10 Factors That Could Lower Your Home’s Value

factors that could lower home valueIt’s no secret that your home is probably the biggest investment you will ever make. It makes perfect sense that you want to do everything you can to keep it looking as nice as possible. However, there are some factors or updates you may make that can actually lower your property’s value. From an undesirable location to particular interior updates, certain elements can scare potential sellers away from signing the contract.

Here are 10 surprising factors that could hurt your home’s value (and what you can do to fix it):

An Undesirable Location

You’ve probably heard the real estate agent’s famous mantra when it comes to buying or selling a home: “location, location, location.” If your home is situated within an undesirable school district, in a neighborhood with several foreclosures, near eyesores like power lines or billboards, or close to areas of noise pollution (the interstate, trains, an airport, etc.), then you may have a harder time selling your home.

High-End Upgrades

Renovating or updating your home can be a very exciting time for you as a homeowner; however, your upgrades may not be what a buyer wants. High-end appliances, exotic gardens, and upscale bathrooms can oddly enough be big turnoffs to would-be buyers. When updating your home, it’s best to stick to something middle-of-the-road.

Interior Design Choices

We know you love your electric blue home office or your patterned wallpaper adorning your bathroom. Buyers, however, may not share your tastes. If you want to make selling your home easier, we suggest choosing neutral paint colors, which really let the room itself speak for itself. This also applies to exterior color choices.

Swimming Pool

Thinking of installing a swimming pool this summer? You might want to reconsider if you plan on moving at all. While pools can certainly be fun, they can also be quite a lot of maintenance. Besides, unless you live in a neighborhood that has a pool in every backyard, you more than likely won’t see a great ROI with this investment.

Bad Neighbors

The people you live next to are typically courteous individuals and families that watch your home when you’re on vacation, shoot the breeze with you when you’re doing yard work, or invite you over for a fun barbecue dinner during the summer. Sometimes, though, our neighbors can be problematic, which could be challenging when trying to sell your home. Loud neighbors or those who don’t maintain their property can make buyers think twice about living in your neighborhood.

Poorly Laid-Out Floor Plan

Your home doesn’t need to have a completely open floor plan for it to sell, but the rooms and flow should make sense. If your rooms feel too fragmented or the floor plan doesn’t seem right, you can talk with an architect about how you can make your space feel more open by combining rooms or knocking down non load-bearing walls.

A Lack of Natural Light

Sunlight makes a home feel larger, happier, friendlier, and more inviting. It also helps put us in a more positive mood overall. Some homes, however, are not blessed with a voluminous amount of natural light. If this sounds like your home, don’t worry – there are many easy updates you could make to let the light in. Consider adding French doors, a skylight, or a few extra windows to amp up the cheerful feeling!

Lack of Protected Parking

It’s safe to say that just about everyone has a motorized vehicle that needs protecting, especially during extreme or stormy weather. That’s where garages or carports come in handy. If your home doesn’t have one, you could have a harder time selling it. If you do but you’ve been itching to turn it into a weight room or bedroom, you might want to think twice – garages are typically high on buyers’ must-have lists.

Ghosts or Unexplained Activity

Whether you’re a believer or not, ghosts (or rumors of supernatural occurrences) in your home can scare away potential buyers. According to a survey from Realtor.com, only 8% of people reported that they would pay full-market price for a haunted home!

Poor Flooring Choices

Perhaps scarier than ghosts is a shocking red carpet in your master bedroom, dated brown linoleum in the kitchen, or any kind of carpet whatsoever in the bathroom. If a home’s flooring is undesirable to a buyer, they may walk away quickly from the deal. Fortunately, this can be fixed! Consider replacing any worn or older flooring with modern wood or an easy-to-clean carpet.

Whether you need help selling your home or are in search of your dream home, let the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties help! Call us today at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 to get started, or check out our many listings at www.dianamasseyteam.com!

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7 Lessons Homeowners Can Learn from Marie Kondo

lessons homeowners can learn from Marie Kondo

If you haven’t heard of Marie Kondo and her Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo by now, then you’re missing out. Based on her best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, this series features 8 feel-good episodes of real-life people organizing their homes and lives with Kondo’s help.

The idea is simple: you keep the objects that spark joy in your life and discard those that don’t. How do you accomplish such a feat? Kondo suggests that we tackle our belongings by category, starting with clothing, then books, papers, miscellaneous items, and, finally, sentimental items like photos and family heirlooms. This method, called the KonMari method, has taken the world by storm and has inspired countless of homeowners to reassess their belongings and create joyful, decluttered environments.

Here are our favorite takeaways from Marie Kondo and her tidying-up method:

Sort Through Categories, Not Rooms – Have you ever found yourself starting to declutter your home office or spare bedroom only to feel overwhelmed and stop? Take it from Marie Kondo herself – tackle categories, not rooms. For example, place every book you own in one room and sort through them there. You’ll be more likely to complete the work at hand this way.

Decluttering Makes Us Happier – It’s no secret that clutter can make us feel more anxious and overwhelmed. Fortunately, even the simple act of picking things up and putting them away can greatly improve our mood. Take it one step further with the KonMari method and intentionally surround yourself with the things that only give you happiness.

Respect What You Have – It’s difficult to truly care for your belongings when everything is piled haphazardly on the floor. Kondo suggests considering our belongings’ feelings throughout the process. Would your favorite shirts feel happy being carelessly shoved into the dresser? Probably not. When you start thinking of your things this way, you come to really appreciate what you have.

Guilt Should Never Dictate What You Keep – As you go through the decluttering process, you will stumble across items that make you feel guilty. Maybe it’s a cute dress you bought on clearance but never wore because it didn’t fit you (or suit your personality). If you’re holding on to items out of obligation, then you probably aren’t feeling joy. Never let guilt be a good reason to make you hold onto unwanted objects. Remember, decluttering is about bringing you joy, not pain!

Decluttering Feels Awesome – While your life might first be turned upside down as you organize all the clutter, you’re going to feel fantastic once you get rid of the things you don’t want or need. Clearing out the clutter will help you feel more productive and more organized, which will make you feel insanely good.

You’ll See Your House Anew – For those looking for a new home, decluttering is a great way to showcase your house. Looking to stay? Streamlining your possessions will help you see your home in a new light and will help you fall head-over-heels in love with it again!

It’s an Ongoing Process (and That’s Okay) – Decluttering isn’t just an action – it’s a lifestyle. You’ll never be done organizing and paring down what you have, and that’s okay! To make it a habit, you’ll have to keep yourself in check and minimize splurges at the store. Don’t worry, though – this gets easier in time!

What do you think about the KonMari method? Have you watched Marie Kondo’s Netflix show? Be sure to tell us your thoughts in the comments below!