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What Hurts Property Value? Things to Address Now

Tuesday, July 26, 2022   /   by Laura Larson

What Hurts Property Value? Things to Address Now

Numerous factors influence how much a property is worth, so it's crucial for homeowners to be aware of those that may cause their home's value to decrease. Market circumstances, interest rates, and the state of the economy are some of these elements that are outside your control, but you do have a great deal of power over other ones. Some initiatives, or lack thereof, might have a detrimental effect on your property value, from unattractive improvements to neglecting maintenance on your home. Knowing what reduces property value will help you secure your home and maximize your return on investment when it comes time to sell.

DIY projects have gone wrong
Many homeowners undertake home renovation projects to increase the value of their biggest investment while also making their living space more livable and pleasurable. Most people begin a project believing that it will raise the value of their home, whether it be a bathroom addition, a deck, or buying a fixer-upper with the hope of making money on the sale. Despite how exciting the projects may be, they occasionally fail to live up to expectations and lower the value of your home.

Are you planning to renovate the bathroom, add on to the kitchen, or install a deck? Even if you are an expert at smaller DIY projects, it is preferable to hire a professional for the larger remodels and restorations.

Lack of curb appeal
Making a good first impression is important when selling a house. Therefore, your home should sell more quickly if your curb appeal attracts potential purchasers. It's likely that prospective buyers may notice that your trees and shrubs have seen better days or that the exterior paint is flaking off. Luckily, some simple changes will help you have excellent curb appeal.

- Update the exterior paint. The color of your home is oftentimes one of the first things a buyer will notice. Faded, chipped, and flaking paint can dramatically decrease your curb appeal and hurt your property value. Hire a professional painter and try to stick with a neutral color for the exterior of your home. A fresh coat of paint will do wonders for your home’s appearance.

- Update the exterior lighting. If the pathway leading to your front door is dimly lit or your fixtures are outdated, now is the time to update the exterior lighting. Exterior lighting helps your home feel more inviting and complements your landscaping. From post lights, LED lights, solar lights, and wall mounts, the options are endless.

Switch out your old fence. Worn fences are an eye-sore and can take the attention away from your home and hurt your property value. Replacing your fence for a new one can give your yard the boost it needs by enhancing the greenery, and showing prospective buyers that you care. Fencing comes in a variety of different options such as wood, vinyl, aluminum, wrought iron, and composite. Consult with professionals to determine what material is best for you.

Hire a professional landscaper. When selling your home, it’s best to go with an easy-to-care-for and clean landscape design to appeal to buyers and increase the property value of your house. Simply edging the beds, mulching the garden, and pruning the trees and hedges can transform any landscape. Consider working with a professional landscaper to maximize your curb appeal.

Wash the windows and the siding. It doesn’t take long for your house and windows to form a layer of dust, dirt, fingerprints, or even algae. This can leave your house looking dingy and gray and hurt your property value. Hire a professional for regular cleaning to avoid paint stripping, splinters, and mold and mildew problems.

Replace your front door. It’s no surprise that front doors quickly begin to look worn and tired with daily use and harsh weather. Replacing your front door is a quick and cost-effective way to add curb appeal or add a pop of color to your home. 

Unsightly interior wall paint
Similar to exterior house paint, streaky, chipped, or poor-quality paint may deter purchasers and lower the value of your home. All it takes is a fresh layer of neutral paint on the walls, trim, and cabinets. Consider hiring pros to do the painting. By doing this, you'll reduce your chances of selecting the incorrect brush or roller, applying too much or too little paint, or making any other frequent painting errors that homeowners can commit.

Bright and busy wallpaper, tiles, or flooring might also draw potential buyers' attention away from your house. For permanent objects, it is preferable to always go with neutral options. Then add color to your furnishings and decor.

Lack of upkeep
Maintaining your property in top condition and carrying out routine general maintenance tasks are crucial and necessary. Neglecting and letting your house get out of hand will lower its value and may have a serious impact on how much you can ask for it. In order to minimize any significant expenses after the sale, buyers will want to negotiate repairs. For this reason, the majority of buyers demand an inspection clause in their contract.
Fix anything that fails right away. Hire a professional if you don't know how to fix it. By doing this, any problems won't spiral out of control. The longer you wait to fix a problem, the more expensive it is. A mouse or rat infestation may be developing, so keep a watch out for any issues with your foundation, HVAC system, gutters, roof, or any other of these. It's crucial to consult a professional right away if you experience any of these problems.

Wall-to-wall carpeting
During the first few years of owning your house, your carpet will be in excellent condition, but it will quickly start to show signs of use, start absorbing odors, and can be challenging to keep clean. Wall-to-wall carpeting should be avoided by buyers because it can be expensive to replace and because it might harbor indoor allergens. If at all possible, avoid carpeting and choose to floor made of hardwood, laminate, or tile instead.

If you have carpet in your house, make sure to have it cleaned by a professional on a regular basis to keep it looking good. Before advertising your house for sale, it's a good idea to have it thoroughly cleaned.

Excessive clutter can hurt property value
Every home tends to amass items over time, and you typically aren't aware of how much clutter you've accumulated until you are getting ready to put your home on the market. Clutter can accumulate just like dirt and grime do. It's a good idea to clean some of your possessions out of your cluttered room. Donate whatever you don't need or want, and find hidden, long-term homes for anything you only occasionally use.

The cost of adding value can be reduced by decluttering. But for one individual, it might be a large task. Consider working on the assignment with a professional organizer you've hired.

Unpleasant smells
In addition to creating a negative first impression, disagreeable odors can lower the value of your home. Whether the stench is caused by mold, pet odor, or cigarette smoke, it is important to locate the source of the scent and get rid of it. Don't use strong perfume or scent to cover up the stench.

To avoid unpleasant smells altogether, it’s best to keep your home clean. Regular cleaning involves dusting and vacuuming, wiping off surfaces, and cleaning the kitchen and bathroom. As you see fit, think about hiring a professional cleaner for your house. Most providers let you customize the number of visits based on your needs.

Unnecessary upgrades
The majority of the time, home improvements and projects will raise a home's property worth. However, certain improvements may actually detract from the appeal of your property when you want to sell it. For instance, removing a bathroom or closet to make way for a larger bedroom is typically unattractive to purchasers and could be an expensive error.

Other improvements, such as a new roof, insulation, and new windows, will typically raise the value of a home since they enhance its efficiency and security. Refinishing hardwood floors and updating your home's electrical system can both raise its appraised worth.

Maintaining your property in good condition and making the appropriate changes over the years will help you as a homeowner earn top dollar when the time to sell comes.