By Megan Wild, Owner of Your Wild Home Blog

If you’re looking to move or thinking about neighborhoods to buy your first home, you need to consider the local attractions that can raise your home’s value. As it turns out, not all homes are created equal. Your home’s proximity to various amenities can have significant effects on its value overall, and on its retaining value if the market ever declines.

Here are seven attractions that can make your home worth more than comparable real estate elsewhere.

1.  Parks

Having parks nearby can increase the value of your home from 8 to 20 percent. People love the ability to walk, bike, hike and enjoy other outdoor recreational activities. Public parks with natural areas drive up prices by an average of $10,648. Golf courses within a park aren’t far behind. If you’re near a park with a golf course, it will raise the price of your home by more than $8,800. Specialty parks make a home’s price climb by $5,657.

One caveat while you’re looking, though: Not all parks are created equal. A run-down and poorly maintained park can negatively impact your home’s prices. Neglected parks can be dangerous, and prospective home buyers react accordingly.

local attractions

2.  Surf Breaks

If you’re dreaming of owning beachfront property, be prepared to pay a premium price. People love the opportunity to look at the ocean and walk, run or bike along its shores. But amazingly, surf breaks themselves add considerably to a home’s value. Homes within one mile of surf breaks sell for a whopping $106,000 more than homes further out.

Being close to an ocean and beach of any kind will boost your property values.

3.  Walmart

Believe it or not, Walmart has a demonstrated positive impact on housing prices! Yes, we would say shopping as a whole, but if you’re looking, it can boost your ultimate property values from 1 to 2 percent if you’re within a mile of a Walmart. Living even closer, a half-mile or less, adds 2 to 3 percent to property values.

4.  Colleges

Homes close to a college sell for considerably more than those not close to a college, for several reasons. First, houses close to campuses often command a premium because faculty members regularly purchase homes near campus for convenience and walkability. The houses are desirable, year in and year out, to a stable group of people.

Second, the location of a campus adds to a home’s value because there will be stable employment and demand in the area from the university. Universities, unlike businesses, stay in the same place for decades and even centuries. Home prices are cushioned against downturns.

Third, homes near college campuses command a premium because they are excellent investment properties, or can easily be turned into investment properties after serving as a family’s home. College campuses have students, and students need housing! There is always a market for rental properties near a college campus, so if you want to rent your home or a room within it, demand will be strong.

local attractions

5.  Good School Districts

School districts rated more highly than others contribute measurably to the price of homes within them. So when you’re looking for a house, consider the reputation of the school district, by measures like how many students are college-bound every year, average class sizes and ACT/SAT scores. Not only will your home sell for a considerable differential versus homes in average or poor school districts when it comes time to put it on the market, it will also retain value strongly even if the market experiences a temporary downturn. 

Your best bet in purchasing a home is to buy the best house you can afford in a good school district. Poor school districts are one of the chief factors that cause prospective homebuyers to look elsewhere, no matter the quality and size of the house.

6.  Sports Arenas

Houses near sports arenas sell for more than $2,000 over comparable homes, as long as they are within two and a half miles of the sporting facility. Many people like the ease and convenience of seeing games within walking distance.

Be sure to factor in, of course, how easy it will be to come and go from your house on game day. Sports arenas go hand-in-hand with traffic congestion and parking issues.

It’s important to be aware of how much various attractions can add to your home’s value. Amenities like these not only add to your quality of life in the house, but they can also make a big difference if you ever want to sell or rent your home.

local attractions