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Community Services Add to Value

Updated: Mar 7, 2019

Within the last week it snowed! This is not unusual for Michigan and occurs regularly during winter. I was reminded of the value received from the city through my tax dollars. My street was plowed and salted when I woke up the next morning! The public sidewalks had been cleared as well. I didn't pay extra for these services - they were provided by the city in which I live through the property tax dollars I already pay.

Today is garbage collection day. In my community, garbage collection happens routinely- there are no missed collection days. Bulk trash collection happens every week. Recycling happens every week. There have even been provisions made for collection of charitable items along with my garbage on a weekly basis. I don't have to go out and tidy up the curb from the remnants of refuse left due a sloppy collection. I don't have to call Purple Heart or lug bags of items to Salvation Army.

During summer, my neighborhood park has the grass mowed and the leaves mulched and the trash barrels emptied on a regular basis. There are also, "poop" bags restocked for those who may have forgotten to bring one along while walking their dogs through the park.

When I have needed police, fire or emergency services, it took one call and they showed up in minutes. When I have visited city hall departments, the employees were courteous, attentive to my needs and I left satisfied - my mission accomplished. My streets are cleaned at least once or twice a year and if the city is notified about a pothole, there is a quick response. Predictable, reliable, efficient service to citizenry. How quaint! I LOVE it!

These services are often forgotten when making the choice to buy a home. City services have a major impact on the continued enjoyment of your purchase and its maintaining market value. Homes in communities which routinely provide services that support property maintenance help to keep the community desirable, safe and growing. Under these circumstances property values cannot help but continue to climb!


Before you spend a substantial sum putting down roots in a community, call or visit the city hall of the community in which you would like to live. Observe the employees for their courtesy, professionalism and knowledge and in how they address citizen requests. Ask about police and fire response times. Ask about community benefits, community centers, classes, parks and recreation. Attend a city council meeting if you have time and are seriously considering your purchase. What is the source of the most frequent community complaints? If you are already a member of the community know that it's up to us as citizens, as business owners, as property owners, and this does NOT exclude renters- to make sure that service and services are provided competently and efficiently by reporting your concerns to the appropriate city departments and continuing to complain when an issue is not resolved. Its usually as simple as a phone call to the building department or ombudsman in your town. Take the time to do it! Your level of concern and your actions contribute to the positive or negative impact on market value of your property. It's also important to remember to thank those who make it happen!

This is the first in a series of articles I will write monthly on items that have an impact on your property's value. I am Rhona Ravenell, the owner of Omega Appraisals, LLC. I am a Certified General Appraiser, licensed in the state of Michigan with more than 15 years in the field. Please visit my web page at for more information.

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