5 Things That Will Lower the Value of Your Home

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Property values fluctuate because of many factors, and as a homeowner, it is important to be aware of factors that can drive home value down.  

Some of these factors are out of your control, including current market conditions, interest rates, and the economy in general – and COVID -19 has been a key factor this year – while others are very much in your control.  

From bad renovations to neglecting maintenance on your home, some projects, or lack thereof, can negatively impact your property value. It is best to be aware of what hurts property value so you can protect your home and get the best possible ROI when it comes time to sell your Waterloo Region home. 

Botched DIY Projects  

To not only make their space more livable and enjoyable, but also to add value to their biggest investment, many homeowners take on all kinds of home improvement projects. 

Most people start a project with the expectation that it will improve the value of the home, whether it is a bathroom addition, adding a deck, or buying a fixer-upper with the hope of profit for flipping it. As exciting as these projects can be, sometimes they may not work out as planned and damage the value of your property. 

Would you like to build a deck, enlarge the kitchen, or remodel the bathroom? Even if you are an expert on smaller DIY projects, it is better to leave a specialist to handle things with the bigger remodels and renovations because they will damage your property value if not executed properly. 

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No Curb Appeal  

First impressions count for a lot when selling a home. Your curb appeal should entice prospective buyers to enter your home, not put them off. If you have noticed the exterior paint is chipping off or your trees and shrubs have seen better days, chances are potential buyers will notice too. Luckily, you can achieve great curb appeal with some minor adjustments.  

Update the exterior paint. The color and condition of the outside of your home is often 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 almost 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 your greenery and showing prospective buyers that you care about every aspect of your home, including its yard(s).  

Speaking of your yard space, when selling your home, it is 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. 

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

Unattractive Interior Walls  

Just like exterior house paint, streaky, chipped, or low-quality interior paint jobs paint could discourage potential homebuyers and hurt your property value. A fresh coat of neutral paint on the cabinets, walls, and trim can make all the difference. 

Busy and bright wallpaper, tiles, or flooring can also divert the attention of the buyers away from your home. The best rule of thumb is to always choose neutral options for permanent items. Then incorporate colour with your decor and furnishings. 

Lack of Upkeep 

It is important and necessary to keep your home in excellent condition and regularly perform general home maintenance chores. Letting your home fall into disarray and neglecting it will hurt your property value and could have dire consequences on your list price. Buyers will want to negotiate repairs to avoid any major expenses following the sale.

If something breaks, fix it. And if you do not know how to fix it, hire someone who does. This will prevent any issues from getting out of hand. It is often more expensive to remedy any problems the longer you wait. Keep an eye out for any problems with your roof, foundation, HVAC system, gutters, and if a pest infestation emerges.  

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Clutter Kills the Mood  

Every home manages to accumulate lots of ‘stuff’ throughout the years, and you usually do not realize just how much clutter you have collected until you are about to list your home for sale. Just as dirt and grime build-up, so can clutter.

If your home is overcrowded with stuff, it is time for a decluttering session. Donate items you no longer need or want, and find hidden, permanent homes for the items you use just occasionally.  

Decluttering is an inexpensive way to add value. It can, however, be a big job for just one person. Consider hiring a professional home organizer and tackle the project together. After you have donated what you can, research a local junk removal and hauling service to collect the rest of your stuff – anything from mattresses and old appliances to electronics and unwanted furniture. 

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