External forces that affect values include but are not limited too: Location of course, population density and demographics, perceived or real safety/crime rate, environmentally friendly features, family composition, the presence of housing programs and emergency services such as reliable and timely fire and police response, favorable building and zoning laws, rent control policies and general geographical composition and the types of property in the area such as residential vs. industrial or commercial make up of an area. School systems and the desirability of them can greatly affect values, along with job opportunity.
All home owners can work to protect home values by following some basic steps including the following:
- Maintain exterior appearances.
- Pick up trash litter etc.
- Keep sidewalks clear of debris, and in good repair.
- Maintain good exterior lighting to enhance safety.
- Engage community members to come together via: Neighborhood meetings, Community gardens, Crime watch, etc..
Tip: Don’t over improve for your area. Pay attention to home values and recent sales so that you do not over improve to the a point that you can not recover the costs. Generally speaking, any mechanicals such as roof, furnace, air conditioner, electrical, good gutter structures that direct all water away from the home , etc. are more important than cosmetic or aesthetic improvements. Be especially mindful of preventing water penetration into basements as it erodes the foundation, and that your attic has proper ventilation.