According to a blog post on Inman.com this past spring, these six things that have been shown to increase home value:
Living Near Parks, Golf Courses and Open Spaces Living Near a Wal-Mart Walkability (!!!) Additional Dwelling Spaces Living Near a Professional Sports Arena Lots of Mature Trees
Except for the Wal-Mart, this list has Montclair, NJ written all over it.
I have talked about walkability until I'm blue in the face, but I'm usually referring to a stroll to a restaurant or movie theater, or the ability to get to the bus or train on foot. Not nearly often enough do I mention the two reservations that sit on Montclair's western border - Mills at the north end of town and Eagle Rock at the south end. When my kids were younger, we'd go hike one of the reservations after school sometimes - they're that close.
I don't golf but if I did, I wouldn't have to travel much further than the reservations to find myself on a public or private golf course. There are probably 10 within a 15-minute drive.
Mature trees: check. Sports arena: check. Carriage house or in-law suite: not always, but many homes offer ample and independent space for guests.
Montclair does not have a Wal-Mart and I make no apologies for that. In fact, there's always a lot of debate about what type of chain establishments may or may not set up shop here. However, Montclair is flanked by two major highways, which can take you to Wal-Mart, Target or dozens of other fun places to spend money. In fact, there are six Wal-Mart stores within 10 miles of here. We Montclair dwellers don't mind these little away trips. It's nice to leave Shangra-la sometimes.