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Surprising Things That Add Value To Your Home

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty 277320

What do parks, sports arenas, Walmart, trees, and Community Gardens all have in common? Surprisingly, they can all raise the value of your home. Here is a list of some things that you may not have considered that can improve your home value.


Parks, Open Spaces, and Community Gardens

A desirable public park or other recreational open space can boost value of nearby homes by 8%-20%. One study looked at 16,400 sold homes that were within 1,500 feet of 193 different public parks in Portland, Oregon and found that home values were boosted by varying amounts, depending on the feature they were near. Natural areas increased values by an average of $10,648, golf courses added $8,849 on average, specialty parks increased the values by $5,657 and urban parks added $1,214. 

Community Gardens are becoming more and more popular and also can contribute to an uptick in home value. If your home is within a 1000 foot radius of a Community Garden, it can increase the value of your home by 9.4%. Other benefits found with Community Gardens include an increased sense of community ownership and an opportunity to meet your neighbors. Police departments also recognize Community Gardens as an effective community crime prevention strategy.

Accessory Dwelling Units

Home buyers are willing to pay extra for an in-law suite. A National Association of Realtors (NAR) study found that 20% of buyers would pay nearly $3,000 more for an in-law addition. The combination of the aging “Baby Boomer” generation, the desire to avoid assisted living facility expenses, and the desire to retain the comforts of home has resulted in an increased interest in multi-generational homes. 

The addition of an in-law apartment, a carriage house or even a separate unit can result in a 25%-34% increase in home value.

And an in-law apartment doesn’t necessarily need to be for relatives. An addition also offers the possibility of additional income. In order to make the home attractive to renters and prospective home buyers, the suite should include a kitchen and bathroom, and have the ability to be closed and locked to the rest of the home for privacy.

Professional Sports Arenas

While obvious drawbacks to living near an arena are traffic and noise, a 2008 study found that the median house value in block groups is higher when closer to sports facilities. The study used the 1990 and 2000 censuses and collected data using all homes within 5 miles of every NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL facility in the United States. 

Another study, done in Columbus, Ohio, before and after the addition of two new sports arenas, found that a stadium can raise property values in a 2.5 mile radius by an average of $2,200. The study also found that the closer to the arena the property, the larger the increase in value. 

Walmart & Starbucks

Along with making it easy to run out to grab a gallon of milk at midnight (or a socket wrench, or a new sweater), a study done by the the University of Chicago found that living within a mile of a Walmart can increase the value of your home by 1%-2%. For an average-size home that is an uptick of $4,000-$7,000. Reasons can be attributed to the fact that Walmart employs 1.4 million people in this country and for some, living close to work is a plus. Also with the price of gas these days, being that close to one-stop-shopping is also desirable. 

Zillow found that homes located near a Starbucks increase in value at a far faster rate than those not near a Starbucks. Since 1997, homes close to Starbucks appreciated 96%, while others further away only appreciated 65%. Reasons for these increases vary. Some say that the addition of a Starbucks means a neighborhood is gentrifying. Others say it is a signal that a neighborhood is safe. Another simple explanation? People want to be close to their coffee. Whatever the reason, Zillow says that a Starbucks doesn’t move to a neighborhood because home values are increasing, but actually causes it to happen.


Car shares, bike shares, and improved public transportation are all products of a new generation that is more environmentally aware than ever before. This new generation is also more willing to expend its own energy to get around, rather than using more expensive energy sources. 

“Walkable, urban-for-sale housing is by far the most expensive housing in the country.” According to Chris Leinbeger of George Washington University. “The range, depending on the market, is between 40%-200% greater than drivable, suburban housing.”

A study published in Real Estate Economics found that neighborhoods that boast greater walkability tend to have higher resale values in both residential and commercial properties, and a report by CEO’s For Cities found that just a one point increase in a city’s walk score could potentially increase home value by anywhere from $700 to $3,000.


We all know that a neighborhood with mature trees is pretty. We also all know the scientific benefits to having trees in the neighborhood and the help to the environment trees provide. But did you know that trees have a calming, slowing effect on drivers, making streets safer? And, while you may know that trees increase your property value, do you know by how much?

The Council of Tree & Landscape Appraisers say that a mature tree can add between $1, 000 and $10,000 to the value of your home, depending on the tree and location. Management Information Services reports that landscaping with trees can increase property values as much as 20%.

Trees properly placed around buildings can reduce home cooling costs in the summer by 30% and can save you between 20%-50% in energy used in the winter for heading.

To get the greatest benefit out of your trees, make sure you plan what and where you plant. Think about placement, size, shape, and growing habits, as well as how the tree can work to enhance your home.


So whether you are looking to add resale value to your home or are in the market for a new home, these are some things to look for to add resale value later.

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Linda Franks
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Columbus, OH

Terrific information, and it's all here in the Clintonville, Columbus and Worthington areas!

Mar 04, 2015 02:12 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Great post, all of those things add to the desirability of an area and will help a home sell quickly!

Mar 04, 2015 02:50 AM
Broker Patty Da Silva Da Silva
Green Realty Properties® - 954-667-7253 - Cooper City, FL
Top Listing Broker

Thanks for sharing Joe. Hope you are having a wonderful day :)

Mar 04, 2015 03:20 AM
Raoul Loustaunau
EXP REALTY - Phoenix, AZ
urhomefinder.com myvaluetoday.com

thanks you for a great post, have a super week

Mar 04, 2015 03:56 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Excellent post Joe.  And a reminder that the old adage of "location, location, location" is very true for real estate.

Mar 04, 2015 08:09 PM
Tony Morganti
RE/MAX Crossroads in Cuyahoga Falls and Stow, Ohio - Cuyahoga Falls, OH
CRS, ABR, SRES - Cuyahoga Falls, Stow

Wow!  What a great post Joe.  So helpful and really drives home the importance of location on real estate values.  

Mar 04, 2015 09:23 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Works for Charlotte, too, Joe! Love having a Walmart's nearby. Don't give a hoot about Starbucks, but I've had clients who selected homes based on their proximity to a Starbucks (that was before they were on every corner!).

Mar 06, 2015 04:50 AM
Linda Higley
Virtual Assistant -Keller Williams Capital Partners - Worthington, OH

Great information Joe. I'm not sure I'd like to live near a professional sports arena, but I'm sure plenty of buyers would.

Apr 06, 2015 03:57 AM