Stewart Woodward, REALTOR Selling Metro West Real Estate


Posted by Stewart Woodward on 12/14/2017

People often talk about boosting the value of their home with various improvements. But it is seldom that you hear anyone talk about the unforeseen factors that devalue their home. Furthermore, there are some fluctuations in a home's market value or appraisal value that are out of the homeowner's hands. In this post, we'll break down some of the broader aspects of home value and determine which "improvements" will serve you best in the long run. We'll also point out the red flags that are sure to devalue a home on the market.

Location

Few things so greatly affect the value of your home as location. If you happened to buy a house in Brooklyn Heights a couple decades ago its value has probably gone up exponentially since then due to the high demand of living in a trendy part of New York. Aside from living in the hippest neighborhood, people choose their home based on other location factors. Schools, hospitals, shopping centers, vicinity to highways or public transportation may all play a big role for many people. Location factors that will negatively affect the value of your home are high or increasing crime rates, economic decline (boarded up stores aren't very appealing to home buyers), a high incidence of registered sex offenders nearby, and neighbors that have unkempt homes or hoard junk in their yards. Other location factors are harder to sniff out. With the exception city dumps or waste processing centers--which you won't have any trouble smelling--having undesirable places like power plants or noisy freeways in your neighborhood can also devalue your home.

Inside the home

Home improvements are a great way to increase the value of your home--as long as those improvements meet a few criteria. Any changes you make should be legal and up to code. Potential buyers do not want the liability of illegal home improvements, nor can they ensure that the job was safely done and doesn't put them and their family at risk. Your improvements should also be up to social standards and changing tastes. Yes, we all have our own preferences when it comes to paint colors and home decorations. But when trying to sell a home it's important that it doesn't look like a time capsule from the 70s, rife with wood panels and shag carpets. When it comes to home repairs many homeowners elect to put off big projects because they are daunting and time consuming. Instead they focus on surface level improvements that might not do much to improve the value of their home. If you have plumbing that needs to be replaced, deteriorating flooring, or faulty heating and ventilation, make sure you take care of those before putting your home on the market.

Ask the pros

If buying or selling a home is in your foreseeable future, one great way to get a jump on your research is to consult a real estate agent and a building contractor to learn more about your area's own unique market values. This will give you a head start on making changes to your home and will tip you off on what to look out for when home hunting.





Posted by Stewart Woodward on 8/6/2015

It is common question that real estate professional get; what is my home worth? Unfortunately, it is a question that does not have an exact answer. There are ways to determine about what your home is worth. You may find online estimates that say one thing but is that a true test of what the market will bear? So, how can you really determine what your property is worth? 1. Consider Solds-Look at other comparable homes in your area that have recently sold. This will give you a good idea what buyers are willing to pay. 2. Consider Under Agreements/Pendings-Although it is difficult to tell what a home has sold for before it closes you may be able to tell the demand in a price range. Look at the asking price of the home and how long it was on the market. If you see a trend of homes going under agreement quickly you may assume they are going closer to the asking price. 3. Consider Active Listings-Real estate is about competition just like any other commodity. It is important that your home be competitively positioned against other comparable listings. The asking price is a part of the marketing plan of the home. 4. Online Values-Be wary of online estimates. The very definition "online" takes the human factor out of determining the value.  A computer program cannot take into account the nuances of location, home style and home condition. 5. Sell It-The only way to know a home's true market value is to sell it. At the end of the day a home is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay.  





Posted by Stewart Woodward on 3/5/2015

If you listen to the media you will never know which way is up when it comes to the state of the real estate market. It's not just the market that determines how a house will sell but also location, price, and condition of the home. Like they say real estate is local. Just like you wouldn't expect the weather to be the same in one place vs. another - the same is true about the real estate market. There are a few things you can look at to determine the type of market in your area. 1. Contact a real estate professional. 2. If you are a seller ask for a comparable market analysis on your home. 3. If you are a buyer determine the average number of days on the market in your desired area and price range. 4. Ask your agent what the absorption rate is the market your are looking to buy or sell. Absorption rate is the rate at which homes are selling. Whether you are buying a home or selling it's important to understand the market conditions.





Posted by Stewart Woodward on 9/25/2014

Before you decide to buy a house, it is crucial that you consider various factors beforehand. Some of these factors can be as straightforward as making sure to choose a home in a good area, and making certain that the property is also in good condition. However, it is also important to consider the housing market, because it is imperative that you buy a house at the right time. For example, if you are in a market where there is a huge demand for homes for sale, then the prices of houses will generally be high, and so if you are buying a house for investment purposes, this wouldn't be the right time for you to make that purchase. With the market starting to creep back up buyers will be looking to get a good deal before demand goes back up so selling a home right now can bring great results.

On the other hand, if there is less demand for buying houses, then the price of property will generally be very low, thus making it the perfect time to buy. Right now is a fantastic time to buy a home with the slower market interest rates at the lowest in years. Buying a home in a down market can become a great investment down the road. You can consider it like a savings account. Buy the property in a down market, and watch your money grow.