The Top 7 Mistakes Home Owners Make that Devalue their Home

Mistakes that could devalue your home

For many of us, buying our first home is seen as the ultimate financial achievement.

That said, after doing the hard work and saving up for that huge deposit, you’d think one would take the time to look into what could affect the value of their property as well right? Think again.

Sadly, most home owners are clueless when it comes to “what could cause my property to devalue”. Luckily for them we’ve put together a list of 7 common mistakes that could affect the value of their property!


The top 7 mistakes home owners make that affect the value of their home


The points mentioned above can definitely have an impact on a properties value which is why it’s important for home owners and home buyers alike to try and rectify any issues quickly or not invest in the wrong properties to begin with. Let’s take a look at these 7 points a little closer.


1) A School’s Ofsed Report


Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education. In their own words: “We inspect and regulate services that care for children and young people, and services providing education and skills for learners of all ages.”

If a school receives a good Ofsted report they are considered to be a school on the up, providing a good standard of education. If a school gets a bad Ofsted report they are basically the opposite and do not provide a satisfactory level of education to it’s students. In some cases, certain schools are put under ‘special measures’ which basically means you should keep your children away from them.

In property terms, if a family with children is looking for a new home and they find out the local school does not provide a good level of education it could put them off buying that property. Over time this could lead to that property and others in the vicinity to devalue, especially if the said school doesn’t improve.


2) Nasty Neighbours


Having neighbours you can trust can be a blessing in disguise if you’re new to the community and learning the ropes. Whether it’s them picking your kids up from school a day or 2 week because you can’t make it back from work in time or just having someone to talk to when you’re a little feeling down – they can really help.

That said, as likely as it is for you to be blessed with awesome neighbours, you have the same chance of finding nightmare neighbours!

When a buyer is interested in purchasing a family home he’s likely to visit the property multiple times. It’s also not uncommon for them to scope out the neighbourhood including the neighbours. If it turns you’re having issues within the community that could end up being their issues if they were to buy your house, it could lead to them not wanting to buy the house or offer a lower amount for it.


3) Noise Pollution


Noise pollution is essentially harmful or annoying levels of noise and can come in many forms.

The main culprits for noise pollution are things like outdoor machinery, motorways and transportation services such as trains & airports but it’s not limited to these.

Noise pollution could also be nuisance neighbours blasting music at 3am in the morning when you and your family are trying to sleep.

I doubt there are very many people who enjoy waking up to music or train tracks at 3am in the morning when they have work the next day! So if your home is located in an area that suffers from noise pollution, firstly, don’t expect a quick house sale & secondly, don’t be surprised if the value of your home drops.


4) Non-Existent Curb Appeal


What is curb appeal? In the context of property it is how aesthetically appealing your property looks from the outside.

All home owners who have their homes on the market should strive to make the outside of their home look on par with the inside.

First impressions are important and you want to give a potential buyer the best possible experience when he visits your home for the first time. If a buyer is greeted with a nice neat garden, a polished porch and some cute decorations he will no doubt go in your house with a smile on his face.

Alternatively, if a buyer is greeted with the smell of waste and a filthy garden there is a chance he will expect more of the same from the inside of the property or worse, he may even change his mind & decide not enter at all!


5) Not just Cats and Dogs


Not everyone is an animal lover so if you’re a pet owner and currently have your home on the market, make sure it is prepared for viewings to a good standard.

Generally speaking, home buyers don’t mind moving into houses that have previously had pets living in them. That said, if there are signs in and around the home that would remind buyers of the pets it could put them off.

Be sure to get rid of any pet smells that could remain in the house before you book in any viewings. In addition, if there’s anything that needs repairing like carpets or a fireplace that could have been damaged by a pet get them fixed before you let people wander around your home as potential buyers could use these issues to offer you less for your property.


6) High Crime Rates


It’s simple, nobody wants to bring their family to live in an area where crime rates are high.

Fact is, most of us are busy enough dealing with our day to day issues and if you were to add the possibility of getting hurt, robbed or abused to that list, chances are most people will pass up.

Sadly, there isn’t much you can do about this issue yourself expect to stay sharp and report any issues you encounter to police as soon as possible.

There is a real link between high crime rates and lowered property prices. An article published by Property Reporter last year based on research collected by Direct Line Home Insurance states 1 in 10 fail to report crime over fear it would devalue their property!


7) An Unsettling Past


It’s more superstition than anything else but there’s no denying that the majority of people would rather not live in a home which has a history of deaths, suicides or has been involved in criminal activity.

As a home owner there isn’t much you can do about this apart from explaining that it is just another normal home.

People just don’t like the idea of living in a place where things of this nature have happened.

The bottom line

We know that not all the factors mentioned are under your control but your goal as a home owner should be to address as many issues that ARE under your control as soon as possible.

Neighbourhoods change all the time. If an area has a high crime rate now – 10 years from now it could be a totally different place. If you’re keen on selling your home do what you can NOW to give your property that cuttings edge it needs to stand out from the crowd.


We’d love to hear your opinions! If you enjoyed our article visit our home owners advice center for more of the same. If have any questions or would like to give us some feedback, feel free to contact us at any time or leave a comment below!

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