For many of us, a home is the biggest investment we’ll ever make — yet most Americans are clueless about their home’s value, including the things that can ruin it.
From unappealing renovations to an unfortunately-placed sinkhole, numerous factors can devalue your greatest investment.
We’ve rounded up 11 threats that could torpedo your home’s value:
SEE ALSO: 9 hidden costs that come with buying a home
While there’s insurance coverage specifically for sinkhole damage in case your property is hit by a sinkhole, they still hurt property values.
« It definitely stigmatizes the property, » Rob Arnold, a Florida real estate investor and realtor who has bought and sold more than 30 sinkhole properties in the last five years, told CF13 News. He tells owners of damaged homes to knock 30% off their asking price, plus the cost of any repairs.
City dumps and power plants.
When researchers looked at five municipal landfills near residential property in Cleveland, Ohio, they found the stench was enough to drag down property values by 5.5% to 7.3%. Landfills are most hurtful in populated, expensive, residential areas. The effect was basically nonexistent in sparse, rural areas.
Likewise, the University of California at Berkeley found homes within two miles of a power plant drop 3% to 7% in value.
Hoarders or messy neighbors.
If your neighbors’ homes and yards look sloppy, home shoppers tend to put a lower value on your home.
A nearby property’s overgrown yard, peeling paint, and clutter can easily knock 5% to 10% off the sale price of your home, Joe Magdziarz, the president of the Appraisal Institute and a real-estate appraiser with 40 years of experience, told MSN Money.
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