Five Surprising Factors That Can Affect Home Prices

Accurately determining the value of a home is an incredibly important step in the sales process — but it’s one that can sometimes be difficult to nail down.

As a seller, you may already know some of the most common factors that influence the value of a home, like:

  • Historical sales data for nearby homes
  • Supply and demand factors in the local market
  • The size, age, and condition of the property itself

But what about the less obvious factors? The quirky, unexpected, or downright odd features that can make one home more appealing — and more expensive — than another?

As it turns out, when you look at real estate trends, some fascinating patterns start to emerge. In looking at the big picture, little details really stand out —  and some of the smallest seeming things can actually have a pretty big impact.

As you consider the potential value of your property, here are five unexpected things that might influence your estimate, whether you know it or not:

1.) How Old Are the Trees?

Living on a street lined with trees could entice buyers to spend more on your property, even if the trees aren’t on your land. In fact, one prominent study out of Oregon found that street trees, on average, add thousands of dollars to home sales prices, while reducing time on market by roughly two days.

Research also suggests that more mature trees can add even more value to a property than younger saplings. The USDA Forest Service actually suggests that having healthy, mature trees on your property can add an average of 10 percent to your home’s value. Another selling point? According to reports from the Forest Service, adding trees around your property could help you save significantly on heating and cooling costs, to the tune of up to $250 a year.

2.) What’s the Name of Your Street?

Could the name of the street your home sits on actually impact the value of your property?  

Name recognition plays a big factor, of course. If your street is famous for housing a certain celebrity, or because it was the setting of a classic TV show, this could make buyers more interested in the area, leading to a general rise in home values.

But even off the beaten path, there is something to a name. According to one report, the suffix of a home’s address —  “Street,” “Road,” “Avenue,” “Boulevard,” etc. — can actually mean a 36% difference in its asking price. As it turns out, homes listed on streets with names ending in “Boulevard” or “Place” ask for more per square foot, on average, than homes on streets ending in “Drive” or “Street.”

And that’s not all. Believe it or not, your home’s address number could make a difference, as well. One study out of the U.K., for instance, found that houses and apartments with the number 13, which is considered to be unlucky, sold less frequently, and at a notably lower price point, than homes with the number 12 or 14 —  their next door neighbors!

3.) How Close Is Your Home to a Grocery Store?

A growing body of data suggests that living near a Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, or Walmart could mean that your home values are primed to rise. Even if none of these chains is your grocery store of choice, your property could see a bump if one sets up shop nearby.

Research suggests that homes located within one mile of a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods have a median value higher than the national median. And looking at data from 1997 to 2014, homes located near either a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods tended to appreciate in value by 148 percent and 140 percent, respectively — essentially twice the national average for that period (71 percent).

Studies suggest that living near a Walmart can also give homes a surprising bump in value. Research from the University of Chicago and Brigham Young University indicates that houses within half a mile of a new Walmart store see price increases of 2-3 percent within 2.5 years. A little further out, houses one mile from a Wal-Mart tend to see a price increase of 1-2 percent over that same timespan.

4.) Is Your Home Suitably Sporty?

Sports lovers, rejoice! Research indicates that homes located closer to professional sports stadiums tend to be valued more highly. One 2012 study found that, controlling for other factors, moving a residential housing unit just one mile closer to a sports facility would increase its theoretical value by $793, on average. Additional findings suggest that a new pro sports stadium can actually elevate the property values of homes in a 2.5-mile radius by more than $2000, on average.

And you don’t have to be within spitting distance of a stadium to get a sporting boost. Homes located near green spaces and recreational areas tend to also see price increases on average. A recent study found that living near a “desirable public park or other recreational open space” can boost the property value of homes by anywhere from 8 percent to 20 percent.

5.) Which Direction Are Gas Prices Heading?

Whether or not you have to tank up a car on a regular basis, you’re probably being impacted by changing fuel prices — maybe without even realizing it! When fuel prices rise or fall, there is a ripple effect on the entire economy, impacting the price of everything from groceries to real estate.

One comprehensive study actually found that a 10 percent increase in gas prices can cause housing prices to fluctuate by as much as 2.5 percent. The study, which examined thousands of homes in the Las Vegas area, found that houses closer to the city tended to increase in value as gas prices rose, while homes further away — which would typically require more time spent behind the wheel —  fell in value.

Staying On Top of Real Estate Trends

For sellers, working with a broker who can determine the right list price early on is essential for selling your home quickly, and at the best possible value.

At Baird & Warner, our agents are hyperlocal experts who know their neighborhoods inside and out.  Nobody understands Chicagoland real estate better than the company that helped build it.

You, your neighborhood, and the home you want to sell are all unique. Our agents are the knowledgeable experts you want helping you — and with mortgage and titling services all under one roof, we’ll make sure things go smoothly at every step of the way.

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