Property Value

Does The Type of Retaining Wall Change Resale Value?

retaining-wall.jpg

Dear Dave,

Now that spring is upon us and summer is fast approaching, we are getting some projects lined out for our property. We have an area that needs a retaining wall, 25 feet long and 4 feet high, and we would like some advice on what might be the best route to take. We have access to railroad ties but we aren’t sure if those will have as good of resale value for the property as a rock or stone retaining wall. What are your thoughts on this?

Much Appreciated,

Jim and Ruth - Loma, CO


Jim and Ruth,

Again, many issues to uncover and consider here.  First, you are thinking resale and I always love it when people think resale!  What you do to your home while you live there will significantly impact the value of your home either positively or negatively.  By focusing on resale, it does not guarantee anything, however it will help ensure your actions have a positive impact on your bottom line when you do decide to sell. 

A retaining wall can be a definite value ad to a property from both the function side and the aesthetic looks of our landscaping. The most important thing, in my mind, is to have it done by a professional, so it looks like it was done by a professional. Case in point, I added a pond to my property five years ago and around ¾ of the pond we had a boulder retaining wall that went from ground level at a 90 degree angle up the side of the pond to the top edge. It looked awful! I had a visitor ask me one time, “Why did you build an elephant watering hole?” Yikes! Needless to say, we did not feel very good about our “pond”.  This spring, we hired a landscape professional, Keith Lowdermilk of Lowdermilk Landscaping, to re-do some of our landscaping. While he was looking over the job, he asked if he could “re-do” our retaining wall around our pond. He thought he could make it look better. We said, “Absolutely!” After all, it was a total eye sore and we don’t even own an elephant! Long story short, he completely rebuilt the retaining wall around our pond and now it is a highlighted feature of our landscaping rather than something we were trying to hide. The cost was ridiculously reasonable, especially considering the end result. He used the same boulders we had and simply re-stacked and reshaped the contour and the finished product is amazing! The moral of the story - don’t be afraid to hire a professional!

“Regardless of the medium used, railroad ties, boulders, or rocks, I think it can be a valuable addition. “

Regardless of the medium used, railroad ties, boulders, or rocks, I think it can be a valuable addition. Try to pick a medium that is in line with the style of your home. If you have a more country or cottage feel, then maybe a rail road tie wall would look best. However, if your home is newer and is stucco and stone then maybe something with boulders would look best. From a pure cost perspective, if you have the inside track on some cost savings on railroad ties, I would suggest you follow that route. As I learned, spend a bit extra and go with the professional to, at a minimum, help you design the wall, but potentially also install your wall. 

Do it right the first time and it will really pay off and look great! Remember, not everything is about resale - you are going to have to look at it for many years and if it is done right you will look at it as a feature and not an eyesore. My bet is you (and your back!) won’t regret it. Hope this helps.

 

Dave Kimbrough
The Kimbrough Team

Have a Question? Ask Dave!

Name *
Name

Will my neighbor's "stuff" impact my land's property value?

Dave,

I own a 20-40 acre lot, zoned agricultural, in Mesa County. There are parcels surrounding my land which have RV's, outbuildings, and various stuff that is somewhat hard to look at. Would those variables affect the value of my land?

Thank you for your professional reply,

Ronald, Area Withheld


jamie-mink-67789-unsplash.jpg

Ron,

Welcome to Western Colorado! One of the charming things about our area is the eclectic collection of properties that neighbor each other in the more rural areas of our valley, but one of the not so charming things about our area is the eclectic collection of properties that neighbor each other when one or more of those properties more closely resembles a junk yard or antique farm implement graveyard than an agricultural property with a residence. All kidding aside, there is a relatively high level of likelihood that it will negatively impact your property value. 

Part of what makes (and has made) Grand Junction and Western Colorado charming is the mix of not only property types and styles but also the potential mix of the socioeconomic status of our neighbors. In my opinion that mix is wonderful and unique, because the lack of socioeconomic segregation that is created by neighborhoods forces us to become neighbors and many times friends with people who may or may not be the same or live a similar financial lifestyle. As Grand Junction continues to grow, this hodgepodge aspect is becoming much less acceptable and frankly not very desirable by many. Before we get into the potential negative impact these properties may have on your home, let’s exhaust positive options to mitigate their potential impact. 

There may be things you can do to minimize the eyesore aspects of your neighbor’s properties! Maybe you can plant a row of trees or large hedge. You might be able to put up a new fence or put up your own outbuilding that will help shield some of your neighbors “stuff’. Before assuming, or letting me assume for you, that your property will be negatively impacted, work on positive solutions that may partially or completely mitigate the visible issues and even potentially increase your property's value. You might also approach your neighbors and discuss with them cleaning up their “stuff” so you no longer have to look at it. My guess is they may not even realize that it does not sit well with you and if they knew, they very well may be willing to clean it up. If that fails and you find that you have few options to mitigate their “stuff” then it is likely you will see some value erosion.

Let’s face it, for most, owning a farm or “real” agricultural property is not high on the desirability scale, however more executive and well-kept estate type settings with large homes are quite desirable and this is where the mix is met with less than open arms by many. If you have properties surrounding you that have collected RV’s, broken down cars, dilapidated outbuildings, dilapidated fences, long forgotten farm implements, etc., there is little doubt that it will negatively impact your properties value, unless you find just the right “butt for your saddle.”

If you find a buyer for your property that intends to collect RV’s, broken down cars, dilapidated outbuildings, worn out fences and long forgotten property implement tools then they are likely not to give it another thought and in this instance you will likely not have a significant, if any, negative impact on your property value.

If you find a buyer for your property that intends to collect RV’s, broken down cars, dilapidated outbuildings, worn out fences and long forgotten property implement tools then they are likely not to give it another thought and in this instance you will likely not have a significant, if any, negative impact on your property value. It may take longer to find that “right” person, but ultimately there lies the theory that would provide you an alternative to the negative property value impact of less than slightly neighbors.

Again, look for proactive and positive options to minimize the impact, but my guess is that if you can’t find ways to mitigate, there will be some negative impact on your properties value! I am hopeful you can find a way to work this out to your favor. Thanks for the question and best of luck.

Dave Kimbrough
The Kimbrough Team

Have a Question? Ask Dave!

Name *
Name