Do chain link fences increase or decrease property value in a neighborhood? I asked this question to some very experienced real estate agents and investors in the Sacramento area, and here is what they said:
Eric Peterson with Praxis Capital: We remove the chain link fences 100% of the time. We do the same to a house with bars on the windows. When buyers see this stuff they immediately think about safety concerns. It’s not the mindset you want to instill in a prospective buyer. If the houses around our target property have chain link fences, we likely will pass on the house. It’s just all about perception and no one wants to make a huge purchase decision while worrying about the safety of the street.
Jeff Grenz with Erik Berry & Associates 916-425-3228: When I am evaluating homes for investor purchases… If the only home on the street with a chain link front yard fence is the home I’m evaluating, I include a cost to remove the fence, a few hundred dollars…but you can’t remove it from adjacent homes. Landscape and presentation of the subject and adjoining homes impacts the speed of the sale, and ultimately the price. Chain link yells “DISTRESSED”
When I see chain link in the front yard, I start looking for why… where is the big dog? Is there a high crime problem? Is there loitering? Will a potential buyer be asking the same thing and how many will pass by without even looking? I will lose prospective buyers.
It’s an economic decision…. as you lose prospective buyers and narrow your field, it costs more time to sell and you have to discount, both of which devalue the property.
Dennis Lanni with Housing Group Fund: It would not matter to me, but the chain link fence represents what kind of neighborhood it is. It tells me that safety is a concern, sort of like security doors but worse.
Kaleena Amuchastegui with Capri Property Real Estate: Automatically what comes to mind when you mention a front yard chain link fence is a home in an undesirable neighborhood, there is just something about chain link that screams it’s needed to be there to protect a home, not to mention it’s a huge eye sore in my opinion. I think of older neighborhoods that are run-down, I think of areas with higher crime rates… I know that if we acquired a property with a chain link fence around from auction there is a 90% chance we would remove it. I also know we would never add a chain link fence to a property.
Max Boyko with Team Hybrid Real Estate Services: Of course what I think and my investors think can be a different thing, but I would say chain link fences are definitely one of the most unappealing items in a neighborhood. It varies case by case, but primarily my investors would take them out, which I agree with. I wouldn’t say they would pass on a property if it was a good deal, but it takes away the appealing factor and creates a sense of poor security in the neighborhood, which may turn off potential buyers
Please note if you have a chain link fence, nobody is targeting you or saying you’re bringing down the neighborhood. These are simply the opinions of experienced real estate agents and investors. Of course, it may be worth considering what they are saying since they are constantly buying properties to fix and sell on the open market. Clearly they’re in touch with the perceptions of buyers, what makes a difference in property value and the reality of how important impressions are for a neighborhood. If certain elements of fence design give off a negative impression for the community, what can be done about it? What options exist?
If you want further information, I wrote a series last year called “Blight Week” that might provide some more insight into this important conversation. I wrote a previous post that shows a variety of different types of fences and considers the influence a front fence can have on a property. I firmly believe any neighborhood that is experiencing signs of decay has the potential to see better days with a little intention. There is always hope and we can find and experience that together too.
What do you think about chain link fences? Do you agree with the specialists above?