Lowering your home value:

Your home is probably one of your biggest assets. As such, you’ll want to get the most money you can for it when you decide to sell. There are a lot of factors that go into determining home value. Everything from curb appeal to neighborhood schools impacts the sale price of your house.

Low home value issues fall into one of two categories:

  1. factors you can’t control and 2. factors over which you do have control – and can fix!

Factors you can’t control include things like:

  • The age of your house.
  • Being located closely to a landfill, nuclear plant, fracking operation, power lines, oddly zoned commercial buildings and registered sex offenders.
  • Being near to things like highways and major thoroughfares – busy roads in general, foreclosed homes, closed schools, “red light districts,” and churches with very large congregations can also cause your property to be valued lower.
  • A home in an “undesirable school system,” as opposed to one in an award winning system will also devalue your home.

Let’s face it; these are not things you’re going to be able to change. They come down to the old real estate adage of “Location, location, location.”

The good news is there are a number of factors over which you DO have control.

These include (but are not necessarily limited to):

  • Bigger is better when it comes to your home value. According to the “American Society of Appraisers,” the best way to improve the value of your home is by adding square feet. The number of livable square feet in a home matters most to an appraiser. This is a factor that you may or may not have control over. If your home’s lot allows, and the financial aspect makes sense – you could put on an addition! Bear in mind, the financial aspect may not makes sense…
  • Don’t combine small rooms to create a large one. Appraisers count the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and assign a value to each. The number of actual bedrooms makes a difference in the value of your home.
  • WHATEVER YOU DO – make sure all improvements of a structural nature are properly permitted and documented. Without the appropriate paperwork, those kinds of upgrades can hurt your home value.

Keep Decor Reasonable

  • Over the top light fixtures – par down the a modern chandelier. Opt for simple, light fixtures that won’t give your house a dated appearance. Just be sure to update light bulbs so the home appears well lit.
  • Flooring – Don’t get crazy with carpet! An impressive 54 percent of homebuyers are willing to pay more for a home with hardwood floors, according to USA Today, citing National Association of Realtors data. Conversely, too much carpet can diminish the overall value of your house. Never add it to bathrooms or kitchens.


  • Home maintenance – It makes a huge difference, and is completely within your control. Get the gutters of your house cleaned annually. It’s one of the top ways that roof damage occurs and can leave you with a huge bill to pay for fixing. The same is true of keeping your exterior air conditioning unit properly maintained. Failing to keep it up to date can result in HVAC troubles or needing to replace the entire AC system.
  • The curb appeal of your house – In March of 2018, The Appraisal Institute (the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers) began urging home owners to pay close attention to the exterior of their homes. They cited Remodeling magazine’s most recent Cost vs. Value report, noting that outdoor renovations are seeing the most consistent return on investment.

Also: print off a copy of The Appraisal Institute’s free, informative brochure titled “Remodeling & Rehabbing,” which provides consumers with valuable advice on home improvement projects.


Getting the most from your home

Always tell an appraiser if you’ve made less visible upgrades to your house. It may be just the information he/she needs to make the right value judgement.

Getting the most from selling your house means not getting overwhelmed by the things you can’t control. Do the very best you can to address the things that are within your command, you’re sure to see the return on your investment.