February 10, 2014 | Robin Kencel

What Drives Up Home Prices?

What Drives Up Home Prices?

When it comes time to sell your home, you know most of the factors that determine Greenwich home prices. The location within Greenwich (waterfront, Riverside and Old Greenwich are all selling above the average price per square foot right now), number of bedrooms, updating (or not) of the kitchen and bathrooms, style of home, quality of construction, age and condition of the home, acreage and quality of land: these are some of the key factors that influence final home prices in Greenwich.

But what are some of the lesser-known factors that can drive up Greenwich home prices?

Some of them are truly surprising—

The words “Place”, “Way” or “Avenue” sound somewhat more prestigious than the humble “Street” or “Road” ,so you may not be totally surprised to learn that home sales for properties with these address suffixes are higher. According to a massive (10,000 sales) Trulia study, houses located on a “Place” were 30% higher than a “Street” and “Way” was 24% higher. It’s enough to make someone want to go out and paint over the corner street sign.

Politicians have made smoking an ever-more-expensive habit. Now we can add on its effect on home prices. A Canadian survey conducted by Event One found that homes with at least one regular smoker may result in a predictably lower price. Forty-four percent of the agents surveyed thought that there was at least some effect on home prices, with two-thirds of them placing the amount between 10%-30. A “whopping” 88% said it’s more difficult to sell homes with resident smokers. Cigarette smoke is not the only odoriferous culprit: I would have to agree that dampness, pet and cooking smells can all have an effect on Greenwich home sales.

Homes within easy walking distance of schools, shopping, parks and other amenities will draw higher prices. A recent survey “Walking the walk: How walkability raises housing values in US cities” looked at 94,000 real estate transactions in 15 different markets. Homes were rated on a walkability scale of 0 to 100. A score of 70 meant you could get by without needing a car. It was found that (at least in metropolitan areas) a single point increase in the score correlated with a rise in home prices of $500-$3,000.

If you are about to sell your Greenwich home, you won’t be able change the address suffix or make it more walkable (odor control is another matter). That said, I have been spending more and more time using my interior design background to do the kind of quick hit updates, furniture rearranging, and readying of homes to make sure each property is presented in the best way possible.

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