Homes that possess a “high curb appeal” tend to sell for more than those that don’t, fetching an average of 7% more than similar homes with a less inviting exterior, a new study has found.
The study by researchers from the University of Alabama and the University of Texas at Arlington found that the premium grows even bigger, as high as 14%, in markets with higher housing inventories.
Researchers obtained their findings by studying Google Street View images and combining this with sales data on 88,980 properties in the Denver metro area. They found that the curb appeal of neighboring homes also has a big impact on a property’s value. The appearance of the home next door accounts for around a third of its overall premium, the study found.
Sriram Villupuram, a senior author of the study and an associate professor at UT Arlington, told the Wall Street Journal that it’s common knowledge that Curb appeal has an impact on a home’s value.
“It’s observable, but not quantifiable,” Villupuram said. And so the researchers manually scored a set of properties using Google Street View on a scale of one to four (one indicates lowest curb appeal; four indicates highest).
Of course, curb appeal is an objective thing, but the researchers established rules to rate this. For example, if a property has blemishes such as a broken pavement or overgrow grass, this generally means a low curb appeal. If necessary, consider hiring contractors to install new concrete for your driveway. Homes with high curb appeal include those with well-kept lawns and professional landscaping.
Home appraisers generally evaluate a home’s value based on interior features like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, and home improvements. But Villupuram told the Journal that the study’s ultimate goal is to create an algorithm that could be used to automate assessments of curb appeal. Villupuram says that could make it easier for large investors, banks, and institutions to include such assessments in their property appraisals.