FROM crazy colours to dirty dishes, some things have home hunter running a mile, while other turn-offs are less obvious such as narrow corridors and dimly lit streets.

Mirror-image semi-detached homes, same suburb apartments or a row of terraces can all seem the same but have different prices. In many cases it is because owners and potential buyers know the hidden things that can devalue a property.

Here are 10 things that can cause a property to lose value.


The location is the single most important factor that can reduce the value of a property – and not just because it’s in a tough suburb or miles from anywhere. Location can also be about where one apartment is compared with another in a block of units or what side of the street a house is on, says WPB Property Group chief executive and valuer Greville Pabst.

‘Generally, apartments positioned on higher or top levels tend to experience greater capital growth because they are not only more attractive to investors and owners but also to tenants,” he says.


It sounds like one of those planning terms that no one really understands, but amenity is a big value adder and detractor. This is all about services and things people want near their home such as shops, schools, businesses, recreation and community facilities. It’s also about what people don’t want near their home such as a fast food outlet, a party pub or car wash. You want to be close to the good things and away from the bad.

‘Properties within five or 10 minutes walking distance to the local village and transport generally have a higher capital growth than properties further away,” Pabst says.

Being within a desirable school zone can add tens of thousands of dollars to a home, while being on the wrong side of the street and outside the zone will reduce the value.


Instead of adding value, bad and cheap renovations can actually destroy the value of a home. Buyers and valuers will be forced to discount the price in order to demolish, remove and then replace poorly designed or constructed additions and renovations.

‘Only renovate to your target market,” Pabst says. ‘Research the local market, know the general age group and the needs of those households.’


A versatile floor plan is going to be in more demand than many larger properties with little flexibility or poorly planned rooms. The way a house flows, open plan areas and ability to use rooms for different uses is one of the most important things buyers and investors look for.

‘A bad floor plan is a major draw back,” Metropole Property managing director Michael Yardney says.

‘It’s not the size of your property that matters but the efficiency of the floor plan.’

Narrow corridors, clusters of rooms, walking through rooms to get to others will discount the value. Floor plans are also one of the crucial factors when a property is listed for sale and can often be the make or break decision to inspect a home.


Being too close or too far from transport options can impact the value. The extra foot traffic and transport noise from being too close to a train station, for example, will lower the value of a property. Too far away and it reduces the number of potential buyers or tenants, our experts say.

Main roads, however, are usually the biggest price plunger, says independent buyers advocate Catherine Cashmore. ‘Traffic isn’t the only problem. The front windows will also need to be shielded from people walking past, for noise and privacy, there will be an increase in rubbish that’s dropped on the street, blowing in to the front,”she says.

‘Worse still, getting out of the driveway or waiting to turn on to a busy road is very frustration and potentially dangerous.’


Noise is increasingly a modern day scourge. It can be a very real problem for occupants of a property, which means it is automatically an issue for all future buyers and, of course, valuers. Noisy neighbours, loud neighbourhoods, public transport, industry or restaurant issues and road noise will be a stumbling block when it comes to putting a price on your property, Cashmore says.

‘This can be diminished by soundproofing the windows, however, that’s not much help in summer months.’ Good quality construction is important to reducing internal noise.


High rise and high density living is not for everyone, Cashmore says.

‘It’s important to focus on housing that appeals to home buyers, not just investors. Buying a small apartment in a high-rise block carries a risk,” she says.

‘Supply is increasing for these types of dwellings and, therefore, it’s reasonable to suggest demand will wax and wain depending on the number of investors in the market.’ Ideally you need to purchase a property that appeals to all buyers, she says.


Be aware of neighbouring buildings and the impact they will have on light and blocking sunlight, Resi Group spokeswoman Lisa Montgomery says. ‘Nobody sets out to buy a dark and lightless place, if there’s one thing plenty of natural light does, it’s make property feel bigger,” she says.

The right aspect is also important, north facing is often the most desirable for natural light and sunlight, Montgomery says.


Well-lit streets, easy and safe access to public transport or parking and, of course, the calibre of the neighbourhood are going to impact on the security value of a property. Security and privacy are important issues that should not be underestimated, Montgomery says.


Sure it’s superficial but crazy colours, ‘personality decor’, poor street appeal, even clutter and messy furniture placement can make a huge difference when it comes to people putting a price on a property.

‘It’s important to keep your colours neutral and perhaps decorate with colours,” Montgomery says.

Unusual or unique is also not such a great idea, says Cashmore, as it can ‘stick out like a sore thumb’. ‘Exotic features are just not appealing to the vast majority of people,” she says.

Posted by News Limited Network on 14th September, 2014