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Do Upgraded Amenities Actually Help Property Values?

Posted by IKO Community Management on November 29, 2018 at 9:00 AM

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All HOA communities need amenity upgrades.

What is an amenity?

According to Investopedia, a source for financial education, amenities are "benefits of a property whose existence increase the value or desirability of that property.

An amenity can be either tangible, such as a [community] pool or gym, or intangible, such as proximity to a local school or supermarket."

How do amenities affect property value?

Improvements to a condominium, apartment, or HOA community are money makers. Property managers and landlords increase the price to sell or rent property for.

It's a similar concept for land developers. Constructing residential living in a desirable area increases the cost of each property. 

What are the most popular amenities?

The most desirable amenities vary from state to state, but the old adage in real estate reigns true. Location, location, location is an intangible amenity. It matters most in resale and property values for residential living.

Distance to everyday necessities is a sought-after aspect of buying and renting homes. Millennial buyers are raising residential real estate stakes. This generation is requesting walkability to grocery stores, work, school, and outdoor activities. 

"Homeowners want...to walk or bike to local eateries, bars, grocery stores, banking, and more," said Brad Pauly, a real estate professional with Pauly & Presley Realty in Texas.

"If a new restaurant opens in a desirable, walkable neighborhood, that could increase the value of that property," especially in walkable areas like San Francisco and New York City

While a high walking score matters, tangible amenities are still desirable. Many HOA communities offer fitness centers and organized groups. HOA subcommittees and community event planners hone a sense of togetherness. This is one of the most desirable aspects of an HOA community. 

Other tangible amenities include community pools, recycling and trash removal, inclement weather service, mature trees, and Internet connectivity. The list continues with playgrounds and tot lots, rentable outdoor spaces, and a community clubhouse

Couple high walkability with tangible, modern amenities. Landlords, property managers, and developers have a booster for property values.

What happens to property values without amenities?

A pair of case studies in the National Apartment Association's report, Adding Value in the Age of Amenities Warsresearched this concept. These studies support that spending money to upgrade older properties reaps benefits. 

As reported by Property Management Insider, "The Village at West Irving [in Texas] focused on a combination of in-unit and common-area upgrades at a total cost of $239,000. Units received ceiling fans, vinyl floors, high-end kitchen appliances, lighting, plumbing or electrical improvements, community-wide Wi-Fi," and an upgraded community pool

Managed by Elmstone Group Property Management, LLC, The Village at West Irving boosted occupancy from 84 percent to 96 percent and netted a monthly $51 per-unit increase in rent. The total return net was 39 percent. 

Closer to IKO Community Management in Maryland, Sanger Place in Virginia improved the clubhouse, fitness center, and playground area. The HOA community also added reserved parking. Sanger Place also renovated 16 of the 182 units outside of Washington, D.C.

After the upgrades, occupancy rose 4 percent and unit rent jumped to $55 per month. The total return net was 37 percent. 

With case studies and options for improvements, amenities are no hidden secret. Amenities in HOA communities increase property values in almost every instance.

IKO Community Management understands the importance of amenities. We handle amenity maintenance as a professional community management company in Maryland.

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Topics: Landlords, Developers