It may seem like the size of your home is the be-all and end-all of your home’s value. But there are many other factors that come into play when determining the listing price of a particular home.
A new report offers some insights. The Coldwell Banker Home Listing Report, the most extensive home price comparison tool currently available in the country, ranks the average listing price of four-bedroom, two-bathroom homes in nearly 2,000 markets across the country. Analyzing more than 51,000 similar-sized listings, it addresses how much a home in one market would cost if the same home were located somewhere else in the United States.
For example, the report reveals that for the price of the average home in Los Altos, California, you could purchase 30 similar-sized homes in Cleveland, Ohio, nine homes in Charlotte, North Carolina, eight homes in Chicago, Illinois, five homes in Miami, Florida or two homes in Seattle, Washington.
But why are there such discrepancies?
“It’s amazing how much location impacts a home’s value,” says Coldwell Banker Real Estate consumer specialist Jessica Edwards. “Typically, urban markets are more expensive, while suburban and rural areas tend to be more affordable. However, many factors contribute to the average price of a home, such as commute time or proximity to the waterfront. The Home Listing Report is a helpful reference, so you can gauge how your area compares to other parts of the country.”
Local industry plays a role as well. In the case of Los Altos, which is ranked as the most expensive market in America, the continued success of many tech companies contributes to the boom.
This information can be useful, whether you’re planning to put your property on the market or you’re looking to relocate. For example, if you are scoping out a neighborhood where home prices are on the verge of increasing, area features to look out for include cultural institutions — such as art galleries and performance spaces — as well as such factors as unique architecture and proximity to mass transit and other trendy areas.
Edwards also recommends doing some quantitative research, including talking to your Realtor about how fast properties are selling in your area and whether business owners are investing in the neighborhood.
“Buying or selling a home is a huge emotional and financial decision,” says Edwards. “By doing your homework beforehand, you will be able to take some of the uncertainty out of the process.”
For many people, a home is their biggest investment and largest asset. Be savvy and stay informed about the ins and outs of its value.