In the late ‘90s the Dodge Neon came in a variety of colors. One of the more, shall we say, noticeable, colors was magenta (a combination of pink & purple). It was one of those trends you loved or hated. One of my extended family members, a self-proclaimed “girly girl” couldn’t get the keys to one fast enough. Flash forward a few years to marriage and three beautiful kids. She opted to trade the vehicle for something more “family friendly”. Imagine her (not ours, but her) shock when the dealer docked a significant amount off the trade-in value because of the color, something that she had paid extra to have. Simply put, while the color was something she loved, the general population would see it as way to talk the vehicle’s price down. The same can hold true for a home. If the thought of selling your home anytime in the future has ever crossed your mind, even slightly it’s a good idea to make choices that increase, not decrease, the value of your home. Not sure what we mean? Here are a few examples.
Cedar Shake Roof: A cedar shake roof definitely sets your home apart from the crowd and not necessarily in a good way. Cedar shakes require significantly more maintenance than metal or asphalt roofing which can scare off potential buyers. It’s not uncommon to see an insurance company require a 2% dwelling cost deductible. (For those who loathed math in school, this means that your deductible for a new roof could be $5,000 on a $250,000 home.) Insurance companies can command this premium because cedar shake roofs have minimal fire resistance capabilities.
Stucco Siding: Statistically speaking, a stucco home will sit on the market longer than one with a different type of siding. Because water is stucco’s primary adversary, Midwestern buyers can be more hesitant to purchase this type of home. Stucco’s lifespan depends on it being installed correctly, something that can be difficult to determine by appearance alone.
Garage Space: Homes built before dual income homes were the norm oftentimes only having a one car garage or none at all. Particularly in the Midwest, where snow can fall anywhere between October & May, a garage is seen as a necessity. Buyers typically want a garage that can house both homeowners’ vehicles.A property with less than a two car garage may cause a home to sit on the market longer. Garages located under the house can also be viewed as undesirable. (Think about the additional work it would take to transport a carload of groceries up a flight of stairs.) It’s also a common complaint that rooms above the garage are drafty and take more energy to heat.
Flat Roof: While flat roofs are cheaper than pitched ones to install, they are notorious for leaking. In order to prevent this, they are covered with a waterproof seal that must be inspected and maintained on a regular basis. These additional steps and the likelihood of water damage may deter perspective home buyers.
Plumbing: Fixtures such as dishwashers, washing machines and showers were once thought to be luxury items. However, in the 21st century, they’re considered to be staples. Homes without these items are likely to sit on the market longer and sell for a lower price.
Basement Access: In older homes, basement access may require going through the garage or through a hatch in the floor. Changing this to more conventional access will appeal to a wider audience.
Wood Siding: Properly maintained wood siding can be a point of pride for a homeowner. Keeping the siding maintained means intermittent power washing, sealing and staining or painting. Wood siding can also be harmed by insects and other pests. All of these things make wood siding something that can be viewed as a liability to future homeowners.