Understanding Functional Obsolescence In Valuing Your Home

Dated: 02/11/2014

Views: 11680

Understanding Functional Obsolescence In Valuing Your Home


(fireplug in driveway)
Functional obsolescence in Real Estate can be defined as a property not complying with normal utility or current tastes. In other words there are features or 'functions' that may not be practical or desirable. There are many examples of functional obsolescence but I'm going to share a few to help you understand how this affects the value of a home.
A commonly seen type of obsolescence would be a home style that does not fit within the customary range of other styles within a given neighborhood.  An example would be a contemporary style home being built in a neighborhood that the makeup is primarily that of traditional or creole style homes.
Another type is economic obsolescence which is when there is a decrease in value due to external factors surrounding a property. An example could be when a residential zoned area blends into an area of commercial use. A home located next to a convenience store, restaurant, hair salon, or other business establishment would be considered economically dysfunctional.
Here are some additional examples of functional obsolescence found in homes:
  • All bedrooms are located on the 2nd floor yet the only bath is located on the 1st floor.
  • Walking through one bedroom to get to another.
  • Walking through a dining room or living room to get to a bedroom.
  • Walking through a formal space to enter the garage.
  • A laundry room that is not accessible via an interior doorway (located in an outbuilding or detached garage).
  • Single car garage (or no garage) in a neighborhood/community that commonly has two car garages.
Sometimes as a Realtor, explaining these things to a seller can be both a challenge and a risk. There exists, the possibility that they will assume we don’t like their home because we are pointing out the flaws. In the end, we are trying to help educate based on our first hand experience with comparing homes via extensive valuations and through the eyes of potential buyers that will be considering your home along with others.
As a homeowner, please know that we want to present and represent your home at it's best and net you as much as the market will allow.  Don't be offended when we share all the factors that go into valuing your home as we approach this much differently than you do due to the lack of emotional attachment or "value" in addition to personal tastes that you may have.
Thinking of selling your home? We can help!  Take a moment to check the estimated value of your home via our automated valuation system and let us know when you're ready to make a move!  We have extensive experience, many qualified buyers ready to buy and can reduce the stress and uncertainty of the selling process for you and your family!  Contact us today!  888-411-2450

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