5 Ways to Improve Home Value in a Bad Neighborhood

5 Ways to Improve Home Value in a Bad Neighborhood

Having the nicest house in the neighborhood may seem like something to take pride in, and in some ways it is- but when it comes to selling your home, it’s the last thing you want.  The value of a house is partially based the value of others in the neighborhood, meaning that if you’re at the top of the list, then there’s nowhere else to go… but down.  

If you’re in a similar situation, it’s not the end of the world- there are still things you can do to squeeze as much value as possible out of your home.  



1. Show Your House at the Right Time of Day

Some neighborhoods look better at certain times of the day than others- it’s important to keep this in mind when you schedule times to show your home.  If your home is on a busy street, try to avoid early morning and evening showings when the neighborhood traffic would be most noticeable.  If some of the other properties in the area have negative curb appeal- but traffic and safety aren’t a concern, try to schedule showings in the evening.  If you’re unsure when the area looks best, step outside during different times during the day and try to make an educated decision. 

2. Pick the Correct Agent

Some people thing agents are like soul-mates- there’s an agent for every home out there somewhere.  There are agents out there who specialize in complicated or hard to sell properties.  While it’s safe to assume that every agent will always try to the best of their abilities, it’s worth looking for one with some familiarity with properties like yours- while they might offer some advice or make suggestions you don’t like, they probably know best.



3. Honesty is the Best Policy

When you find potential buyers who are willing to overlook the neighborhood, the last thing you want is to turn them away because you weren’t so forthright about something else.  When writing your real estate listing, it might be worth mentioning some of the issues with the location in the ad.  We aren’t suggesting you belittle your house in the ad your using to try and sell it- just be honest enough so you don’t waste a the buyer’s time who would turn around after seeing the neighborhood- and more importantly, so they don’t waste yours. 



4. Try to Improve Your Curb Appeal

If you’re already trying to sell the nicest house in the neighborhood, you may as well look the part.  Keep the lawn mowed and the shrubs trimmed,  keep the leaves raked and the colorful flowers blooming.  It may be worth it to invest in some festive or attractive lawn furniture to liven up the yard.  If you have some nearby neighbors who are infamous for their inactivity, it may even be worth offering to mow their lawns for them.  It may take a little landscaping, It may take a little work- but when the rest of the neighborhood is an eyesore, it will pay off in the end. 



5. Limit Your Expectations

Be realistic, and know your limits- if you’re reading this article, you’ll most likely have to consider some lower offers.  It can be a gamble to either invest more money in improvements and price higher, or spend less on improvements and set the price lower- but when you’re already the nicest house in the neighborhood, the latter is usually the safer option.






Washington Appraiser

Jonathan Montgomery Founder and President of the The Real Estate Appraisal Group.  He has been a real estate professional since 1998. He’s been a broker, and investor, and now serves as an appraiser.  He currently works as an appraiser, doing real estate appraisals in Washington D.C., Southern Maryland, and Northern Virginia.

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