Does your home offer any of the perks that some buyers will pay more for? Here, Zillow discusses several surprising things that can affect either the existing value of your home or the price someone is willing to pay for it, all based on data.
1. How close you are to a Starbucks
How far do you have to drive to get a Frappuccino? If the answer is “not that far,” you’re in luck. A 2015 Zillow report found that, between 1997 and 2014, homes within a quarter-mile of a Starbucks increased in value by 96 percent on average compared with 65 percent for all U.S. homes, based on a comparison of Zillow Home Value Index data with a database of Starbucks locations.To evaluate if this effect is isolated to Starbucks, or if it extends to other caffeine purveyors, the research team also looked at another coffee hot spot, Dunkin’ Donuts. The analysis of that data showed that homes near Dunkin’ Donuts locations appreciated 80 percent on average during the same 17-year period—not quite as high as homes near a Starbucks, but still significantly above the 65 percent increase in value for all U.S. homes.
2. Blue kitchens and blue bathrooms
Beyond lawns and all-around “curb appeal,” what’s inside your house counts a lot, too—especially the colors you’ve painted the rooms (particularly the kitchen). According to Zillow’s 2017 Paint Color Analysis, which examined more than 32,000 photos from sold homes around the country, homes with blue kitchens sold for a $1,809 premium compared with similar homes that had white kitchens. Blue also is a popular bathroom shade. The same analysis found that homes with light pale blue to soft periwinkle blue bathrooms sold for $5,440 more. Walls painted in cool neutrals such as blue or gray can be signals that the home is well cared for or has other desirable features.
3. Trendy features
Zillow listings mentioning keywords like “barn door” and “farmhouse sink” sell faster and for a premium, according to a 2016 Zillow analysis of descriptions of more than 2 million homes sold nationwide. Listings with “barn door” in the description sold for 13.4 percent more than expected, and 57 days faster than comparable homes without the keyword. Meanwhile, listings touting “farmhouse sink” led to a nearly 8-percent sales premium. This “barn door” effect doesn’t seem to increase the value of the home off the market, but is seemingly due to the popularity of this style at the time of the analysis. Sellers can use the listing descriptions to highlight trendy details and features that might not be noticeable in the photos.
4. How close you are to a city
If you own a home in a major metro area in America, you’re most likely sitting on a significant (and rapidly appreciating) financial asset. Case in point: The average urban home is now worth 35 percent more than the average suburban home. Since 2012, the median home value in urban areas have increased by 54 percent, while in suburban areas the median home value is up 38 percent.