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What factors affect property value?

As a home shopper, you probably know it’s easy to narrow your search by the style of a home and how many rooms it has. But if you consider your home an investment (which it certainly is), it’s important to remember these three words: location, location, location.

Since a home is likely the biggest investment you’ll make in your life, keeping its property value in mind during your search is a wise decision. The property value is assessed by appraisers and other valuers, and it refers to how much a property is worth on the market, not how much the home may be bought or sold for.

Because home prices fluctuate due to the basic economic principle of supply and demand (see our article on buyer’s and seller’s markets), the style and form of a home may have less impact on the property value than you might think. Therefore, it’s a smart idea to look to the future and examine the area around a home rather than focusing on a home’s remodeled kitchen or fenced-in yard in order to see the property’s potential for land appreciation. A number of details can influence a home’s property value besides the home itself. Here’s a list of factors that can positively and negatively affect that value.

things that increase property value



One of the biggest factors in determining property value is a home’s proximity to good schools. Buyers are willing to pay a premium when they know their kids will receive a good education. According to a survey, 3 out of 5 home buyers said school boundaries would affect their purchasing decision, and the majority of those buyers were willing to pay more than asking price.


Parks, monuments, and recreation areas increase property value by providing neighbors with places to relax, commune, or exercise. High-end amenities like golf courses, museums, upscale shopping malls, country clubs, and pools increase it even more.

Transit access

In urban areas especially, being near a subway or streetcar stop can increase a home’s property value dramatically. It also helps to be close (but not too close) to paths to interstates and airports too.


It goes without saying that having a home with a view of the beach or snow-capped mountains can have a huge positive impact on property value. Homes in special areas may incur some extra costs like septic tank maintenance or hurricane insurance, but overall, being near a vacation spot or peaceful vista will always cause property value to appreciate.


Although homeowner’s associations may require initiation fees and annual dues, the rules and guidelines they set can help keep property values up in their community. Many HOAs manage common areas like parks and neighborhood pools, so these amenities can increase a neighboring home’s property value too. There are pros and cons to being part of an HOA though, so get familiar with Nestiny's article on HOAs.

things that decrease property value


Noise pollution

Like we said before, living in a home with nearby access to an airport is great, but living near the airport, well, that’s a different story. Noise pollution from airports, trains, factories, power plants, or interstate traffic can increase stress levels and interrupt everything from your child’s birthday party to your regular sleeping pattern.

Environmental hazards

If you think living near a nuclear waste landfill doesn’t sound very fun, you’re not alone. Many buyers will pay more for a home that’s further away from a perceived risk factor like being near pollution-heavy factories, landfills, flood zones, sewage treatment facilities, and power plants.


Particularly high occurrences of burglary and violent crimes can decrease property values over a wide area. Licensed real estate agents are not legally allowed to share certain pieces of information with you like criminal activity in the area, so it pays for you to research with the local police departments before you choose a home.

Food deserts

This metaphor is used to describe an area that lacks access to fresh, healthy food like those sold at grocery stores and supermarkets. Not only is living in a food desert inconvenient and hard on people’s health, according to the CDC, grocery stores serve as “anchors” for other types of commercial development. Without retail activity, there are fewer employment opportunities, and property values suffer.

Want more advice about all things home — including homebuying or selling advice? Nestiny is a great place for homebuyer education and to help you gauge how ready you are to buy a home. Journey Homeward allows you to enter all your wants and needs while the True Affordability Tool will break down your budget, showing what you can comfortably afford. You will also receive a Ready Report that will give you a vital head start in the home buying journey, saving you valuable time and money.

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