|20 things that can alter the value of your home
floor plan. Small rooms and bathrooms, an inconvenient floor
plan or a layout that requires you to access bedrooms or bathrooms
through other rooms will detract value from your home.
4. Outmoded appliances
or systems. Who wants an electrical system or plumbing
system incapable of handling modern conveniences? Would you buy a home if the
appliances were worn or broken?
Phipps remembers walking
into one house with clients who casually opened the oven door -- and it fell off.
5. Stale or overly personal
decor. Sure, red is the hot wall color right now, "but
for how long?" says Hummel.
"We've gone into
houses where they've had purple or electric green walls," says Austin. "It's
a turn-off to many people."
A bad roof. Roofs are expensive to replace, and a good
roof is considered standard equipment in a house. If your roof has problems, expect
to take a hit in the price.
Bad location. Phipps remembers one neighborhood with
a significant difference in value between the even- and odd-numbered houses. The
reason? The odd numbered ones backed on an interstate highway, as well as some
ugly utility lines.
As a result, "the even-numbered
houses were worth about 10 percent more than the odd-numbered homes," he
8. Poor maintenance.
"If you've got an old roof and outdated paint, I don't
care if you've updated the kitchen, you won't even get the buyer out of the car,"
"If you know you've got to have
something fixed, fix it," says Zollinger. Otherwise, people "will subtract
the cost or not make an offer on the house. And if people think the house hasn't
been taken care of, they will wonder what else they're not seeing."
Environmental hazards. Besides being a danger to human
health, lead, mold or asbestos can kill home value.
A laundry list of needed improvements. "It detracts
if you have to do work," says Gaylord. "A house that you can move in
today -- and it's livable -- is fine."
But a list
of must-dos just to conduct everyday life will scare off a lot of potential home
buyers. "Especially with first-time buyers," he says. "Most of
them are (already) scraping just to get in."
Dratch is a freelance writer based in Atlanta.