Home with steep driveway, Resale issues?

8 Replies

Im considering purchasing a rehab but its on with a steep driveway. It needs little work. Im concerned that the house may be a turnoff to potential buyers. Has anyone had issues with selling a home like this? I tried to drive up the driveway and was kind of freaked out. But is a really nice home. I figured if I purchase it, I'd list below market value given there will be enough room to make a decent profit. thoughts?

I think it depends on the area, how the house conforms to the area, and what the people are accustomed to.

I've lived all over the country and the two hilliest places were San Francisco and Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh, in particular, was filled with little narrow streets winding up steep hills with houses clinging to the side of the mountain. But that's what people there are accustomed to, so I don't see it as a problem.

On the other hand, if the house in question is an anomaly in the area, the steep driveway could be detrimental.

Honestly, when I read your description, in my mind's eye I pictured a nice house tucked away from the road up on a hillside with lots of privacy. That sounds pretty appealing to me. But that's just my opinion.

If you're planning on listing it with an agent I'd seek that agent out now and meet with him/her at the property prior to purchasing. Stress to them that you want an honest opinion of how the driveway may effect the resale - if at all. You might as well have the agent give you their estimation on an after-repairs list price since you're already engaging them.

To @Fred Heller  comment, I live in the Pittsburgh area. We do have lots of homes like that here because homes were built on the sides of steep hills. The main problem we have with those homes is foundation issues due to earth pushing against the back side of the homes. Many of those homes are 60-100 years old, so there's been plenty of time for the ground to shift and do its damage. Also there's water runoff which can work its way through the foundation and cause the basements to be damp or have water trailing in during modest to heavy rain.

i have asked a Realtor on this subject before, had same concern 

It depends on the street.

Ex. If you are the only house with a steep driveway then no.

If all the house are on steep drive then its "OK".  But as investor I would also look in the neighborhood not just that street.

If 50-50 then its your comfort level 

Same with attach or integral garage ( at house vs basement lvl)

All in all, its location location location. There are trade off.

l live in steep drive, but all the house on my side has steep drive. But we have zero neighbors behind (wooded) and great view.

I will have to sell to young fit buyer willing to snowblow like us, bc of great school and good development and flat backyard (at a premium here in Pittsburgh). We love the house too. Hahahahaha

Different states, counties, and cities have various topography patterns.

In GA here there is a lot of flat land. A house on a hill is seen as a big negative if it is a high grade.

Now if it is just a long driveway on a casual slope and not hard to back out then it is not as bad.

Some buyers that might like that are ones with seclusion, ones maybe liking to feel ego driven and that they are above ( superior) to everyone else, and or where you get an amazing view of something ( mountains, lake, ocean, etc. ).

For the house is there a big garage up top or a parking pad?? If there isn't much of a landing pad at the top of this hill it will put a lot of wear and tear on the tranny of the vehicle, be hard to keep the doors open to get out, etc.

The other factor is weather. If the area tends to have a lot of rain storms, snow, ice, etc. then having a hill like that is a big problem.

Personally I love my flat driveway. You do not want it totally flat or it pools water. You want a slight upgrade so it runs off into the street and the storm drains.  

I would look at factoring a big negative in the purchase price to be on the safe said. You do not want to talk yourself into 5% off for the driveway and find out it is 10 to 15% etc. difference.

thanks everyone for the responses. I have a lot to think about. 

Originally posted by @Joel Owens :

  There is a two car garage at the top, and wooded backyard. I noticed most ppl park thier cars on the side of the road. its a nice mature and secluded neighborhood but the school district is not the best. on this particular street, on one side of the street, half the houses are built up a steep incline, the other side are houses built on a downward slope. The house has been on the market for six months. I'm sure I can get a good price by paying with cash. It Has a fairly new roof, new HVAC IN 08, hardwood floors, custom kitchen cabinets, new countertops, updated bathrooms etc. I could basically slap some paint on it, update the fixtures, refinish the floors, stage it and put it back on the market. In general, Most houses in the city have flat driveways. I'm torn. There are a lot of investors in this area and I'm wandering why they haven't touched it. I'm guessing it's bc of the driveway. im coming out of a bad deal and would hate to walk into another one. I'm going to have my realtor pull comps Monday b4 making a decision.

Hi Belinda

Joel made a good point. As usual ;)

my steep drive has a landing pad at the top where we can park extra car (guest) and still make a comfortable u turn back down the drive.

If 50-50, its your call

I have a love hate relationship with my drive.

I love the seclusion.. I was in military town, open door policy neighborhood.....so drive deters solicitors and noisy neighbors hahaha. 

The hate is only Winter suxs.

I think the only way to sell is to young buyers.  In the winter it is alittle dangerous; although it didn't bother me 20 years ago.

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