What’s it Worth? 3 Items that May – or May Not – Boost a Southern Maryland Home’s Value

Kimberly Bean
Kimberly Bean
Published on May 31, 2017

We field a lot of questions from Southern Maryland homeowners who are thinking selling their homes, but the most frequently asked question is, “What’s it worth?”

Homeowners, of course, are referring to their home’s value, but even after that is determined, the “What’s it worth?” questions continue. These are three of the most common questions about items that may (or may not!) add to a home’s value.

What’s a view worth?

This question usually comes from a homeowner who just found out that his home with an amazing view is worth less than he thought. If two homes are identical and only one of them has a view, it’s a safe bet that the one with the view with be worth more.

But how much more? Well, that depends on who you ask. Some real estate professionals say there is no value in a view, while others claim that the view may increase the value as much as 15 percent over similar homes without a view.

Texas Christian University’s Mauricio Rodriguez, PhD, and C.F. Sirmans of Florida State University studied the topic and found that, at least for the housing market they examined, “a good view adds about 8 percent to the value of a single-family house.” (Rodriques/Sirmans: Quantifying the Value of a View in Single-Family Housing Markets)

Because the final determination of a home’s market value is decided by an appraiser, we sought an appraiser’s opinion. Michael Fox, a New York State Certified Residential Appraiser with MF Appraisals in Westchester, conducted his own informal study of the value of a golf course view.

Fox analyzed four years’ worth of sales in a townhome development. He found that the golf course view was worth from nearly 6 percent to 6.85 percent, depending on the year the home sold. “Throughout the marketing of the project,” he said, “regardless of changing market conditions, buyers paid more for units with a view of the golf course.”

No matter what the view is – city skyline, open space, or golf course – it’s worth something, even if there’s no consensus exactly how much.

Will a pool add value to my home?

This is a very popular question. And it’s easier to answer than questions about the value of a view.

The National Association of Realtors’ National Center for Real Estate Research claims that “. . .an in-ground swimming pool adds about 8 percent to value” and that “an above ground pool adds no value.”

The National Association of Homebuilders, however, finds that, of homebuyers who expressed a desire for a pool, most said they would be OK with a community pool.

Like so many things, real estate value comes down to location. The value of a pool depends on where in the country the home is located. Buyers in warm regions tend to put more value on a pool than buyers in cooler areas. So, yes, a pool adds value to a Phoenix or Las Vegas home but may not add a penny to a similar home in Minneapolis or Omaha.


In fact, the National Association of Realtors study we mentioned earlier finds that Southwest homeowners with a pool can realize an 11 percent bump in value (unlike the 8 percent for homeowners elsewhere).

But for any pool to be considered valuable, it needs to be in good condition. Otherwise, the pool can actually drag a home’s value down.

Which renovations will boost my home’s value the most?

Everyone wants the answer to this one!

Remember that any renovations you make to the home will only pay you back, on average, “64.3 cents on the dollar in resale value,” according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2017 Cost vs. Value Report.

That said, the report says that these projects will give you the most bang for your buck:

Replacing attic insulation – A contractor air-seals the attic floor to stop air leakage and then adds fiberglass insulation to a thickness equal to R-30 insulation. This project pays for itself, according to the magazine’s report – returning 107.7 percent of the cost when the home sells.

Front door replacement – Ditch the old door and replace it with a steel one. It will cost you about $1,400 (national average), and you’ll recoup 90.7 percent upon the sale of the home.

Minor kitchen remodel – This project involves replacing the cabinet and drawer fronts and adding new hardware; replacing the appliances with energy-efficient models; installing new laminate countertops; installing a new sink and faucet; repainting trim, adding wall covering and replacing the flooring. Total cost: $20,830, and the homeowner will recoup 80.2 percent of that after the sale.

Kitchens are very important to buyers, so let’s dig a little deeper into this facet of home renovations. Consumer Reports finds that millennial homebuyers overwhelmingly want a “modern/updated kitchen.” The group goes on to suggest that for a mere $5,000 you can add new appliances, countertops, and flooring and splash some fresh paint on the walls and realize a 3 to 7 percent bump in home value.

Buyers also love anything you do to the home that helps save on energy bills. This includes replacing old windows with high-efficiency versions, replacing utility-hogging appliances, and the aforementioned beef-up of the home’s insulation. The Consumer Reports study claims that replacing old windows with “Energy Star certified windows can lower your home’s energy bills by 7 to 15 percent.”

Now THAT is a hot selling point!

Hughesville 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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