5 ways to increase home values in your town
You’ve probable read about stories of sleepy little towns that become super hot real estate markets. Cities like Oakland, CA, Bend, OR, and Golden, CO. What makes a town’s real estate values rapidly climb the most? You might be surprised to find that many of the ways are perfectly achievable for your town as well. Sure, it takes work and time for a town to turn around, or become a magnet for buyers. Here are five ways to increase home values in your town.
1. Help create “walkability”
Homebuyers today like a sense of community and a feeling that there are places to go that aren’t just isolated to being in the car and parking in a parking lot. The ability to walk, stroll and amble around without having to drive everywhere is a feature that is more and more sought after both individuals and families looking to move to a new town.
The best way for you to make an impact is to be active in your community and help support and advocate for the creation of sidewalks, and zoning that accommodates stores, coffee shops and other amenities within walking distance of homes and apartment buildings.
The creation of a walkable area is sometimes referred to as “the new urbanism”, and can have a dramatic positive affect on property values. According to one study, improved walkability increased home values between$4,000 to $34,000!
2. Improve services
Having reliable and regular trash pickup, effective, friendly and fair police, and readily available emergency medical services are things that new homebuyers look for when considering a move. Improving these services can improve safety for all residents and also improve the look and feel of a town.
Does your town seem clean? Does it seem safe? What happens if someone needs medical care – can they get it in a timely fashion? These are major quality of life issues for single folks looking for a new place to move to as well as families looking to put down roots.
Get involved with your local government and see what kind of services might be lacking and how you can help move your town towards improving town services.
3. Support the arts
Not every town, particularly small towns, can support or attract a burgeoning arts community. But there are ways for even small towns to bring in creativity and art as a feature for both local residents and visitors.
Consider helping your town allocate some money to supporting concerts and other musical performances and even an art space such as a community gallery. Arts help create a sense of community and destination, and help put your town on the map. A community that supports the arts and has events can bring people together and provide much needed entertainment and socializing, making it a more attractive place for newcomers and raising property values.
4. Protect and improve your natural resources
Nothing can lower property value faster than contaminated resources, such as poor drinking water quality. Similarly, increasing the quality of your natural resources can boost property values.
Are there environmental hazards that can be shut down or removed? Things like old chemical plants that leach toxins into the soil? Or, schools that test positive for lead in the pipes that your town can work to remediate?
Put together a committee to evaluate environmental issues and hazards if your town doesn’t already have one. Learn from other towns that have improved their natural resources about how they went about it and what money they could get from federal, state and local governments to help them improve their natural resources.
5. Foster new business activity
There are many ways to improve the business districts of towns, from zoning to making strategic improvements. Tidying up vacant storefronts, beautification projects such as tree plantings are simple yet effective ways to improve business areas and make them more attractive to customers. To take it a step further, look to other cities for ideas on how to incentivize businesses to come to your town and create new jobs.
Fostering new business activity can also mean creating shared workspaces for residents who work for themselves and need a place outside of their homes to get their work done. It can also include making a vacant building available for startup companies to start and grow new businesses at an affordable cost.
Who knows? You may be able to qualify for state grants to improve your business district, especially in areas earmarked for economic stimulus. Once you get started and research it, you may find many new ways to help your particular town bring in jobs and new economic activity, improving the attractiveness of the town, and raising property values for all.