If you’re a homeowner, you want your property’s value to increase, not decrease. A host of things can reduce a property’s appraised value. Some of them are entirely out of your control, but you can do something about many of them. Whether you’re just doing it for your own peace of mind or to sell your home, you want the appraisal to be favorable. Find out what you can do to help the appraisal by learning about the 5 things that will bring down a Santa Cruz property’s appraised value.
1. Unfavorable Neighborhood Conditions
You can’t do much about this, but unfavorable neighborhood conditions can adversely affect appraised value.
For example, “[i]f you live by an airport or train tracks . . . the resulting noise pollution might devalue your home. Light pollution from a nearby highway or athletic complex could make buyers wary, too. Power plants and landfills are bad news, too. They’ve both been proven to affect home values negatively.”
If it’s just a matter of bad neighbors, though, you do have some recourse. You can talk to them and request that they, say, keep the noise down or clean up their yard, and this often works. But if this doesn’t work, you may have to take the matter “to local law enforcement or elected officials, depending on your area’s laws and ordinances.”
2. Foreclosures and Short Sales in the Neighborhood
Another thing that will bring down your property’s appraised value is foreclosures and short sales in the neighborhood.
“One of the primary factors home appraisers and real estate agents use to determine the value of your home is by analyzing recent sales of comparable properties in your neighborhood. If those properties are sold under foreclosure, that’s bad news for your property value.” The reason is that these properties typically sell for less than market value, affecting the comps and bringing down the value of surrounding homes.
Here’s an example of how it works. “Your home has four bedrooms and three bathrooms and is 2,000 square feet. One comparable home in the neighborhood sold for $450,000 and another sold for $435,000. A third, however, was foreclosed on and sold for just $250,000. That third sale drives down the average price of comparable homes in your area, meaning your home will probably appraise for less.”
3. Poor Curb Appeal
Now we come to the things that bring down a Santa Cruz property’s appraised value that you can definitely do something about. And one of the most important and easily rectified is poor curb appeal.
Curb appeal refers to the impression people get when seeing the home. A home with nice curb appeal entices prospective buyers and helps sell your home faster” and typically increased value. “A home that looks like it needs work from the outside inspires doubts in buyers and may cause some buyers to not even look at your home. Plus, it’s going to fall on them to make the house look nice again, which may encourage them to reduce their offer,” and so can easily reduce the appraised value.
4. Deferred/Poor Maintenance
Another top cause of appraised value being brought down is deferred or poor maintenance on the property. Failing to take care of necessary maintenance tasks will almost always hurt your property’s value – if not right away, definitely in the long run.
“The longer you sit on a maintenance problem like a leaky faucet or sputtering HVAC system, the harder and more expensive it will be to fix. If you don’t know how to fix something, hire someone who does. Pay special attention to your roof, foundation, gutters, HVAC system, and pest problems. These are repairs you want to make immediately.”
5. Too Much Carpeting
Once wall-to-wall carpeting, even shag carpet, was all the rage, but not now. Today, too much carpeting can bring down your property’s appraised value.
“When you first put that carpet in all over the house, you loved that you could walk barefoot everywhere. You got all cozy on it watching movies. But after a few years, the occasional spill and the constant presence of your bare feet have made the carpet, well, gross. Unless you’re cleaning the carpet regularly, it will show signs of heavy use. And if you have carpet everywhere, you probably aren’t paying to have it cleaned regularly. Wall-to-wall carpet all over the house can make buyers wary. For one, it may look worn and dirty. Two, carpet tends to collect allergens, which may be an issue for some buyers. And, finally, replacing the carpet isn’t cheap.”
To keep your appraised value up, then, experts recommend diversifying flooring. It’s best, they say, to have some hardwood and laminate throughout most of the house and reserve the carpeting for the bedrooms.
Pro Help to Keep Appraised Value Up
These are the main things related to appraised value, but many more can affect the appraisal. It’s a good idea then to consult an experienced Santa Cruz to find out what you can do to increase your property’s value. And we have trained experts who can help. If you’re concerned about your Santa Cruz property’s appraised value, contact us today at 831-588-2334.