Please answer this question about neighborhoods for my client!

Real Estate Agent

I received this question today from a client that I was privileged to assist in purchasing a home not too long ago.  Here is his question:

"Charlie, I hope all is well with you. I had a real estate question that I am hoping that you or some of your colleagues can weigh in on. What I'd like to know is how much street lamps can improve the value of houses in a neighborhood. This is something my neighborhood is considering doing in the coming months and I'd like to get everyone on board."

So there it is colleagues, whaddya think?  Do street lamps or street lights improve property values?



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Vickie Nagy
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate - Palm Springs, CA
Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen

We lived in a neighborhood (in Vero Beach FL) where every home was required to have a street lamp of vintage style installed in the front yard. As they were owner maintained, many were not lit in the "off season" (summer). It surely did not have a positive effect on home values but it did cost each homeowner money.

May 15, 2009 10:19 AM #1
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

We live in a "dark skies" community -- there are no street lights allowed.

May 15, 2009 01:00 PM #2
Elizabeth Bolton
RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA
Cambridge MA Realtor

Hi Charlie ~ What a funny question to be asked. And one that I couldn't begin to answer - I have a hard enough time figuring out what a parking space or a second bath is worth in my neck of the woods. And I'm really psyched to see Bob and Carolin's comment because I'm a huge fan of the idea of less lighting since it sure would be good to see the stars again someday.


May 15, 2009 05:37 PM #3
Ann Allen Hoover
RE/MAX Advantage South - Hoover, AL
CDPE SRES ASP e-PRO Realtor - Homes for Sale - AL

It reminds me of when our HOA decided to install a camera at the entrance to our subdivision to monitor the comings and goings.  I was asked the same question.  While I couldn't see it raising our property values, it could be a feature that may make this neighborhood more appealing than another to certain homebuyers.

May 16, 2009 03:59 AM #4
Mark Brian
Silver Star Real Estate LLC - Anderson, SC
Anderson SC Realtor

It will help the value to certain people but not at all to others. I think it would be nice but I would not let that be the straw that broke the camel's back as it were. Other factors about the neighborhood such as obvious pride of ownership in ALL the homes in the neighborhood would be more important to me.

May 16, 2009 04:47 AM #5
Charlie Harden
Columbia, SC

Thanks Vickie, Bob, Carolin, Elizabeth, Ann and Mark!

I believe we're on the same page.  I had answered the question:

I would say your property value may increase just a little with one or two streetlights, unless you put in a large amount of them all over so that the neighborhood is perceived safer and this eventually gets reflected in the sale prices. Neighborhood watch with signs around might help with this, and everybody keeping up their property would help even more! You can quote your agent as saying, "Yes, streetlights will help increase property values!" Between me and you, it might, but it certainly can't hurt...

Hope all have a great week!

May 18, 2009 01:38 AM #6
Bruce & Mary Smith
Savannah Lakes Homes - McCormick, SC
REALTORS, Savannah Lakes Village McCormick SC

Charlie - One of the reasons we live in this community is to see the stars at night!  There are, however, a few streetlights installed in areas where there is only one owner and the owner has paid to have one put in.  (We have 87 miles of roads in Savannah Lakes Village so you can imagine there would be a few!)  Those homes are harder to sell or a prospective buyer will ask if the street light can be removed! Once one is installed, it is harder to have it removed for some reason!


May 22, 2009 01:57 PM #7
Charlie Harden
Columbia, SC

Mary, Thanks.  Interesting from the other point of view, "no light!"  I can understand it, b/c when we walk the dog at night we have to shield the streetlights out of out eyes to look up at the stars or the moon. 

May 25, 2009 11:44 PM #8
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