While there are many ways to improve your home’s asking price, your property’s location often has the most impact on overall value. Here are 14 neighbourhood features that can drastically improve the value of your Edmonton home.
1. Local Schools
For busy parents, having a school located right in the community is a huge bonus as it prevents them from worrying about bus routes or having to shuttle their children back and forth. Even if you don’t have school-aged children, choosing a home within a reputable school district will increase your home value significantly.
If you’re considering buying a new home, we recommend asking your Edmonton REALTOR® if there are any public schools serving the community. You can also research a local school’s ranking and reputation via the Fraser Institute’s School Rankings Website.
2. Shops and Services
Whether you live on an acreage along city outskirts or in a vibrant new neighbourhood still undergoing development, having convenient access to shops and services is a must. Of course, these nearby amenities aren’t just essential to a homeowner’s overall quality of life, but they’re also one of the first things appraisers/REALTORS® look for when assessing your home’s value.
Amenities necessary to every home include grocers, medical facilities, major shopping districts, restaurants, banking institutions, coffee shops, recreation venues and more.
Note: If future development plans for your community include any of the above amenities, you can also expect to see a rise in your current property’s value (see future development below).
3. Walking Trails and Bike Paths
Having an abundance of walking trails, bike paths, and greenways allow you and your family to enjoy an active lifestyle without straying too far from home. Even better, a walkable neighbourhood enables you to get where you need to go without relying on a car to get there – whether you prefer to bike to work or walk to the nearest convenience store. Walkability may be especially important for homeowners with children, where busy streets and intersections present a safety concern.
Studies have shown that homes in above-average walkable neighbourhoods demand roughly $4,000 to $34,000 more than average or less walkable communities.
4. Local Infrastructure and Curb Appeal
A community’s overall condition also plays a significant role in determining local home values. For example, a neighbourhood boasting new or recently renewed roads, plenty of street and alleyway lighting, safe sidewalks and clean park spaces will see much higher values than a neighbourhood in need of improvement.
The same can also be said for the condition or curb appeal of the surrounding homes in your area. Whether it’s an overgrown yard, crumbling exterior, weedy lawn, or junk riddled driveway, the state of your neighbours’ property may affect the value of your own. We recommend talking to an Edmonton REALTOR® about current neighbourhood conditions when buying or selling your property.
5. Other Homes in the Area
Speaking of neighbours, prices of similar homes in your area will also influence your home’s value. Comparables or “comps” refer to recently listed and sold homes in your neighbourhood, similar to the one you’re looking to buy or sell. They also include expired listings, pending sales and withdrawn properties. During a Free Market Evaluation or home search, your real estate agent will scour comps in the area to ensure the home you’re looking to buy or sell is fairly priced.
When finding comparable properties in real estate, REALTORS® will typically examine a minimum of three properties and the following similarities:
- Proximity to neighbourhood features
- Overall square footage
- Price per square foot
- Number of bedrooms
- Number of bathrooms
- Age of property
- Lot size and shape
How much is your Edmonton home worth? Find out today with the help of our Free Home Evaluation!
6. A Close-Knit Community
Local groups such as community leagues, neighbourhood-watch programs, online groups, and keep-the-neighbourhood-clean initiatives are incredibly attractive to Edmonton home buyers – and therefore key to maintaining a high sale price for your home. Not only do these programs foster security within a neighbourhood, but they also increase a community’s sense of familiarity and desirability.
Organized community groups are especially favoured among family-oriented buyers looking for a safe and friendly place to raise their children.
7. Parks and Recreation
Recreation centres, golf courses, dog parks, playgrounds, sports fields, picnic sites, local gyms (and pretty much anything else that provides a source of outdoor/indoor recreation) are all significant contributors to your property’s overall value. This is because most buyers are willing to pay more to be close to the amenities that enable them to maintain an active lifestyle.
Some communities may even include additional outdoor-friendly amenities such as basketball or tennis courts, skate parks, splash pads, climbing walls, man-made lakes and more.
Learn more about Edmonton’s premier lakeside community by checking out our latest post: Edmonton Community Spotlight: Summerside in Southeast Edmonton.
8. Future Development
Whether you live in a developing community where brand-new amenities are currently underway or an established neighbourhood undergoing revitalization, future amenities and improvements can exponentially increase the value of your home. These include the addition of local shops and services (i.e., grocers, big-box retailers, medical facilities) as well as recreation centres, public transit, improved streetscaping and more.
9. Easy Accessibility
No one wants to spend countless hours travelling to and from work. In fact, recent studies have shown a direct link between commute times and a person’s overall satisfaction with life. As such, proximity to highways is often crucial for many hard-working Edmontonians – making these arterial roads an invaluable addition to a property’s overall value.
Here too, public transit opportunities are also important as they can deliver significant savings in both time and money (especially for those working in Edmonton’s downtown core). Nearby high-capacity transit facilities such as LRT and bus stations have been proven to spur real estate development while contributing to higher housing prices.
10. Low Crime Rates and Essential Services
Because safety remains a top priority for most homeowners when choosing the right Edmonton neighbourhood, it stands to reason that communities with lower crime rates will boast higher home values. Simply put, home buyers are willing to spend more for a home in an area where safety is more of a guarantee. Having an array of essential services such as police, ambulance, fire and hospitals within close proximity of where you live will have a positive impact on your property’s overall value.
Note: Your REALTOR® can provide information on local crime rates in your area. You can also learn more about community crime rates in Edmonton by checking out the Edmonton Police Service Community Crime Map.
11. Employment Opportunities
Here again, long commutes are a hassle. That’s why homes situated around notable Edmonton employment hubs are often accompanied by higher home values than those that aren’t. As such, new home builders are often eager to develop communities near major shopping and business centres, providing both easy access to amenities and job opportunities for local residents. This is yet another reason to ask your REALTOR® what (if any) future development is planned for your area.
12. Mature Neighbourhoods
Home values tend to be higher in many of Edmonton’s most mature communities. This is partly due to the neighbourhoods’ historic charm and unique array of homes (including one-of-a-kind character properties and bespoke infill homes) but also due to their proximity to highly sought-after amenities such as the North Saskatchewan River Valley, Whyte Ave (Old Strathcona), Jasper Ave and city centre.
13. The Local Market
Regardless of a property’s location, condition, proximity to amenities, etc., Edmonton’s real estate market has the ultimate say when it comes to your home’s value. Take buyers’ markets vs. sellers’ markets, for instance:
Buyers’ Market – When there are more homes available on the market than there are buyers. In this scenario, property values (sale prices) tend to be lower as home sellers compete to attract home buyers.
Sellers’ Market – When there are more potential buyers than homes on the market. In a seller’s market, property values (sale prices) tend to be higher as buyers compete with one another over limited market inventory.
Hint for home sellers: Days on market can affect a home’s perceived value. In short, the longer a home sits on the market, the more buyers are likely to think something is wrong with your property (therefore affecting its perceived value). This is Why Pricing Your Home Correctly the First Time is Critically Important if you hope to sell quickly and for the most money possible.
14. Other Economic Factors
Besides local market conditions, other economic factors influencing your home’ value include:
Interest rates – As mortgage interest rates drop, buyer affordability increases. This can often lead to seller’s market-type conditions, where home values are higher due to growing buyer interest.
Local economy – Economic growth also raises home values, as the higher the employment rates, the more Edmontonians can afford to buy a home (ultimately increasing buyer demand and overall property values).
Bonus: Tips For Improving Your Home’s Current Value
Though external factors do play a significant role in determining your property value, there are several ways in which you can increase your home’s value on your own. These include:
1. Boosting your curb appeal: First impressions are everything, and as your home’s exterior is the first thing people see, it’s important to leave a good one. Landscaping and a well-kept exterior will increase your home’s value to both home appraisers and potential home buyers.
2. Applying a fresh coat of paint: Easy and affordable, a fresh coat of (neutral) paint will make your home look larger, cleaner and brighter – an instant perceived value boost come sale time.
3. Improving energy efficiency: Whether you’re looking to sell or simply trying to minimize your utility bills, energy efficiency is a must when it comes to home value. Incorporating energy-efficient appliances, adding new attic insulation, installing a programmable thermostat and/or investing in triple-pane windows are all great places to start.
4. Making necessary repairs: As your home’s condition is a major determiner of its value, it’s essential to keep your property in good repair. In addition to regular home maintenance, this may include addressing larger ticket items such as roof repairs, siding replacement, updated systems and more.
5. Upgrading fixtures and hardware: Even the smallest things can have a big impact on your home’s perceived value. Small fixture and hardware upgrades such as drawer pulls and cabinet handles, light fixtures and switch plates can go a long way.
6. Focusing on high ROI renovations: Not all home renovations are created equal. These top three renovations will deliver the biggest bang for your buck:
- Kitchen Renovation or Update
- Bathroom Renovation or Update
- Interior and Exterior Painting
Note: During the Free Market Evaluation process, your REALTOR® will suggest ways to add value by focusing on the improvements most likely to attract buyer attention.
For more information, download your FREE copy of our guide: A Step By Step Guide to Renovating Your Home (For a Great Sale).
How much is your Edmonton home worth? Find out with the Terry Paranych Group’s FREE Home Evaluation. Not only can we determine what your home is TRULY worth according to today’s market conditions, but our proven 24/7 home selling system is guaranteed to help you sell your home quickly and for top dollar!
Not sure if you’re ready to sell? No problem! We can simply suggest ways to improve your home’s value until you feel confident about hitting the market.
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