When it comes to buying a home, location is an important, but sometimes overlooked, value. The mantra “Location, location, location!” is truly key. There are four elements of location to keep in mind: convenience, efficiency, schools and resale value.
A property that is “convenient” may mean something different to everyone, yet it all relates to overall quality-of-life. Consider what factors are important given the context of your surroundings. Most home buyers are looking to be in close proximity to shops, transportation, dining and entertainment. That said, an urban homeowner without a car may want to be within walking distance, whereas suburban homeowners with transportation may prefer less congestion and pedestrian-friendly shopping areas. Once you venture too far away from what is deemed convenient, the more it impacts other areas of your day-to-day.
The importance of distance to schools, work and home is not only convenient, it is also more efficient. According to the National Association of Realtors’ home buyer profile, 57% of buyers would forego a home with a larger yard in favor of a shorter commute. If you purchase a property close to work, not only will you save time, the financial burdens of gas and wear-and-tear on your vehicle are also lessened. Over the years, improved efficiency will positively impact your bottom line.
Families with school-age children look for quality schools which are close to home. Parents may desire a variety of options when checking out schools in an area such as access to public, private or charter schools, and opportunities for kids to get engaged in activities such as sports, the arts or other programs. GreatSchools.org provides reviews, demographic information and snapshots of schools in your target market.
While you may be weighing the cost vs. benefit of living outside a main town or city, experienced real estate agents like McCleary Group can assist clients with assessing the true value of a home. While home prices tend to be higher in prime locations, the future return on your investment can be much greater than properties which are not as convenient, efficient or close to schools for future homeowners. So, while you want to be conscious of property taxes and not overpaying, considering an well-valued home, or even a fixer-upper in a great location, will benefit you in the long run.
By identifying what is important in your home search up front, the more productive you can be with your real estate agent as you tour homes for sale in your area.