Does having a tank parked outside your home affect its value or make it harder to sell?

Does having a tank parked outside your home affect its value or make it harder to sell?

8th December 2023. The information within was correct at the time of publication but is subject to change.

Scroll around on Google Maps in Didsbury, South Manchester and you may have to double take when you see one local attraction; The Didsbury Tank. There is a tank parked on a normal residential street. I kid you not. Well, actually, it’s an armoured personnel vehicle, but to the untrained civilian, it’s a tank. I first saw it a year or so ago when I started going to a new barber in Didsbury. But then it was still there the next time I went. And again. And I don’t exactly visit the barber a lot.

It turns out it’s been parked in the same spot since 2019 and has been sighted in and around the area for many years prior. It’s been covered in the Manchester Evening News and by the BBC. It got me thinking, does having a tank parked outside your house affect its value or make it harder to sell?

“I'd much rather a lovely neighbour with a soft spot for military memorabilia than a horrible neighbour with a Lamborghini.”

Here’s what Matt Barrell, estate agent at Avocado Property had to say on The Didsbury Tank:

A glance at the neighbour’s house is a telling sign when you are considering a property. Perfectly polished cars and an immaculate driveway? That’s a good sign! Overgrown grass and plastic toys everywhere? Proceed with caution. A tank parked outside, however… that’s going to be a red flag regardless of what any agent says. Before discarding the property altogether, I’d encourage buyers to dig a little deeper. Is the tank owned by an ex-Army official with a deep love for the area and a commitment to the safety of his neighbours? I don’t know about you, but if the zombie apocalypse ever does come, then I’d want a neighbour with a tank. On the other hand, perhaps the tank was an impulse eBay purchase by an erratic neighbour who likes to stand on top of his tank and set off fireworks on Guy Fawkes Night. That’s probably not a neighbour any of us would want. In all seriousness, I advise all buyers to knock on the neighbours’ doors and introduce themselves before they exchange contracts. Gelling with your neighbours can have a huge impact on your enjoyment of the property, and you can only know what they are like by speaking to them! I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather a lovely neighbour with a soft spot for military memorabilia than a horrible neighbour with a Lamborghini.

"Just down the road from the tank, there is a large Egyptian-inspired sarcophagus on the side of a semi-detached. I would say this is an attractive road for history buffs of all types."

According to John Ashton of Hunters South Manchester, just a stone’s throw away from The Didsbury Tank on Old Lansdowne Road:

Whilst the tank isn’t a permanent fixture of the street, so it shouldn’t materially affect value, potential buyers can be affected by the outlook of the road. I think the main question is how much of a military enthusiast is the potential buyer?

Just down the road from the tank, there is a large Egyptian-inspired sarcophagus on the side of a semi-detached. I would say this is an attractive road for history buffs of all types.

At Hunters, we understand that each house and each road is unique, and for a good agent, there is a market for any property. We have sold a nunnery, a part of a listed 250-year-old farmhouse, and everything in between.

I think the jury is still out as to whether a tank—sorry, armoured personnel vehicle—parked outside your home affects it negatively when trying to sell.

What can be seen as valuable to one person could be a detriment to others. I’d have loved a utility room with a dog-washing area in it, but a non-dog owner would probably see that as an expensive update that needs to take place.

What adds or detracts value changes with the times

Back in the nineties, I remember my parents getting a conservatory installed. It was all the rage. But today, some estate agents warn that having the once sought-after middle-class amenity can devalue a property by up to £15,000. It seems they are no longer fashionable.

Other things that can devalue a home

According to House Buyer Bureau things that can affect value are:

Smoking

This doesn’t surprise me at all. As a non-smoker, I’d certainly be put off a property if it smelt of smoke. Like conservatories, this is something that has changed with the times—it used to be commonplace in UK homes. In other places, it still is. My girlfriend is Croatian, and recently, her mother came to stay with us for a few days. You should have seen the look on her mum’s face when her daughter told her that she cannot smoke inside the home.

Superstition

Some people would be uncomfortable buying a house numbered 13. They might avoid buying it even if they themselves are not superstitious, just because they fear it may be harder to sell in the future. Many roads don’t have a house number 13 for this reason, even in new developments. In some cultures, other numbers are considered unlucky. When I was in Indonesia, I noticed that many buildings skipped the 4th floor and went straight from 3rd to 5th, or floor 3 was followed by 3A. Virgin Atlantic skips row 13 on its aircraft for similar reasons.

The name of a road is even though to influence how much people are willing to pay to live on it. The Daily Express reports that street names that are money-related actually increase the value of your home even more.

For what it’s worth, I think that The Didsbury Tank adds character and is a local landmark. It’s more interesting, and I believe less unsightly, than a large van, motorhome, or caravan parked on the street. Would I like it right outside my front door? Probably not, given the choice.

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