One of the things a land and building owner must come to grips with is the appraised value of property. Now I certainly don’t want to step on the toes of professional appraisers who have a wide range of data that must be assembled to satisfy the financial and legal institutions that often use them; but at the same time – I do want to boil it down to the three major factors that are important in establishing that value.
Most people understand the first factor: taking care of your property. Great expense, planning and thought fill many who want to sustain the value of their home. Fortunately, we have in our city a great number of owners who have been an absolute credit to the community.
But what people don’t understand are the two other ‘legs’ that decide what the value of their property will be.
The second is ‘streetscape’. What kind of neighborhood is your house located in? Are the other homes on your street and neighborhood complimentary? Do the other neighbors keep their homes up as well as you do? And this is an important one, are other homes similar to yours in the neighborhood valued the same. In other words, you poured money into your home but the rest of your neighbors with similar homes don’t give a d___n. Consequently, this will impact your home.
The third is your city. A home beautifully renovated and sitting in inner-city Lawrence is not going to be valued anywhere near one that is located in Newburyport. The city’s infrastructure, schools, services and general financial status – is going to heavily determine the value of your home. It also means that the desirability of people wanting to move to Newburyport will also heavily affect that value. Is Newburyport a draw or are people trying to sell and get out?
The local historic district ordinance is all about property rights. Being in one or even living near one, gives confidence to financiers that the neighborhood will be protected from inappropriate development that will mar a safe investment. It also gives potential buyers and finance markets, the surety that the fine house will continue to be a fine house on a good streetscape. It also hedges on the confidence that future improvements will keep the streetscape and the neighborhood a source for ‘safe’ investng. And it gives notice to out-of-town developers and uncaring homeowners that the community is jealously guarding and protecting their property values.
Ever since Charleston, South Carolina, started the LHD concept; the citizens of towns and cities that have instituted LHD’s have seen their communities prosper.
That is because a local historic district protects everyone’s property for the entire city’s long term benefit.