Mature trees, landscaped yards, scenic parks—does this sound like your neighborhood? They all contribute to increased home values. You can be proactive in developing your community, and in turn, add more value to your home. Get involved by attending community meetings, call your local representatives, and spearhead a new project to improve your neighborhood. Here are some projects proven to maximize your neighborhood’s overall value.
Developing golf courses, open spaces, and dog parks in an area make it more desirable to buyers and can raise home values, too. In Seattle, nearby parks have shown to increase property values by as much as 5 percent.
In nearby Portland, building parks proved to increase home values by thousands of dollars. Moreover, here’s how these natural additions contributed to home values:
· Natural areas: $10,648
· Golf courses: $8,849
· Specialty parks: $5,657
· Urban parks: $1,214
Building bike paths and walking trails have also made a positive impact on home prices. In active communities like Seattle, bike paths are a huge selling point. A bike path that connects to parks or open space are great for families, and more professionals are opting to ditch their cars and pedal to work.
It goes without saying that the appearance of your home’s exterior contributes to property value. Landscaping and maintaining the outside of your home is a great start, but if other homes on the block are eyesores, it could negatively affect the value of yours. Consider starting a Homeowners Association (HOA) for your neighborhood. The HOA can instill rules for maintaining curb appeal, which will help reinforce consistency among neighbors. Simply establishing an HOA is another measure that adds property value!
A tree-lined neighborhood brings back childhood memories of playing with friends and walking home from school. That’s why adding trees to your block is another value-boosting move you can make to improve your community. Mature trees can add an additional 15 percent to your home’s resale value.
Amenities like gyms and pools that are exclusive to a neighborhood can boost the prices of an entire block. The community can take advantage of entertaining and dining areas as well as game rooms and health and fitness clubs. If your neighborhood doesn’t already have a community clubhouse or gathering place, consider fundraising with neighbors to build one, or talk with your HOA.
Who doesn’t love living near a grocery store or local brewery? When Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s move into a neighborhood, home prices can increase by 10 percent. In some cases, lower performing neighborhoods have turned around and become the highest selling in a city when one of these stores opened.
Are there historic sites in your neighborhood? Working with your community to identify and register historic sites can add to the equity of your home. They add to the overall aesthetic to the neighborhood and are appealing to buyers looking for an established area.
When you improve your community, you can make your residence more desirable both for you and for potential future buyers. Nothing comes easy, of course, and many of these projects are expensive and incredibly time consuming. It all starts with you! Attend your first city council meeting, introduce yourself to your local representatives, and be the change!