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Real Estate Pricing, Starbucks and More

Looking to buy a home? Did you know that it is better to be on a “Way” than a “Street,” and find a home that is close to a Starbucks?

Zillow collected statistics from 100 million homes to find trends in real estate pricing, and here are some of the finds:

  • The Starbucks Effect: Take two virtually identical homes for sale 10 years ago … The one near Starbucks would have sold for an average price of $237,000 while the same home without a Starbucks would have sold for $167,000. Leap forward 10 years to 2015: the typical US home appreciated 65 percent to $275,000 (median value), but the property for sale/sold next to Starbucks jumps 96 percent to $464,000.
  • All renovations are not created equal. The greatest return on your investment is a mid-range bathroom remodel. a $3,000 bathroom renovation that returns $1.70 for every dollar spent. The home improvement with the least amount of return for investment are kitchen remodels and finishing a basement. A high-end kitchen renovation will cost an average of $22,000, and get an average return of about $0.51 back for every $1 spent.
  • It’s important to use the right words in a listing. One should avoid “potential”, “TLC,” “investment” and “unique” — these adjectives could lower sale prices of a home by as much as 7%. But adjectives like “luxurious” and “captivating” could add 8.2% to a home’s value.
  • The month a home is listed can have a dramatic impact on price. For example, one of the worst times to sell is the 2nd week in December (listings sold for 2.8% less than average); while the best time to list/sell a home is March.
  • Psychological pricing can affect the final selling price of a home. Listings that have a 9 in the thousand digit ($250,000 vs. $259,000) will sell from 4 days to 1 week faster.
  • What’s in a street name? A lot of extra cash, according to Zillow’s data. Homes that sold on named streets, on average, are worth 2% more ­nationwide than on numbered streets (unless you’re talking about New York City, where it’s a wash). Street names with Lake or Sunset will sell upwards of 16% higher. Suffixes also matter. Homes with a “Street,” suffix have the lowest home values ($183,120 nationally), and homes with a “Way,” suffix have the highest home values (averaging around $312,000).