Everyone thinks that their home is special and IT IS.
What makes a house a home are the special things we surround ourselves with and the memories we create there. Your home is a great sources of pride and comfort, but what you do and how you live, can help determine the value of a home, either up or down, when the home is for sale. When we evaluate a home that is unique, we have the delicate conversation about standing out and fitting in at the same time. In higher-end homes, uniqueness is very common, and usually an asset, but when it crosses over the line to eccentricity, the target market gets much smaller. That translates to a longer market time and a very narrow buyer pool. In middle-to-lower priced homes, certain upgrades will make a home worth more, but don’t over improve. If you do that, you’ll likely want to recoup the costs and that will make you more expensive than other homes in the neighborhood. Your home will likely take longer to sell and it may not appraise.
We recently viewed a home that had a pool and a lot that was much larger than any other home in the neighborhood. While the pool was lovely and the grounds were fabulous, we explained that many buyers in this part of the country don’t expect pools, because of weather. While there are folks moving into our area that like pools, the $50,000 that it took to put it in would probably not generate a full $50,000 in the sale price.
Another example is a home we just viewed with an addition of a mother-in-law unit that was done by a handyman instead of a contractor. While the space was fairly well laid out, the details for doors and floors were not finished and it was not integrated well into the original home. The addition fit the homeowner’s lifestyle, but would not be easily translated to another family. In this case, the addition was a negative factor in the home and would impact the sale price negatively.
Advising buyers, we often say that you don’t want to buy the most expensive home in a neighborhood, because there isn’t much room to appreciate and it can take longer to sell. If you buy the least expensive home in a neighborhood, you may also have a problem because you won’t be fitting in with the other homes. While there are reasons for both and exceptions to both, the best solution is to buy a home that is price well in a great neighborhood that hasn’t had all the improvements done so you can reap some of those benefits and appreciate like the surrounding homes. That way if you decide to sell, your personality can shine through and the buyers will be plentiful.