenance. A final yard-related turnoff: trees located too close (less than 20 ft.) to your house.

The Address Suffix

It may sound crazy, but your address suffix could increase your property value up to 36 percent. Research shows that boulevard, place and road addresses are the most “expensive.” Suffixes associated with lower property values include street, drive and avenue.

Too Much Personalization

When a buyer tours a house, they quickly take note of all the projects they’ll need to do. Topping their lists are things like removing quirky wallpaper, painting over unusual colors and replacing unconventional fixtures. If you’re going for something offbeat, try to ensure it can be easily removed or reversed when it’s time to sell.

A Garage Conversion

Converting your garage to a gym, playroom, home office or anything else besides a place to park cars is a sure way to lower your property value. That’s because the vast majority of buyers want a space for their cars and yard equipment. If you want to use your garage for any other purpose, do so in a way that makes it easy to convert back to a conventional garage.

Lots of Carpet

Carpet tends to show damage easily, can be difficult to clean and retains odors. What’s more, many buyers are turned off by certain colors. A better flooring option is hardwood or laminate. In fact, one study revealed that 54 percent of home buyers are willing to pay more for hardwood floors.

These 20 projects will lower your home’s resale value.

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Amanda Prischak
Amanda Prischak is a freelance writer based in Erie, Pennsylvania.