3 Ways to Wreck the Value of Your Southern Maryland Home

Kimberly Bean
Kimberly Bean
Published on August 20, 2018

Southern Maryland homeowners know that the best way to protect their home’s value is by maintaining it. And, when it is time to sell your home, you’ll find lots of ways to increase its value.

On the other side, there’s no one willing to tell you how to wreck your home’s value.

Until you met me, that is.

This list of tips should be a cautionary tale – unless, of course, you really want to decrease the value of your Southern Maryland home.

Convert your garage

According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Homebuilders, more than half of homebuyers want a two-car garage and 86 percent want a garage with storage.

So, while you may see your garage as wasted space or an oversized junk drawer, carefully consider what a garage conversion can do to your home’s value. A Sacramento appraiser found that homebuyers paid between 6 and 10 percent less for homes with no garage, regardless of what replaced it.

On a $200,000 home, that’s a loss of between $15,000 and $20,000.

Ouch!

If you think you want to sell your Southern Maryland home eventually, consider making garage upgrades that may increase its value and make it more attractive to homebuyers. These include:

  • A new garage door. According to Remodeling Magazine’s “Cost vs. Value” report, homeowners who installed a new garage door saw a 98.3 percent return on their investment.
  • Adding additional storage options, such as shelves and cabinets. Consider overhead storage, suspended from the ceiling, to use the wasted space above the cars. It’s quite popular and will catch a buyer’s eye.
  • Make the garage look brand new by power-washing the floor and applying an epoxy floor coating (This Old House offers a walk-through of the process). Then, paint the walls with a semi-gloss paint.

Don’t snitch to the HOA about bad neighbors

If your Southern Maryland community is governed by a homeowner’s association, you pay dues. Even homeowners with low fees should expect their association to enforce its rules and regulations.

It’s not smart to not take advantage of their power when a neighbor is messing with your home’s value. Consider becoming a “snitch” if any of the following occur in your neighborhood:

  • The hoarder: Nearby property that is cluttered with a homeowner’s junk can reduce your home’s value by 5 to 10 percent, according to the Appraisal Institute. If the exterior is extra-packed with debris, you may lose even more value.
  • The loud neighbor: Most associations have a noise ordinance in their rules, and for good reason. Not only are loud neighbors disruptive to other residents, but their (and their pets’) noise can reduce home values by another 5 to 10 percent.
  • Unsightly vehicles: Many HOAs prohibit residents from parking commercial vehicles, boats and large recreational vehicles on the property. If yours does, and a neighbor is violating the policy, contact your HOA and file a complaint.

Install a pool

In some parts of the country, such as Las Vegas and parts of Arizona, a pool adds value to a home. It may also add value if you live in a Southern Maryland neighborhood where most of the other homes have pools.

But in other areas and neighborhoods, a pool may or may not add value. In others, a pool is considered an expensive inconvenience and a liability, and it can drag the value of your home down.

Not only that, but a pool knocks some Southern Maryland buyers out of contention. Unless it offers security features, the pool won’t be popular with families with young children.

Consider that the average cost for a complete pool installation will cost between $30,000 and $100,000 according to Jean Folger at Investopedia.com. Then, in some states and municipalities, fences around the water feature are mandatory, so factor in that cost. (Find out if yours is among them at signs.com.)

Ongoing maintenance may cost a bundle as well. “The pump and heater, if you have one, could drive up your utility costs by $100 a month or so,” according to the folks at DaveRamsey.com.

“You’ll spend about $600 during the swimming season on chemicals if you maintain your pool yourself,” they continue. “If you live in a climate where you’ll use the pool year-round, budget $15–25 a week for DIY maintenance.”

If you must install a pool for your own enjoyment, keep in mind that it won’t pay for itself when you sell the home, and you’ll likely take a hit on your home’s value.

Now, these aren’t the only things that can negatively impact a Southern Maryland home’s value. Many of the others are out of your control. For those issues that are within your control, act on them.

Speak up and protect your investment when the airport decides to change flight paths, when something negative is about to impact the quality of your local school, and when value-killing zoning changes are afoot.

Accokeek MD Homes for Sale and Real Estate Services in Southern Maryland. You now have a search engine to help you with your Southern Maryland home search! And I’m ready to provide you with a custom home valuation if you’re considering selling your home. Let’s connect to discuss how I can help you. Contact Kimberly Bean at 301-440-1309

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