Location, Location, Location
Everyone knows the old adage that when buying real estate, it’s all about “Location, Location, Location”. Is this true? Absolutely.
The fact is you can buy an incredible home that meets all of your needs functionally, but in the wrong location. You can always add on, remodel, etc. but you cannot move the land upon which it rests. So what makes for a prime location versus a not-so-prime location? Here are some tips.
The Best Locations Feature:
- Top-Rated Schools. If you have kids, buying in a top-rated public school district should be one of your primary concerns. Even if you don’t have kids, often, the better educated the populace of your neighborhood, the better the home values tend to be.
- Greenspace. If a home is located on or near a natural greenspace (or manmade), river, lake, park, or ocean, then this location will tend to hold its value as well because people like to live near these types of areas because of the psychological calming effect it has on us as human beings as well as opportunities for recreation. That’s why some of the nicest neighborhood in D/FW have lots of mature trees, parks, and ponds/lakes.
- A View. Having a view is always at a premium. Whether it’s a high-rise penthouse with a sweeping view of the city or a greenbelt or golf course, people will always want to live with a premium view if they have the choice.
- Shopping and Entertainment. Most people would prefer to live within walking distance to major entertainment such as restaurants, movie theaters, shops, boutiques, etc. With the price of gas these days, it pays for a location to lend itself to a walk rather than a drive.
- Stable Home Values. Neighborhoods where the home values have endured even throughout recessions, and have maintained their values and/or the values continue to rise, are always desirable to someone searching for a location.
- Conformity. Homebuyers tend to gravitate towards those who share similar values. Typically you’ll find like-minded people living in the same neighborhoods so see what the demographics in terms of income level, singles versus married, etc. are in the neighborhood because you’ll be stuck with your neighbors unless they decide to move.
- Near Work and Transportation. Living near one’s job is highly desirable as is living near public transportation for ease of travel from one side of town to the other.
- Center of the Block. Most homebuyers prefer to live in the center of the block (although I prefer corner lots myself) because they feel a sense of protection from the outside world.
The Most Undesirable Locations Feature:
- Living Next to Commercial and/or Industrial Buildings. Living next to a shopping mall or gas station or a commercial structure usually means lots of noise and/or traffic and most people want to live in a more serene environment.
- Under Flight Paths/Freeways/Railroad Tracks. Much like living near commercial/industrial spaces, obviously living under or near a freeway, flight path or railroad can be a nightmare if you want to sleep in, have privacy and have peace and quiet. This one always devalues home prices in a neighborhood.
- Economically Depressed Neighborhoods. Pride of ownership is highly important in location value. If the area exhibits lack of pride in yards, landscaping, maintenance, old cars or appliances on the front lawns, etc. you might want to reconsider.
- Near Major Drawbacks. Nuclear power plants, transformers, power lines, etc. are things no one wants to live near. Not to mention previous landfills, swampland, etc.
So hopefully these tips will help you better understand what is meant by “Location, Location, Location” by Realtors when searching for a new home!