Your home is likely one of the biggest financial investments you’ll ever make. While experts disagree on whether or not it’s an investment, you want to get the best price for it you can when it’s time to sell. Though a home can be expected to increase in price in the long-term, there are a variety of factors that may actually lower or stagnate a property’s value. Here are some of the most common reasons why homes lose value.
Perhaps more than anything else, the physical structure of your home will have a big impact on your ability to sell it when you’re ready to move on. Simply taking care of gutters, roof leaks, and foundation maintenance can do a lot to retain, and quite possibly increase, the value of your home. Rotting framing, pests, flooding, and other kinds of damage can cause severe structural issues that will lower the value of the property. Among the most at-risk parts of your home is your basement. Since they are underground, they can become flooded and suffer from shifts in the earth below it. Thankfully, there are a number of basement waterproofing products that can be applied from inside your basement to fight the problems caused by moisture seepage or flooding. Checking pipes, drainage, and irrigation infrastructure will prevent most issues in your basement. If you do find problems in your basement or foundation, consult with a licensed professional as this sort of issue usually requires permits and specialized equipment to fix.
If you haven’t updated the exterior in a while, your home may look dated and a bit tired, especially if your neighbors have gone through the trouble to improve their curb appeal. It doesn’t take a huge investment to update your front door. A coat of paint on doors, windows and trim can do a lot to put a fresh face on your home. Though it may not be the most important factor, the way your home looks can make a big difference in its price. Overall, updating aesthetics offers the largest return on investment in terms of raising the home of your home, particularly when you are following the current design trends in home design.
While there are many things you can’t control about where you live, neighbors aren’t one of them. Good neighbors are a rare treat, so do your best to maintain that connection. If you have concerns about a rowdy neighbor or a party house down the road, be ready to talk to them about your expectations. If your neighbors are renting, contact the property owner and ask them to refrain from problematic behaviors. By the same token, the poor condition of a neighbor’s house can impact your home’s value, so be ready to step up to protect the value of your property by encouraging others to do the same. Addressing these common concerns at a local organization of homeowners can be a great way to take care of ongoing issues and prevent future ones in your community.
Home values can drop when the economy slows. While there’s nothing you can do to improve the economy, you may be able to turn your home into cash while still living there. Consider how much equity you have in the property and, if you need extra cash, either refinance the property or take out an equity loan. If you don’t need the cash, consider adding extra funds to your mortgage payment to be applied directly against the principal so you can reduce that debt more quickly. Using your home’s equity to update aging features might be worth it during times of economic strife.
Currently, interest rates are very buyer friendly. However, should interest rates go up or money supplies get tighter, sellers may struggle to find buyers, and buyers may back off from purchasing a home at all.
Real Estate Market Shifts
The environment of the real estate industry can have a massive impact on your home value. If there are a lot of homes and few buyers, prices will drop. Right now, the stock of available homes is actually quite low. Recent upsets in the job market have those who’ve kept their incomes looking for more security. If you’re looking to sell your home, do what you can to make it appealing to a first-time buyer. Make it as move-in ready as you possibly can.
If you’re updating your home to sell it, give your mortgage lender a call as well and make sure the mortgage is assumable. This lending option may make your home more appealing to some buyers. Cover yourself to make sure that you get the best sale price possible, but be ready to work with the buyer on your payout. Again, if you can sell directly to someone with a new mortgage, the process will be simpler, but if you can offer flexibility to a buyer, your home may stand out.
Whether you’re happy in your current home, looking to update it, or desperate to sell it, there are many options to consider. Keeping your home in the good structural and aesthetic conditions is the best way to maintain its value over time. Think about any upgrades or changes you make and keep things appealing for buyers who need to move quickly. Make it easy for people to notice the appeal of your home and don’t leave any issues unresolved.