What Brings Down Property Values?

Nick Durante
by Nick Durante
Credit: Shutterstock / Suzanne Tucker

Ideally, you should do everything you can to increase your home’s value before you sell it. That’s not always possible, as not all value factors are in your control. So, what brings down property values?

Unpermitted additions, noise in the area, roof damage, and lack of curb appeal bring down property values. Sketchy neighbors, crime in the area, and lack of nearby stores and resources can also reduce the value of your home. You may also have to lower your asking price if your home has poor landscaping and interior problems such as peeling paint and lingering odors.

Treat your home for mold and pests before you put it on the market to get the most money possible. Follow along as we explore what brings down property values, so you can create a checklist of what to do before you put your house on the market.

What Factors Lower Property Value?

1. Noisy Area

Nobody wants to buy a home in a noisy area. Not only does excessive noise make it hard to sleep, but it can also be hard to get comfortable at home. Many homeowners struggle to sell houses in noisy areas, and it can bring down the property's value.

Houses near busy streets, highway off-ramps, and loud bars and restaurants are often considered undesirable. It helps to build a sturdy, tall fence to help create a buffer against some of the noise if your house is in a loud area. You can also improve your insulation to help keep some of the noise out of your home to appeal to buyers.

2. Unpermitted Additions

Unpermitted additions can knock a good chunk of money off a home’s value. It’s legal for homeowners to sell houses with unpermitted additions, and it will reduce the home’s cost. The buyer can ask the seller to pay for a retroactive permit and necessary repairs to legitimize the addition in most cases.

That’s why it’s important to get the necessary permits as needed when you modify your home. Retroactive permits are also easy to get, and you should apply for one before you put the house on the market.

3. Roof Damage

Not only is roof damage cosmetically unpleasant, but it can also be dangerous. A bad roof will understandably scare away potential buyers who are worried about what it could lead to. Sagging roofs can eventually collapse and cause up to $10,000 or more in damage.

As well, the roof and its rubble will destroy countless objects and pieces of furniture in your house. Mild cases cost up to $7,000 in repairs, but your safety is more important than the money. Sadly, people can die when a roof collapses, and no amount of money can replace a life.

4. Poor Landscaping

Nice landscaping can catch anyone’s eye and make them consider your house when it’s on the market as their future home. Conversely, poor landscaping can stick out like a sore thumb and make them think twice about whether they want to live there. That’s why it’s worthwhile to spend a lot of time on your lawn, trees, shrubs, and flower beds before you put your house on the market.

5. Exterior Damage

Your home’s exterior is the first thing that potential buyers will see. The last thing you want to do is scare them off with damaged paint and siding. All they will see is expensive repairs they must make as soon as they move in, and they will likely decide the house isn’t ideal for them.

It costs up to $3.70 per square foot to paint your home’s exterior, but it varies based on the painter and what paint you choose. You can expect to pay between $7,000 and $18,000 to replace the siding for a house that measures between 1,700 and 2,500 square feet.

6. Sketchy Neighbors

Nobody wants to live around untrustworthy people. The presence of criminals in your neighborhood can dissuade potential buyers and bring down your property value. That is especially true if registered sex offenders live in your neighborhood.

Potential buyers can easily access this information via the National Sex Offender Registry. Realtors and buyers can use this database to find out if there are any offenders in the neighborhood. Sadly, this will decrease your home value, and there is nothing you can do about it as long as the offenders live nearby.

7. Lack Of Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is everything when it comes to selling a house. Buyers will quickly judge your house based on how it looks from the street. Everything from your fence and landscaping to your home’s exterior lighting setup can affect curb appeal.

Install new lights, wash your windows, clean or replace your fence, and make sure your porch looks nice. It also helps to populate your porch with vibrant plants, so potential buyers can see themselves living there.

8. Peeling Paint

When was the last time you repainted your home’s interior? The paint in your home can start to peel in as little as 3 to 5 years in some cases. It’s important to repaint your walls before you put your home on the market, so buyers don’t have to worry about doing it when they move in.

In many cases, you only need to repaint your walls once every 10 years if you use premium paint.

9. Lingering Odors

Lingering odors can cause problems for smokers and pet owners trying to sell their houses. It’s no secret that tobacco smoke is off-putting to most people, and it can bring your property value down. The same can be said for the lingering smell of animal urine and waste that can persist for a long time.

Stop smoking indoors and clean your house right away if you plan to sell your house soon. Nobody wants to buy a house that smells like cigarettes and cat urine. Household products like baking soda can help reduce the smell of animal urine and cigarettes. However, abstaining from smoking is the best way to get rid of the smell.

10. Bad Location

Where is your house? The location of a house is often considered one of the biggest cost factors. Houses in popular areas with lots of desirable businesses are typically more expensive because everyone wants to live there.

Conversely, houses with limited access to local businesses and amenities are often cheaper. Houses in dangerous areas are also quite cheap because you take a risk by moving in. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to increase your home value if it’s in a dangerous, undesirable area.

11. Mold

Nobody wants to deal with mold in any capacity. Not only is it ugly to look at, but mold is quite dangerous. Mold carries several serious health risks, and it can cost thousands of dollars to remove.

Ideally, you should hire a mold remediation service to remove the problem before you show your house to potential buyers. At a minimum, mold can reduce your home value by 3%, but severe cases can knock tens of thousands of dollars off your asking price.

12. Pests

Does your home have nasty pests like termites and bed bugs? It’s quite difficult to get rid of bed bugs and termites, so nobody wants to take on that baggage when they buy a house. Even common pests like flies, mosquitoes, spiders, and cockroaches can dissuade potential buyers.

Hire an exterminator before you list your house so you don’t scare anyone off. It’s worth the cost to make your house marketable, so it doesn’t stay on the market longer than it should.

13. Excessive Carpeting

Carpet used to be the gold standard in most homes, but those days are over. Now, people view carpeting as a high-maintenance and outdated headache. That is especially true if your whole house contains lots of carpets throughout.

Carpeting is susceptible to stains, and you must clean it frequently. Replace at least some of the carpeting in your home with laminate, vinyl, and hardwood. These materials are more fashionable these days, and they are easier to clean.

What Devalues A House The Most?

A laundry list of necessary maintenance is what devalues a house the most. Nobody wants to buy a house only to turn around and spend thousands of dollars on repairs. They will either move on and check out another house or ask you to knock tens of thousands of dollars off your asking price.

Summing It Up

Excessive noise, unpermitted additions, roof damage, and poor landscaping bring down property values the most. Buyers will also ask for a price reduction if your home’s siding and paint look terrible. Lingering odors, peeling paint, mold, pests, and excessive carpeting inside your home can also reduce its value.

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Nick Durante
Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

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