Tips for Homeowners: Protecting the Value of Your Home

Posted October 7, 2015, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

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The Foun­da­tion recent­ly host­ed a work­shop for home­own­ers in Neigh­bor­hood Plan­ning Unit V that focused on pro­tect­ing the val­ue of their homes — and deal­ing with unso­licit­ed pur­chase offers. The work­shop, one of sev­er­al we’ve held in the past year, is part of our ongo­ing com­mit­ment to improv­ing neigh­bor­hood con­di­tions and fill­ing vacant homes with new home­own­ers, while also ensur­ing exist­ing home­own­ers have an oppor­tu­ni­ty to bet­ter their qual­i­ty of life. The lat­ter is par­tic­u­lar­ly impor­tant in the midst of the major hous­ing rede­vel­op­ment under­way in Pittsburgh.

Prop­er­ty val­ues in Atlanta neigh­bor­hoods are on the rise, draw­ing the atten­tion of investors, devel­op­ers or real estate agents. These poten­tial investors will approach home­own­ers and offer to buy their home. These unex­pect­ed offers can be intim­i­dat­ing for some home­own­ers and time­ly for oth­ers whose mort­gages are under­wa­ter — a real­i­ty for more than 40% of Atlanta home­own­ers in 2013.

If you find your­self in this sit­u­a­tion, here are three things to con­sid­er and to help inform your deci­sion, cour­tesy of home­own­er­ship con­sul­tant Tia McCoy, who led the workshop:

  1. Deter­mine your true home value
    Sev­er­al fac­tors should go into deter­min­ing the val­ue of your home, includ­ing appear­ance, func­tion­al­i­ty and main­te­nance of the prop­er­ty, as well as the size and lay­out of the house. Does your house have stairs? What is its square footage?

    You should also con­sid­er your home’s age and con­di­tion. When was the house built? This is impor­tant because the age will deter­mine what upgrades may be need­ed. Final­ly, home­own­ers should think about any neg­a­tive events, such as flood­ing or a fire, that may have caused dam­age to their home.
     
  2. Cal­cu­late the cost of moving
    McCoy espe­cial­ly urges home­own­ers with under­wa­ter mort­gages not to make rash deci­sions. Beyond know­ing the true val­ue of the house, you should con­sid­er the full cost of mov­ing, includ­ing the cost of your future home.
     
  3. Do a com­par­a­tive mar­ket analysis
    com­par­a­tive mar­ket analy­sis eval­u­ates the prices of sim­i­lar prop­er­ties recent­ly sold in an area and can help a home­own­er or real estate agent deter­mine the list­ing price for a home. The analy­sis fac­tors in the dif­fer­ences between the sold prop­er­ties and the one that is about to be list­ed because no two prop­er­ties are identical.

If you are inter­est­ed in hav­ing a home­own­er work­shop in your NPU‑V neigh­bor­hood, con­tact Casey’s Atlanta Civic Site office at 678.686.0145.

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