Whether you're planning to sell your home sometime soon or are simply interested in ensuring that the value of your home stays high, it's good to know what factors play a role in property values. While some may be in your control, others aren't. And some factors may pull down the value of your home and make it difficult to climb back up.

So, what are some issues that can pull the value of your home down?

1. Lots of Foreclosures in the Area

A thriving neighbourhood isn't one where you would expect to see homes boarded up and signs on the front indicating that a power of sale is happening. But if this is the situation on your street, that paints a bad picture of the area as a whole and can drag your property's value down with it.

Unfortunately, the fair market value of your home can be negatively affected if there are a few homes in your neighbourhood that are facing foreclosure.

2. Bad Schools

Parents go to great lengths to make sure that their children receive a decent education, and they're willing to pay the big bucks to buy into a neighbourhood that has highly-rated schools.

Homes that are located in a prestigious school district are usually more expensive than homes that are in an area with poorly rated educational institutions. If the area you're in is known for its shady schools, it could scare buyers away and devalue your home.

3. Minimal Amenities

Buyers often look for convenience when buying a home, which means they like to see amenities nearby that they can reach via a short drive or walk. But a lack of such amenities can have a negative effect on property values, or at least make it more difficult to find willing buyers who will pay more to live there.

4. The Concentration of Sex Offenders

Nobody wants to live in an area that is littered with registered sex offenders. This type of information can easily be found online, and savvy buyers often take steps to search for this type of information before they determine where they want to live. The presence of sex offenders can be a big factor in pulling home values down.

5. Crime

Similarly, a high crime rate in an area can lower property values. If the overall state of the community is on a downtrend, home values will dip as well.

6. Bad Neighbours

The people who live next door to you have an indirect effect on your home's value. Neighbours who are noisy, obnoxious, and don't take care of their property can make your home look bad, no matter how well you care for your home. All their trash, barking dogs, and inconsiderate yelling can be a bad thing for your home's value.

7. Noise Pollution

Whether you live on a busy road, are close to the train tracks, or are located right along the flight path near your local airport, all that noise pollution can be a drag for your home's value.

8. Outdated Finishes

Your home itself might be doing itself a disservice if it's got outdated features and finishes that buyers these days are no longer looking for. Outdated kitchens and bathrooms, old appliances, and worn patios or driveways, for instance, can devalue your home.

9. Over-Improvement

Believe it or not, but the opposite situation can also be bad for your home's value. If you've "over-improved" your home with finishes and features that are far too fancy or decadent compared to what the surrounding neighbourhood calls for, you could be doing the value of your home some harm.

Updates are often a great way to boost the value of your home, but you can't always expect to recoup what you paid for those improvements if you ever decide to sell. The improvement choices you make should be based on similar homes in your neighbourhood. Going overboard in this department can put you at risk of spending far more than you'll ever be able to get back if you sell.

Final Thoughts

There are certainly plenty of things you can do to your home to increase its value, whether it's refacing your kitchen cabinets, refinishing your driveway, or lathering on a new coat of paint. But some things may be out of your control. If you plan to sell some time soon, be sure to enlist the help of a seasoned real estate agent who can help guide you to ensure you get the highest price tag for your home.