2 Surprising Things That Boost Home Values

Karin Carr, Owner
Published on November 3, 2021

What if we told you that you should fear not the big-box retailer that is rumored to be eyeing that vacant parcel near your neighborhood as a new location?

Sure, it might bring a lot more traffic to the area and, if you live right across the street, you may be kept up at night with the additional noise from the delivery trucks, but would it be worth it if that retailer helped boost your property value?

I had the idea that it could be interesting to have a look at some of the factors that increase the value of a home that might come as a surprise to you.

The Big-Box Effect

ABC News actually calls this one “The Walmart Effect.” Critics of Walmart have been trying for years to prove that when the retail giant moves into a neighborhood, property values plummet.

Guess what? It’s just the opposite.

A study from the University of Chicago and Brigham Young University finds that when Walmart moves into a neighborhood, home values actually increased as much as 3 percent for homes within 0.5 miles of the huge retailer and up to 2 percent for those located 1 mile from the store.

Then, there’s the “Whole Foods Effect.” While it may not directly cause values to rise it does set in motion a whole slew of events that eventually gentrifies the run-down neighborhoods in which they choose to build.


Several reasons, but chief among them is that “… proximity to a store like Whole Foods, often thought of as more high-end than other grocery stores, adds an air of prestige to a neighborhood,” according to Dana Schulz at 6sqft.com.

2 Surprising Things That Boost Home Values

She goes on to cite an example from Detroit, Michigan.

In 2013, Whole Foods opened a store in downtown Detroit. “In 2009, the median home sale price here was $19,000. By 2015 [just two years after Whole Foods opened the store], it had skyrocketed to $80,000. And during this same time period, the median home price throughout the entire city quadrupled.”

Naturally, it’s not an overnight occurrence, Schulz cautions. But if you’re planning on being in the home for the long haul, don’t let news of a big-box store opening nearby dissuade you from buying that house.

I See Dead People

This one has a habit of completely surprising people. According to the conclusions of a study that was commissioned by a national real estate chain, “Homes less than 50 feet from a cemetery sell for more money per square foot than homes farther away.”

The disadvantage of this is that the houses stay on the market for a longer period of time, but once they do sell, they often fetch a greater price than houses that are situated further away from the cemetery.

In point of fact, the research segmented housing prices into categories based on how close they were near cemeteries. Those who were within fifty feet brought in the greatest prices, and after that point, prices gradually decreased until they reached one thousand feet, at which point they flew back up to be on par with the first category.

Therefore, if you can’t find a property within fifty feet of a cemetery that meets your needs, you should look for one that is at least one thousand feet away.

Although these factors relating to the property’s location may come as a surprise, the value of a home can be increased significantly by making improvements such as installing a brand-new garage door or roof.

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