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Will a Driveway Increase the Value on a Home?

Updated March 23, 2017

When a homeowner is seeking to sell a home or to have the home appraised for a mortgage, he may try to first increase the value of his home through modifications, which can take many forms. However, one of the most common additions to a home is a driveway. Like all modifications, the change that results in the value of a home depends on many factors, but driveways generally do cause the home to appreciate.

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A house with a driveway is generally superior to a house without a driveway as it allows the homeowner an additional space in which to park a vehicle. If parking is scarce or expensive around the home, a driveway may save the homeowner time or money. However, if parking around the home is already ample or the house already includes a spacious garage, a driveway may be unnecessary and do little to improve the home's value.

Kinds of Driveways

Exactly how much the presence of a driveway will increase the value of a home depends on a number of factors. Among these is the type of driveway that the homeowner installs, such as dirt, gravel, brick and concrete. Some driveways are easier to use than others, and all driveways will have some effect on the aesthetics of the house. According to MSN, concrete driveways are generally more valuable than gravel driveways.

Recouping the Cost

While a driveway will generally increase the value of a home, it may not make financial sense. The nature of the housing market is such that a homeowner can only estimate how much value a specific improvement will add to the market price of a home. When installing a new driveway, a person must consider how the cost of installation compares to the increase in the value of the home. In some cases, the former can exceed the later, making the modification uneconomic.

Other Uses of Space

All driveways are placed on the property of the homeowner. To install a driveway, the homeowner must divert the use of the space from another purpose. In some cases, the driveway may actually decrease the value of the home by taking up space that was previously used in such a way as to increase the value of the home more than the driveway. For example, a driveway that takes up space previously occupied by an extra room or an attractive garden may decrease the value of a home.

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About the Author

Michael Wolfe has been writing and editing since 2005, with a background including both business and creative writing. He has worked as a reporter for a community newspaper in New York City and a federal policy newsletter in Washington, D.C. Wolfe holds a B.A. in art history and is a resident of Brooklyn, N.Y.

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