You’ve bought your dream home and it’s everything you’ve ever wanted. You’ve spent time, money and lots of effort transforming your purchase into the perfect space—you maintain your lawn, you paint every few years. In short, you take pride in your property so that it maintains its value.
Unfortunately, you don’t live in a bubble. You live in a neighbourhood and, no matter how great that neighbourhood was when you first moved into your home, it may change over time. The key to surviving a downturn on your block is to sell before everyone else figures out what’s happening and property values decrease.
Here are 4 signs to watch for: if you notice any of these happening on your block, it means your neighbourhood is changing (and not for the better!)
- Lots of police patrols: If law enforcement is stepping up its presence in your neighbourhood, that means they perceive a need to do so. More crime will surely translate to a drop in property values and an exodus of discerning buyers. Take note of this trend and beat your neighbours to the punch!
- Unchecked vandalism: Have you been noticing graffiti that doesn’t get painted over? Windows that stay broken? When people stop fixing these problems, it’s often a good indication that they no longer care. That will likely translate to less upkeep on properties in the neighbourhood and—you guessed it!—a drop in property values!
- Empty homes: When houses stay vacant for an extended period of time, it means a few things (none of them good.) A vacant property is a sign that your neighbourhood is no longer considered desirable; it also invites vagrants and crime and has a tendency to fall into disrepair, dragging down the rest of the homes on the block along with it.
- Rented/foreclosed homes: Just like empty homes, having lots of rental properties on your block isn’t a great trend. Renters tend to care less about property maintenance (particularly lawn care and exterior updates) than home owners. And, once again, anything that makes your block less appealing is bad for property value. Watch those “For Rent” signs very carefully.
If you have purchased what you thought of as your ‘forever home,’ it can be difficult to think of moving—especially if you’ve spent over $1 million on the property. If, however, the nature of your neighbourhood is changing, you would be wise to give up the dream of forever and consider making the move. There’s always a new dream home to be found but if you wait too long to sell in a dying neighbourhood, even the most experienced of realtors may not be able to help you get back your initial investment.
Christy Bamber BCOMM
Calgary Luxury Portfolio