Now for many of you, this may not sound like such a big deal. But if you told me nine months ago that I would intentionally run 6.2 miles without a pack of pit bulls chasing me, I would have called the police to report an escapee from an insane asylum.
My wife caught the running bug a few years ago and has since run several half-marathons (13.1 miles), and she is now training for her first full marathon later this year. Although she diligently tried to convince me to join her on these running escapades, I just as diligently turned down her invitations, flatly stating that “I am not a runner.”
When I speak with local homeowners about their home values, I usually hear prophesies of declining or stalled values stated with the same vehemence with which I used to declare my non-runner status. “Ah, the market is a mess. It’ll be years before our values rise again,” is an all-too-common response.
But while the condition of the real estate market and the future of home prices can be debated to no end, it’s important to remember that the “market” is only one of many factors that affect the value of our homes. And although we have little or no control over factors like the condition of the market or our home’s location, we have lots of control over many other factors, such as our home’s condition and appearance.
So if you want to increase your home’s value, don’t just sit around and wait for the market to do it for you. Be proactive and pick up a paintbrush, a shovel, or a hammer and nail and add value the good old fashioned way: with sweat. (Blood and tears are optional and sometimes effective, but not recommended.) As a Realtor, new exterior paint and fresh landscaping are two of my favorite and most cost-effective ways to add immediate appeal and value to a home.
And if your improvement projects are outside, the increased home values won’t stop at your property line. The value of the homes around you will go up as well. So the next time your neighbor mows their lawn or pulls some weeds, be sure to pat them on the back and thank them for improving your equity position.