It's vital to safeguard the value of your home so that you won't be faced with a huge dilemma, in case you do decide to sell it one day. Several external factors do affect home value. There are elements, events, as well as circumstances that can either increase or decrease your home's worth, but there are also ways to protect it from depreciating too much.
1Your Relationship With The Neighborhood
Once you move into your new or newly renovated house, perhaps you're thinking that you won't have to think about property prices anymore, right? You can just live your life and let the property value increase. However, this is not how things often go. Even if your house looks nice and attractive, it's still a must to maintain it well. There are also many factors that affect property values.
To protect the value of your house, you should learn how to become more active in your neighborhood. Every homeowner should play active roles in their communities and go to meetings, help with certain petitions, form a good relationship with neighbors, and so much more. There will likely be times when you'll think that it's so much work than what you anticipated.
2Your City Or Town's Zone Laws
A lot of homeowners today often wonder about how city and county planners affect property values. Many people believe that zone laws are permanent; changes cannot be made once these are made. Should zone laws concern you and other homeowners?
Zone laws aid in guiding builders and property owners about what types or styles of structures can be built on a particular lot, but the main issue is that these laws are generally unclear. Although your town probably has a master plan, there will still likely be variances on zoning laws. These regulations are there to ensure that land lots are not reduced by neighboring lands; however, no law can stop a builder from requesting the city for a variance. As far as zone laws go, such is just a one-time incident.
3Detrimental Neighboring Structures
Here is an extreme example that could present a huge problem to any homeowner: developers may decide to dump toxic waste onto an empty lot next to your property. Of course, such a big issue won't likely be approved by the planning commission, but that is not always the case. Some variances get approval (though not always) regarding specific situations, like strip malls, wherein they get permission even though their presence or their activities could be detrimental to the areas nearby. Every home is covered by the zone laws. Property developers enforce another set of regulations, the CCandRs (Conditions, Covenants, and Restrictions), which are often included in the title as well.
4Conditions, Covenants, and Restrictions
Conditions, Covenants, and Restrictions or the CCandRs are regulations that you need to follow while living in a certain house, and breaking the rules could result in serious legal issues. CCandRs actually dictate what color you can use to paint your house, how many floors you can build, how big the house can be, and other issues. These rules are there to keep a specific level of decency or propriety.
A few years ago, some developers often included discrimination clauses in the CCandRs as well. Some restrictions were about the right to ownership of certain ethnic, racial, or religious groups. Today, these kinds of clauses are no longer considered as valid, yet sometimes they do appear in CCandRs.
5The Occurrence Of An Unacceptable Clause
In case you come across an unacceptable clause, just think of how far society has come as such clauses no longer have any effect nowadays. Sometimes, these clauses only remain because they have been overlooked or perhaps removing these clauses will only double the amount of work involved. Thus, some just leave them in the new CCandRs because it's easier that way. As a homeowner, you have a number of responsibilities and such include checking, if the home you recently bought is located in a neighborhood with an active homeowners association, which will likely regulate the zoning laws, or if the house is in an area that is not governed by a homeowners association thus, it does not fall into zoning laws. In case there is no homeowners association, the zoning laws will likely be regulated by the community's planning department.
6Homeowners Association's Requirements
Homeowners associations play a crucial role as they follow the specified rules of a particular neighborhood, as well as ensure that others follow these laws as well, which is generally an advantage to all homeowners in the area. The presence of such groups is beneficial to a neighborhood, and such could even drive property values up. Let's say that the houses in a specific area are generally just one-floor, smaller structures, but then an owner may prefer to add another floor for his expanding family, which is another issue.
When improvements are tastefully done and are following the regulations, the bigger and better structures will look better and will encourage property values to appreciate. However, there are also a few disadvantages to this. To illustrate, any major improvement done on one house can have an impact on the overall ambiance of a neighborhood; in case a homeowner builds a second floor, things could go downhill from there.
7The Role Of A Homeowners Associations
A community that prides itself for its single-story homes may no longer look homogenous, and may even appear mixed and cluttered, once a slew of two-story houses appear. The once unique neighborhood will then look like any other neighborhood, and the community's distinct characteristic is marred. Through the CCandRs, homeowners associations can protect the aesthetics of a certain community, particularly when the CCandRs clearly state that only single-story houses can be built in the area.
Still, perhaps one homeowner felt like he really needed another floor which pushed him to appeal for a variance. He can schedule a meeting with the planning commission and then explain to them that his growing family needed a bigger space. He planned to build a second floor which was of the same size as his current house, and this would double the square footage.
8What Could Possibly Happen Next?
It's possible for the planning committee to approve the variance appealed by the homeowner, but this doesn't necessarily mean that his neighbors were also amenable to the idea. The neighbors could likely claim that the community was retired, and they believed that all the houses in the area would remain one-story during the time that they also purchased their homes. They could also argue that a second floor will affect the view of the dwellings nearby; thus, it might decrease property values. Finally, they could say that the owner should have bought a two-story house in the first place if that was what he really needed or wanted.
9The Impact Of Variances
In the example given above, the homeowner's appeal for variance is valid because his family was growing, and this is likely the best decision that he could come up with considering today's economy. In this case, the CCandRs disregarded a lot of things except for single-family houses. Due to this, the planning commission would be forced to come to a decision that was against a majority of homeowners in the area, though some may also side with the individual who wanted to increase his property's value.
In this case, it's simple to determine who won. Therefore, if you want to add a second story to your home, see to it that you do your own research first, and don't give up. Carefully examine all aspects and all related options so that you can get that second floor.
Now you know that several external factors can affect property value which you cannot control. Hence, always consider how your decisions or actions impact your house to preserve its value. In case you need assistance regarding such issues, find a lawyer who specializes in real estate. Good luck in your endeavors!
Jackie Wing is an Alaska native, who enjoys snowboarding more than is probably socially acceptable. She lives in Anchorage with her two dogs Reese and Peanut, or as she likes to call them "Thing 1" and "Thing 2."