I recently read an article from Trulia describing facts and fictions regarding “rule of thumb” concepts about real estate. In particular Real Estate Rule of Thumb #1: Location, location, location. So… what does “Location, location, location” really mean?
Fact or Fiction?
Fact. No question about it. One of the elemental truths of real estate is that almost everything can be changed about a home… except its location. By the same token, location is essential to our ability to afford and enjoy living in a place, given that it impacts everything we do, including where our children go to school (and whether or not we have to pay for it), how much time and money we spend getting to and from work, our safety, the beauty, quiet and convenience of our surroundings, and the recreational, shopping, and cultural options which do – or don’t – become part of our daily lives.
Location impacts whether you hear train tracks or birdsong in the morning, whether your neighbors bring you cookies or bring you drama when you move in. It can even impact your career and job prospects. The deep, numerous impacts of where we live on our experience of a home, in turn, give location a powerful role in driving whether we can resell our homes, and for how much.
The critical importance of location is one real estate rule of thumb that grows more true over time. However, the specifics of what makes a location desirable have evolved and continue to evolve rapidly. For example, urban homes with super-short commutes to bustling job centers have grown more and more interesting to some buyers as their prices have come down and gas prices have gone up. Another example might be the family that wants a smaller community with closer ties and smaller class room sizes in the schools. They may be willing to drive farther if the lifestyle they seek is offered outside of these busier urban centers. Perhaps a couple wants less noise and less hustle and bustle and a closer proximity to nature.
One of the first questions I like to ask buyers, especially when they are not sure where they want to buy is, “What do you like to do in your free time?” or “What sorts of activities do enjoy?” The answers to these questions help me pinpoint the homes to show to these prospective buyers.
So, YES, location, location, location is important but it is an individual decision and not necessarily defined by one specific spot alone. When you are ready to move, ask yourself some specific questions about your lifestyle, your family’s needs, your community desires. Your answers will help you define what is important to you about YOUR location needs. If you need a little help doing this reality check exercise, contact me and I’ll walk you through the important questions, and then I’ll walk you through a few houses I think will best suit your needs.