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Neighborhood Amenities That Boost Home Values
Borrowed & edited from: Trulia.com
The neighborhood amenities you enjoy could also boost the value of your home.
It’s a good bet that certain home upgrades — the kitchen and master bathroom in particular — will increase the value of your home. But some neighborhood features are so attractive to buyers that they can increase your home’s value too. Let's see how Calvert County's neighborhoods stack up to those desirable features.
Hiking can give you a decent cardio workout while you enjoy the great outdoors. So neighborhoods with access to hiking trails are bound to score some bonus points with house hunters.
How Does Calvert Measure Up? This beautiful raised boardwalk trail is known as the Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail and is located along the shores of Fishing Creek in Calvert County. It just so happens we have a listing in a community that adjoins this trail, but there are also tons of other trails throughout the County, including the American Chestnut Land Trust Trails in Prince Frederick and Port Republic, the trails at Calvert Cliffs Park, and lots more, which are listed on the County's website.
2. Mature trees
Developers sometimes cut down large, healthy trees since it’s often easier to do that — and plant new trees — than to preserve them. But those desirable, well-established neighborhoods buyers love often have a thriving, lush tree canopy. The shade and character offered by older trees can add more than just aesthetics. A survey from the University of Washington that found that, on average, trees in one’s front yard add 3% to 5% to the home value, and in high-income areas, neighborhood trees can increase the area’s value by up to 15%.
How Does Calvert Measure Up? Calvert County is a peninsula bordered by the Chesapeake Bay to the east and the Patuxent River to the west. Because of Maryland's laws that protect our shorelines, developers are not permitted to clear away all trees as they do in some other jurisdictions. There are numerous waterfront communities with plenty of mature trees.
A recent study by CEOS for Cities called "Walk the Walk" notes, "Houses with the above-average levels of walkability command a premium of about $4,000 to $34,000 over houses with just average levels of walkability in the typical metropolitan areas studied." This may bump up the initial buying price, but the resale value of living in a walkable neighborhood works to your advantage when you decide to sell.
How Does Calvert Measure Up? The towns of North Beach and Chesapeake Beach (known as the Twin Beaches to locals) offer restaurants and retail all within walking distance of the residential areas, as does Solomons. The bonus feature of these walkable towns is their beautiful boardwalks, where you can watch the sun rise over the Bay and set over the River!
4. Historic homes
Historic districts typically ooze character and charm, and are often located in walkable communities. They practically invite you to get out and explore your surroundings and learn about your neighborhood’s story. Even better, historic homes also tend to increase in value more quickly than the overall local market, according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
How Does Calvert Measure Up? Calvert County was formed in 1654, so our history goes way back. There are historic homes sprinkled throughout the County, with concentrations in the towns mentioned above, along with the County Seat of Prince Frederick, where our Courthouse and some surrounding homes date back to 1732.
5. Dog parks
Buyers like to purchase homes in neighborhoods with parks and green space, and will often spend more to live in communities that offer them. But Americans are also spending more money than ever on their pets, and of those households, the majority are dog owners, according to the American Pet Products Association. That can make neighborhood pet amenities like dog parks and walking trails even more desirable — even increasing nearby home values. A clean dog park with plenty of well-trained pets enjoying it can make a neighborhood look and feel friendlier.
How Does Calvert Measure Up? There are two County-owned dog parks - one in Dunkirk and the other south of Prince Frederick. In addition, most communities have recreation areas set aside with playgrounds and areas for dogs, and dogs are permitted on the trails at most of our parks.
6. Retail and essentials nearby
Whether you live in an urban or rural area, convenient access to essential services and shopping is key. And it’s a factor home appraisers consider when evaluating real estate values. Most homeowners want to have easy access to retail services, bank branches, and a variety of restaurants; however, most home buyers choose Calvert County for the rural atmosphere and are willing to drive a bit to these services in order to preserve the peace and quiet of their home.
How Does Calvert Measure Up? The major towns of Dunkirk, the Twin Beaches, Prince Frederick, Lusby and Solomons all boast plenty of retail, restaurants and service businesses, and because the County is the smallest in the State, getting to one of these towns only takes about 10 or 15 minutes from wherever you live. If you are interested in living closer to town, most of these areas offer apartments, townhomes, and single-family houses within walking distance of amenities.
7. Future amenities
Find out what upgrades your city has in store by looking online for planning documents. They should reveal what improvements are planned and when they’re scheduled to be completed. You could also call city hall to ask about future growth. Maybe there’s a streetscaping plan in the works or new amenities planned for the area, or maybe you’ll find that desirable retailers are on the way, which could further boost home values once the stores are well-established.
How Does Calvert Measure Up? As described above, Calvert County has tons of amenities to offer home buyers, and many more are in the works. The County's webpage offers an interactive map called "What's Going Where" to help residents keep up with proposed development.
8. Organized community groups
You might have heard the phrase “It takes a village to raise a child.” It also takes a “village” or group of active participants to keep up or improve a neighborhood. Strong community support can provide valuable neighborhood vision (and oversight), which in turn attracts buyers. Although abiding by your neighborhood homeowners association’s rules might feel limiting sometimes, a good HOA will help maintain and enhance the value of your property.
How Does Calvert Measure Up? In Calvert County, you'll find there are some neighborhoods with very active HOA's and others with none. And there are home buyers who appreciate active HOA's and others who would rather not have to deal with them. The choice is up to the buyers, and that seems to suit most people just fine. There is no shortage of town- and County-wide community groups, who are always organizing events or participating in initiatives to help preserve everything there is to love about Calvert County.
To conclude, Calvert County checks all the boxes when it comes to amenities that boost property values. Which feature(s) are you looking for? Call us today to start your search!
Robert is the co-founder and Broker at PAX Real Estate in Prince Frederick, Maryland. He brings with him over 30 years experience building successful companies as an entrepreneur and business owner. W....