most Americans, their home is their most important financial asset. But in the
past, homeowners only knew how much it was worth when they bought or sold their
home. To understand how much your home is worth, it’s important to understand
the variety of factors that go into assessing the value, both existing
(assessed and appraised) value, as well as potential real value on the market. Here
are several surprising things that can affect either the existing value of your
home or the price someone is willing to pay for it, all based on data collected
from outer sources.
close you are to a Starbucks?
How far do you have to drive to get a Frappuccino? If the answer
is “not that far,” you’re in luck. A 2015 report found that, between 1997 and
2014, homes within a quarter-mile of a Starbucks increased in value by 96
percent, on average, compared with 65
percent for all U.S. homes, based on a comparison of a Home
Value Index data with a database of
Starbucks locations. The analysis of that data showed that homes near Dunkin’
Donuts locations appreciated 80 percent, on average, during the same 17-year
period — not quite as high as homes near a Starbucks, but still significantly
above the 65 percent increase in value for all U.S. homes.
kitchens and blue bathrooms
America’s obsession with lawns and all-around “curb appeal,” what’s inside your
house counts a lot, too — especially the colors you’ve painted the rooms (particularly the
kitchen). According to a 2017 Paint Color Analysis, which examined more than 32,000 photos from sold homes
around the country, homes with blue kitchens sold for a $1,809 premium,
compared to similar homes with white kitchens. Blue
is also a popular bathroom shade. The same analysis found that homes with light
pale blue to soft periwinkle blue bathrooms sold for a whopping $5,440 more. Walls
painted in cool neutrals like blue or gray can be signals that the home is well
cared for or has other desirable features.
3. Trendy features
Joanna Gaines’ aesthetic is permeating more than just your YouTube
search history. Listings mentioning some of the shiplap queen’s favorite
features sell faster and for a premium. Listings with “barn door” in the
description sold for 13.4 percent more than expected, and 57 days faster than
comparable homes without the keyword. Meanwhile, listings touting “farmhouse
sink” led to a nearly 8-percent sales premium. This “barn door” effect doesn’t
seem to increase the value of the home off the market, but is seemingly due to
the popularity of this style at the time of the analysis. Sellers can use the
listing descriptions to highlight trendy details and features that might not be
noticeable in the photos.
4. How close you are to a city
If you own a home in a major metropolitan area in America,
you’re most likely sitting on a significant (and rapidly appreciating)
financial asset. The average urban home is now
worth 35 percent more than the average suburban home. Since 2012, the median
home value in urban areas have increased by 54 percent, while in suburban areas
the median home value is up 38 percent.