Your house is usually your most valuable possession by a long shot. It probably took years to save for just the down payment, and the monthly mortgage payments make up a huge percentage of your income. It makes sense to take care of it. Here are some things that you didn’t know that could lower the value of your home. If you act now, you can help protect its value.

Bad neighbors

This is why things like homeowner’s associations exist. If you have neighbors that toss trash into their yard, you should consider reporting them to the town immediately. If you complain properly, you might be able to get them written up and even fined.

One thing that can affect your house’s value is if someone on your state’s registered sex offender list moves in next door.

Poor exterior paint quality

Everyone can instantly notice when the paint job on a house is poor. First impressions count, and potential buyers will make assumptions before even entering the house. Since so many people will be turned away by the flaking paint, get a new paint job before selling.

Also, potential buyers tend to want boring colors. If you’re a weirdo with a house in an offbeat color, you’re out of luck.

Deferred maintenance

There’s no way hiding this because of the inspection process. Such things as a leaky roof or near-death HVAC system will cost you in a sale. Make sure all major systems are in working order.

Neighborhood foreclosures

Foreclosures will hurt your neighborhood. Plenty will simply sit vacant without maintenance for many years. They might also attract vagrants.

Negative structures

Some structures, such as a bad school, strip club, or cemetery, are negatively linked with property values.

Ugly yard

Remember, first impressions count. If you typically don’t take care of your yard, it might make sense to buy lawn care services while you’re trying to sell your house.

Garage conversion

People usually want to use their garage for cars and maybe a lawnmower. They won’t care for the elaborate home gym and might even view it as a negative.

Protecting the value of your house should always be a priority. There is a myriad of things that affect its value. Be cognizant of the ones that hurt valuation.