In a neighborhood of similar homes, why is one worth more than another? That’s the question that’s teased buyers and sellers for ages, but the answer is simple.
Every home is different.
When a home is sold, a willing seller and a willing buyer have just announced to the world the value of that home. From there, other similar homes are benchmarked, but other factors come into play. The most important are:
Location - The closer a home is to jobs, parks, transportation, schools, and community services, the more desirable it is.
Size - Square footage impacts home values because they’re built using more materials. Larger lot sizes mean more privacy.
Number of bedrooms and baths - Over time, median homes have grown larger. Decades ago, household members shared bedrooms and baths without complaint, but today, families want more privacy. The median home purchased today is a three-bedroom, two-bath home.
Features and finishes - Features such as outdoor kitchens and spa baths make a home more luxurious. A home finished with hardwood floors and granite countertops is going to cost more than a home with carpet and laminate countertops.
Swimming Pool - In many areas of the country having an in-ground pool can be a detriment. However in the Central Florida are, an in-ground swimming pool adds both value and appeal due the extended swimming months, and the onset of less maintenance systems and equipment.
Condition - The closer a home is to new construction, the more it will retain its value. It’s perceived as more modern, up to date, and perhaps safer. Homes that are not updated or in poor repair sell for less. It’s a good idea for homeowners to keep their homes updated and in top repair.
Curb appeal - From the street, the home looks clean, fresh, and inviting. Fresh landscaping and flowers won’t change the size or location, but they certainly add charm.
Bells and Whistles - The first 30 seconds upon entering a home. I have no exact definition for this other than that feeling you get when you first enter a house, and you realize this is the one. This is important because ultimately, a house is worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it.
When two homes are identical in the same neighborhood, a higher price may come down to something as simple as views, or paint colors, or the overall taste of the homeowner.
Valuing a home will never be an exact science, but if you buy wisely, keep your home updated and in good repair, you should recoup most if not all of your investment.