Understanding the Factors in Home Value: Lot Orientation

If you'll be putting your home on the market anytime soon, you definitely need to take steps to make it as appealing as possible for potential buyers. You also need to take steps to boost the value of your property. There are many, many factors that go into home value, such as location and overall aesthetic.

However, lot size and home orientation on the lot are also factors, and they're not as easy to change as slapping a new coat of paint on the exterior of your home, or upgrading an aging bathroom. What should you know about the lot, the lot's shape and size, and your home's orientation as they pertain to home value?

Lot Considerations

The lot your home rests on has a great deal to do with overall home value and demand from potential buyers. One of those factors is overall lot shape. Lots come in all sorts of shapes, from square and rectangular to pie-shaped. An irregularly shaped lot can be unappealing to some buyers because it may mean additional challenges with upkeep and maintenance, or it could mean less usable space where they want it most.

Lot Considerations

For example, if your home sits on a pie-shaped lot, and the pointed end is in the back, then most of your usable space will be in the front of the home, by the street. That automatically makes your home less valuable because most buyers want to spend time in the back yard, where they have privacy and quiet. Front yards are used for very little today, other than as showpieces.

If your lot is irregularly shaped (not square or rectangular, but not pie-shaped, either), you may have other challenges. For instance, fencing in an irregularly shaped lot can be costly and difficult. Simply maintaining property lines can be a challenge in itself. This obviously reduces demand for the property, which affects your overall value.

Your Home's Position

In addition to the shape of your lot, you need to consider the position of your home on the lot, and the orientation of the home to the compass points. Let’s look at home position first.

Where your home is located on the lot matters, in addition to the shape of the lot. While a square or rectangular shaped lot may be the most popular, if the home is set far back toward the rear, with most of the usable space in the front, it really doesn’t matter how the lot is shaped. It’s the allocation of space in the yard that really drives demand and value. In general, you want a home that’s positioned more toward the front of the lot, but not so much that road noise will be a problem. This maximizes privacy and usable space in the rear of the home.

Your Home's Position

Now let's talk about the orientation of your home in relation to the compass points. In general, homes that face south or southwest have the most demand. This is because they receive the most sunlight throughout the year, offering warmth and light. Homes that face other directions will have less demand, with north-facing homes having the least demand. With that being said, this can be offset if there are commanding views in the area and the home is oriented to maximize that view.

As you can see, lot size and home orientation have a major impact on overall home values. Knowing these factors going into the process of selling your home can help ensure that you have realistic expectations about demand and price, and that you're able to focus on making improvements where they will have the most impact.