Whether you’re looking to purchase or sell a home, not all properties are created equal, and not all retain good resale value. Meaning when the time comes to sell your home, you may receive fewer offers, offers under your asking price, or your home may end up sitting in seller’s limbo for longer than you anticipated. Though first-time homebuyers looking at homes for sale in Sacramento, CA may have different wants in a home compared to a growing family looking to upsize to their second house in Atlanta, GA, there are some universal factors that influence a home’s resale value – here are 15 home resale value factors to consider when buying or selling a home.
1) Location, location, location
Location is your strongest factor for resale value. Realtors often point out when a home is in a quiet neighborhood (implying not just low noise, but low traffic and low crime) or close to amenities (which suggests a quick commute to shopping, jobs, and hospitals), the house is considered to be in a great location. Of course, not every buyer needs every location box checked, but a home with many positive location factors will be considered a good buy and hold its resale value.
2) Your home is located in a good school district
School ratings can make or break your home’s resale value if the house is otherwise ideal for buyers with school-age children, or who plan to start a family. Most people with kids prefer to live in a school district with high ratings for academics, sports, arts, literacy, music, and STEM programs.
3) Your home has a view
Most people appreciate a beautiful view, whether from inside or outside of their homes. It could be a lit-up skyline, a lake or river, mountains, or open plains. Being able to look out at a beautiful view calms the nerves. By contrast, windows that look out directly to the side of a neighbor’s house, a flashing neon sign, or a view of the garbage dump will drag down the selling price.
4) Your house has great curb appeal
When you consider your home’s resale value, charming curb appeal can make a big difference and something you can control. You want visitors and people passing by to say, “Your yard looks nice. I like all the flowers.” The homeowner who plants and cares for a garden, or creates private spaces with pleasing outside decor is ahead of the game. This type of care will maintain a higher resale value. On the other hand, overgrown vines and bushes that hide the house or a lawn dying from neglect will bring down a home’s worth.
5) Your home is located in a safe neighborhood
A house in a safe neighborhood will always have a resale value higher than one in a part of town where there is a lot of crime and police activity. If you don’t feel comfortable walking around at night, it’s probably not a safe neighborhood. Older people and families with small children especially appreciate living in an area where neighbors look out for each other. A safe neighborhood is always high on the list of resale value factors when buying a home.
6) All of your home’s systems are in good condition
No one wants to purchase a home and immediately spend a lot of money to maintain or upgrade the heating and cooling system (HVAC), plumbing, water heater, or electrical system. Apparent problems with these items, often the result of deferred maintenance, will detract from the home’s resale value. Updated, well-maintained home systems will help you justify your asking price when it’s time to sell.
7) Your home’s roof is in good shape
The roof condition of a smaller, ranch-style home with no peaks or valleys may not be a big factor because replacing such a roof is relatively inexpensive. For houses at a higher price point, however, with many different styles, peaks, valleys, and dormer adornments, a new roof will cost considerably more. If your roof looks rough and in need of replacement soon, its condition will subtract from the home’s resale value. If you replaced the roof shortly before listing your home, prospective homebuyers will see the value and be willing to pay more for the home. In some cases, a worn roof will prevent the bank from issuing financing because it was highlighted in the home inspection report as an issue that needs to be addressed.
8) Your home has plenty of storage
Ample storage options – both inside your home and in the garage – will boost the home’s resale value factor. We all have stuff. Clothes, dishes, pots & pans, towels, cleaning supplies, yard equipment, sports gear, animal supplies – you name it, it needs a spot inside closets, cabinets, cupboards, attics, and basements. Even for a buyer who is downsizing, functional, and accessible storage options are a big plus.
9) Are your home’s windows crystal clear, or do they show evidence of condensation?
Fogged windows are an early indicator that the windows are starting to fail and will need to be replaced soon. Replacing windows is a big-ticket repair, one that a long-term homeowner usually does only once. Buyers know windows are a significant expense and will factor the value of new windows into the price they are willing to pay. Just like the other big-ticket items – HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and the roof – new windows help ensure a higher resale value.
10) Does your home have a lot of natural light?
If not, you may want to consider adding a skylight. Inadequate lighting gives people an uncomfortable feeling and makes the house feel dingy and cramped. A brightly lit home helps create a friendly, comfortable, and open atmosphere. Installing a skylight to brighten those gloomy areas is an investment that will certainly bring you a high-value return.
11) You have an open and family-friendly floor plan
An unusual or choppy floor plan is a deterrent for many home buyers. A house with narrow hallways, no dining area, and minimal living space will have less appeal to homebuyers with families or those planning to start a family. A home with an open, family-friendly concept will offer good resale value – this often means a dining room and family room along with the main living room. These factors are very high on many homebuyers’ value list.
12) Your home has more than one bathroom
A one-bathroom home is fine for a single person or maybe a couple. For a family home or even a multi-generational home, most buyers insist on more than one bathroom. Bathrooms add to the home’s resale value. Many new larger homes now have two master suites with ensuite bathrooms to appeal to the homebuyer with a family.
13) How current are your home’s appliances, hardware, countertops, etc.?
Does your home look like a set piece from the 60s, 70s, or 80s? That’s all fine if you like it and plan to continue to live in the house. But for someone coming in to buy the home, the past stays better in the past. Buyers today expect updated kitchens with new appliances and high-grade countertops (laminate, quartz, granite, and marble.). The more your home looks like it just popped out of a Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, the higher its perceived resale value to homebuyers.
14) Your home sits on a large lot
Most homebuyers appreciate beautiful green lawns with plenty of space for kids and pets to run and play, as well as room to entertain with cookouts and more formal gatherings. Yes, not everyone is cut out for yard work, but a home offers a special kind of peace when you’re not living so close to your neighbors that you can reach them with a broom. Large lots are often coveted by homebuyers.
15) Your home is located in a restrictive community
A restrictive community’s rules and regulations about home and yard maintenance, as well as strictures about types of fencing and exterior finishes, will put off some buyers. But when it comes to home value resale factors, most gated or private communities have it down to a science. The homes in such communities maintain their value thanks to an extensive set of Homeowner Association (HOA) rules.
Whether you’re considering buying or selling a home, keep these 15 home resale value factors in mind. Your home is one of the most substantial investments you’ll make in your lifetime. You want to invest in an asset that will maintain its value and appreciate over time.