community features

Property Appraisal Insights: 4 Community Features that Matter

Analyzing Community Features That Impact Property Value

When deciding what adds value to a home, today’s savvy property owner thinks beyond an impressive house amenities list.  It may surprise you to discover exactly what things add value to a home in today’s competitive housing market.  Community features and neighbourhood amenities are topping the modern buyer’s wish list. With increasing real estate prices, property owners are demanding more.

Does a neighbourhood have sidewalks, mature trees, hiking trails or a dog park? Beyond the conveniences of a house, these community features should also be considered when assessing a property’s value.

As one of Victoria’s longest-standing appraisal firms, D. Fritz Appraisals Inc. can provide detailed valuations highlighting the community amenities to look for when buying or selling a property. 

Read on to learn about which community features have the most significant impact on property values. 

What Makes A Location Desirable?

Homes in major cities where land is scarce tend to hold more value than homes in smaller towns with room to grow and develop. With that in mind, it’s also important to note that homes on larger pieces of property tend to increase more in value over time.

Let’s break down the five components of a desirable location.

  1. Community Features – Does the neighbourhood have grocery stores, a reputable school, restaurants or cafes? These are just a few essential amenities that will help boost a home’s value.
  2. Future Development And City Plans – Maybe at this very moment, the chosen community doesn’t have all of the desired amenities, but often, the future city plan includes improvements and more amenities down the road. Hospitals, civic infrastructure, and public transportation are just a few development types that could be in the works and should be considered when determining current and future property values.  At D. Fritz, we can help you research which properties have the most potential to increase in value over time.
  3. Position – Is the home on a busy road or near a loud commercial building? Is it exposed to transient traffic or popular community events? Homes in busy areas tend to be less expensive overall, and initially, their lower prices might be attractive. However, it’s wise to consider that the resale of homes in busier areas can be more difficult and lengthy. In contrast, homes purchased in quiet communities with mature trees and charming historic homes can often increase and maintain property value.
  4. Lot size – When deciding between two homes at similar price points, you need to consider where the value of a property comes from. For example, if a shiny new house on a small lot and a fixer-upper on a large lot are both on the market at a similar price, one should note that the land a house sits on will often hold the most value, making the home on the larger lot a better choice.
  5. Safety – Security measures foster trust and lower the risk of property damage. Gated communities with automatic gates or gates operated by security guards tend to have lower crime rates, which is attractive to potential buyers.

When considering what things add value to a home, we suggest including the following items on your checklist: Esthetics, Amenities, Plans For Expansion, Perceived Safety and Accessibility.

The Value Of Community Groups

Organized groups such as the Condominium Home Owner Association of BC can help maintain the character and appearance of buildings and neighbourhoods, adding value. Community groups are not just for condos. They exist in many areas, including single-family homes and townhouses. Some of the community features and benefits that an organized community group can offer include:

  • Neighbourhood watch
  • Clean-up programs
  • Amenities such as fitness centers and swimming pools
  • Maintenance, snow removal, and landscaping services
  • A platform for social events and activities
  • A mediator for disputes

While the limitations of a homeowner’s association may deter some buyers, a well-managed HOA can be an asset and help boost a home’s value.

How’s Your View?

It comes as no surprise that an unobstructed ocean view will increase property value. But did you know that even a low-quality ocean view can add significant returns to your investment? 

Lake, river, and mountain views are also in high demand. A nice view combined with community features such as water access, an impressive house amenities list or outdoor recreation opportunities become even more enticing to a future buyer.

Look for property information and trends at BC Assessment.

Parks And Playgrounds 

Neighbourhoods with clean, accessible green spaces for seniors, kids, families, and pet owners tend to be highly desirable, allowing all community members to safely access the outdoors. Parks impact communities in several positive ways:

Providing a Gathering Space

As more people spend money on their pets, homes near dog parks and walking trails have become a huge draw. In neighbourhoods with small or no yards, buyers will spend more to live near these community features. They provide the space for community members to congregate for everything from family picnics and birthday parties to school events. Want a space to play ultimate frisbee, stargaze, bird-watch and everything in between? Pick a neighbourhood with a park or playground.

Filter The Air

Mature trees do much more than filter the air. They supply oxygen, improve air quality, and provide shade and wildlife habitat. Well-landscaped, water-smart yards with defined outdoor spaces can boost curb appeal.

Encourage Movement

Walkability scores are now commonplace in real estate listings and are a new factor for evaluating properties. Homes in walkable neighbourhoods with desirable community amenities usually have higher property values. Walking just twenty minutes per day can positively impact health and quality of life by lowering stress, boosting moods and increasing creativity.

With outdoor spaces in high demand, we should consider them as thoroughly as a house amenities list when determining which property has the most value.

D. Fritz Appraisals Inc. – Take The Guessing Out Of Valuing Property

D. Fritz Appraisals Inc. is your home for professional real estate appraisals for properties in Victoria to Nanaimo and the Gulf Islands of British Columbia.

Let our team of expert appraisers, certified by the Appraisal Institute of Canada, guide you in highlighting the community features you’re looking for with a comprehensive, accurate valuation.

With outstanding service dating back forty years, D. Fritz Appraisals Inc. can meet all your appraisal needs. Contact us today for a quote.