Tag Archives: Home Buying

Can Living Near A Walmart Increase Your Home Value?

The answer is surprisingly, “yes”!   There was an interesting article on the National Association of Realtors‘ site that I thought I would share.

Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

The Dinsmore Real Estate Team  |  www.dinsmoreteam.com

Marie@DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789

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9 Surprising Things That Add Value to Your House

By: Dona DeZube

A home’s value is dependent on many things. Here are nine factors you might not have thought about.

1. Surf Breaks: Being within a mile of a surf break (a spot where surf-able waves happen) adds about $106,000 to a home’s value, according to surfonomics experts at the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

Reality check: Mother Nature makes surf breaks, so it’s not like you could build your own DIY break to boost your home’s value.

2. Parks and Open Spaces:  A desirable public park or other recreational open space boosts the property value of nearby homes by 8%-20%.  One study looked at 16,400 home sales within 1,500 feet of 193 public parks in Portland, Ore., and found these boosts to home values:

  • Natural areas: $10,648
  • Golf courses: $8,849
  • Specialty parks: $5,657
  • Urban parks: $1,214

Reality check: A park that’s not maintained and overcrowded can drag down nearby home values.

3. Living Near a Walmart: Along with making it easier to run out for a gallon of milk at midnight, researchers at the University of Chicago concluded that living within a mile of a Walmart store could raise your home’s value by 1%-2%, and living within half a mile could boost your property value by an additional 1%.  For an average-size home, that’s an uptick of $4,000-$7,000.

Realty check: What you gain in home value, you may end up spending at Walmart.

4. Solar Photovoltaic Systems: California homes with solar photovoltaic (PV) systems sell for a $17,000 premium over homes without solar systems, according to research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Reality check: Although costs for residential solar power systems are falling, they’re still rather pricey at $15,000-$40,000, depending on the size of your house.

5. Walkability: Being able to stroll to schools, parks, stores, and restaurants will raise your property value anywhere from $4,000-$34,000, says a 2009 study from CEOs for Cities.

Reality check: The biggest boost in walkability values occurred in large, dense cities.

6. Accessory Dwelling Units:  Whether it’s a granny flat, an in-law apartment, or a carriage house, having a separate unit can increase your home’s value by 25%-34%, according to a study of 14 properties with accessory dwelling units in Portland, Ore. You can also get a steady stream of income from a second unit.

Reality check: Local governments often ban accessory dwelling units, so check zoning laws, building codes, and homeowners association rules before you add a unit.

7. Professional Sports Arenas:  A new pro sports stadium can raise property values in a 2.5-mile radius by an average of $2,214. The closer you are to the new facility, the larger the increase in home value. Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Alberta examined house sales in Columbus, Ohio, before and after the city added two sports stadiums.

Reality check: If a stadium is proposed, home values can decline a bit until the project is complete. And if you live really close to a stadium, you may encounter traffic and parking issues.

8. Community Gardens:  Planting a community garden raises the value of homes within a 1,000-foot radius by 9.4% within five years, according to research by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and New York University School of Law.  The impact increases over time, and high-quality community gardens have the greatest positive influence. Poor neighborhoods saw the biggest gains in home values.

Reality check: Gardens on privately owned land and in higher-income neighborhoods don’t have the same beneficial influence.

9. Trees:  No real surprise here — whether trees are in your yard or just on your street, they’re a valuable asset you should be aware of. Here’s a gauge of how much trees are worth to your home value according to a University of Washington research survey:

  • Mature trees anywhere in your yard: 2%.
  • Mature trees on your street: 3%.
  • Trees in your front yard: 3%-5%.
  • Mature trees in high income neighborhoods: 10%-15%.

Reality check: Trees usually mean work — raking leaves, trimming branches, and keeping roots out of sewer lines.

RE/MAX – December 2013 National Housing Report

1-30-2014 2-56-12 PMDespite the traditional winter slow down, both home prices and sales inched higher in December. The RE/MAX National Housing Report, a survey of MLS data in 52 metropolitan areas, found the December median home price of $185,400 was 11.9% higher than the median in December 2012. After double-digit growth in home sales during the summer, sales cooled off, but December still saw a 0.7% year-over-year increase. Slower sales growth is associated with a limited inventory of homes for sale coupled with increased lending requirements and mortgage fees. At the rate of home sales in December, the Months Supply of inventory rose to 5.9 months, nearly equal to the 6.0 supply that defines a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. Although the national inventory situation remains tight, it appears to be trending in the right direction. With a 12.0% drop in inventory from December 2012, the percentage of year-over-year inventory loss has shrunk for nine consecutive months.

“It’s great that improving market fundamentals continued through the normally slower winter months, and we ended the year on a strong positive note.”

Margaret Kelly, RE/MAX CEO

To view the full report, click here:  REMAX_National_Housing_Report_Jan_2014

Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

The Dinsmore Real Estate Team  |  www.dinsmoreteam.com

Marie@DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789

Romancing the Home: Love is in the Air

romance 3When searching for a home, it is easy to “fall in love” with a property. Before you put in that offer though, ask yourself can you BE in love in the house? How a home stacks up in the realm of romance might take top-tier in some people’s list of priorities, but even if it doesn’t, issues like privacy, noise, temperature and certain amenities can definitely break up your love affair with a property.

Loving a home and being in love in a home can go together. Look at properties that are well designed and maintained, easy to live in, and that are in areas that foster a sense of sanctuary, enabling people to be at their best. Homeowners that are seeking to amp up the warm feelings of love in their environment can find ways to evaluate homes with their own “way of life” in mind.

Much of the romance of a home is in the ability to control the environment to fit and to create a mood. Some elements are malleable and can be enhanced with modifications of paint and furniture, additional lighting, and personal items. By spending a few dollars, you can add things that are missing or replace items that are broken, dated, or poorly conceived. However, other issues are more challenging and potentially cost prohibitive to correct: the size of rooms, older wiring systems that cannot support a modern load, too few bathrooms or placement of the home on the property.

When assessing a property, here are some features to consider:

Privacy – How much privacy do you require from intruders, viewers, even other occupants of your home? How does the “lay of the land” or other buildings affect the privacy of your property? Having an audience or being the main attraction can take the romance right out of the air. In addition to the view you see or provide, think about noise. Are you constantly listening to your neighbors’ conversations? Will they be hearing yours? Do children or frequent guests to your home affect the romantic atmosphere? Separation of spaces might be a useful filter in the evaluation of a home. And what about bathing, dressing? Ensure that everyone’s sense of privacy can be achieved.

View – Does it inspire, envelop, overlook, or make you a subject? Privacy issues aside, consider the views from different vantage points. What you see can enhance or detract from a romantic atmosphere, so pay attention to views room-to-room and in transitions around the home.

Amenities – Are there features of a home, or luxuries that might be incorporated in a home that aid your romantic sensibilities? Many people like hot tubs, luxury bathrooms, large bedrooms, saunas or the benefits of well stocked wine cellars. If the home is lacking, can you add it? If the amenities are there, are they making up for something lacking? Consider rating and ranking amenities that are present and that could be added later. If there is a perfect place for the most idealistic of dreams, this could be a selling feature of the home – but the item might not be there, yet.

Lighting – both natural and augmented, should provide what you want where you want it. Do you like a dark bedroom in the morning, or would the sunrise be a welcome view? How is the house oriented and how will the changing light affect different rooms? Are light fixtures adequate and up-to-date? Are lights able to be dimmed, allowing control over mood? Is there a fireplace for light and warmth, or a great place for a fire-pit outside?

Ventilation/Heating and Cooling – Temperate breezes through open windows can be quite enjoyable in the right environment. However, kitchen smells and other lingering odors can be a detractor and stifle any sense of ambience. Being able to control airflow and in turn to control temperature and olfactory stimulus can be a key factor in many climates, from hot to cold. Face it: there’s nothing enticing about the smell of stale air, being too hot or too cold.

Sound – Some sounds add to a feeling of tension or discontent. Systems that produce noise like heating or cooling systems, dishwashers, ventilation fans, even refrigerators can be noisy when running. Consider a trial run to understand the noise load if you are sensitive to such things. Outdoor noise may be out of a homeowner’s control, but some newer homes have made advances to keep unwanted noise out. The addition of built-in speakers and audio systems enables additional control over the environment. Creating sanctuaries that attract song birds or water features that mask the sounds of traffic are also creative ways to add romance to the home.

So in this Valentine’s season, ponder the romance of a home, the romance that happens in the home and the ability to make a home romantic.

Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

The Dinsmore Real Estate Team  |  www.dinsmoreteam.com

Marie@DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789

Featured Neighborhood: Blue Valley

This month, The Dinsmore Team would like to highlight one of the very few luxury equestrian estate communities in North Georgia, Blue Valley.   Situated in Milton, North Fulton County, this gated community is composed of 400 acres.  Estates here range in size from 1 to 15 acres, and some are lake frontage.   The community was designed to leave much of the perfect natural setting untouched, and each home is designed to complement the surrounding property.   It is also close to downtown Alpharetta, where you will never have to search for great shopping or restaurants, and whether you’re headed north to the mountains or south to the Perimeter and beyond, your commute will not be long.

Blue Valley Site Plan

Amenities abound in this magnificent community:

  • For riders – you will enjoy the covered riding/jumping arena, 32 stall show-barn with paddocks, stables, and winding riding trails that pass streams and hardwood trees.
  • For golfers – you will be close to several upscale golf and country club communities, including The Manor, White Columns and Echelon.
  • For the Family – there is a clubhouse, a junior-sized Olympic pool, a kiddie pool with cabana, playground, three tennis courts, green spaces with two community lakes, as well as walking trails and sidewalks to thoroughly enjoy the neighborhood.

Whether you ride or not, the homes of Blue Valley offer the finest features.  Sharp Residential, the builder, is known for their fabulous gourmet kitchens and indulgent master suites.  Every detail, from aesthetics to energy efficiency, has been considered.  Just a few of the features that you can expect are:  elegant floor plans, four-sides brick and stone exteriors, 3 car side-entry garages, fireside keeping rooms, 6-zone irrigation systems, wainscot and crown moldings, cultured marble shower pans, butler’s pantries, granite kitchen countertops  – the list goes on and on.

Blue Valley truly has it all – fabulous architecture, unbeatable amenities and the perfect location.

Please call me to get the best guidance and advice on purchasing in this extraordinary community.

Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

The Dinsmore Real Estate Team  |  www.dinsmoreteam.com

Marie@DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789

Real Estate and The Super Bowl

Did you know that the top 10 NFL teams that have gone to the Super Bowl five or more times come from cities with high median home prices?

Did you also know that the day after the Super Bowl is known as a great time to list your home?  Home inventory is still low in the North Metro Atlanta area (Suwanee, Cumming, Milton, Johns Creek, Roswell, Alpharetta and Lake Lanier), and getting a jump on the spring season could ensure that your listing gets more attention.

Super Bowl Appearances vs. Real Estate Prices

Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

The Dinsmore Real Estate Team  |  www.dinsmoreteam.com

Marie@DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789