Importance of Location When Buying or Selling a Home

Posted by Steve Vincent on Dec 12, 2013, 9:47:06 AM

In Buyers, housing location, location lifestyle, Sellers, target marketing, where to buy

animated house withIt pains me to admit it . . . it's such a tired old cliche . . . but it's true: the three most important factors in any home buying decision are Location, Location , Location.  

The way we interpret that has been a little askew - the notion that there are right locations and wrong locations, good locations and bad locations - but your location, and more important, your understanding of the strengths of your location, are a key element to any real estate decision.

No, there are no right and wrong locations.  Almost every location is ideal for someone.

  • Young families often want a location near a particular school.
  • Working people often target a neighborhood based on commute.
  • Urban hipsters want to enjoy the nightlife of the 'hood on foot.
  • Families on tight budgets often want affordability and seek areas where that's possible.

When you begin to look for your dream home, start with lifestyle:  what is yours?  How do you like to spend your everydays?  What are the activities that drive your life?  What's important in keeping you and your family moving forward?  Get a picture of the kind of neighborhood that will support that . . . and then look for it.

Fill in a few blanks:

I want to be able to ________________.

I really like to ___________________.

It's important that we ________________.

We have to be close to ________________.

And so on.

We are usually very clear about how far:  how far away from X and Y we are willing to live.  So take your local map, plot X and Y and then draw that meandering circle that sets the limit of that distance.  That line will become the boundary of your ballpark, the large area inside which you will look for your lifestyle.

Don't worry about what anybody else thinks.  It's your lifestyle, not theirs.  The exception is your REALTOR® who should be on board with your process and can point out pluses and minuses you may have missed.

Not until you have identified the locations where you can be happy living can you get down to how many bedrooms and baths, house vs. condo, ranch or two-story.  Those things don't matter until you have found your location.

When considering a location, do a little field reconnaissance before adding it to the acceptable list.  Go to the local supermarket during a busy time - often 5-ish in the afternoon - and shop.  These are the people who will be your neighbors:  what do you think?  Get up early and go hang out in a coffee shop or get a guest pass to the gym.  Drive the neighborhood - or drive your commute to and from the neighborhood - during rush hour.

If you are selling, do the same kind of exercise.  Discover (or re-discover) what kind of people live in your neighborhood.  What is the lifestyle?  The average age?  What do your neighbors like to do?  You probably think you already know this, but if you've been in your home for awhile, you may be surprised at how things have changed when you weren't paying attention!

Do this as a seller to get a picture of your target.  What kind(s) of people are most likely wanting to live in your neighborhood?  Once you have that in mind, how would you go about reaching them?  It's one of the topics of conversation in every listing consultation we do at GreatNest.  Before we begin marketing, we try to identify the most likely target(s) of our marketing efforts for each property.  This helps us fine tune the marketing to produce optimal results.

We have an excellent tool to aid your discovery. Check out our Market Insider where you can research recent sales, schools, community information and more. Whether you're buying a home or selling a home, our Market Insider will help you understand the impact of location.

Location - yours and the one you want to have - is real estate bedrock.  It is location that will enable you to love your home or not like it so much.  When you begin to look, or prepare to sell, spend a little time getting very clear on location.  Then call us and get moving!