Memberships Since 1995
(buy, sell rent, rebates)

What Factors Make a Great Location Great?

Published: July 15, 2014

What constitutes a "good location," and why are some areas particularly attractive to buyers and/or investors?

Inherent in the concept of a "good location" is the idea of a place where people want to live. This is probably close to shopping, top schools, recreational facilities, cultural amenities, restaurants, and transportation. In addition, it's likely safe and will have well-run public services. But while good locations may be more convenient or more attractive than others, this isn't always the case. They're not always newer (or older) either.

Following are some factors that contribute to the value of homes in a particular area. Some may surprise you.
  • Public image: Properties located in popular, prestigious, or historic locales are often valued highly because of their perceived status or reputation, or simply because there is a narrative about the area.
  • Starbucks: Buyers are usually willing to pay more for homes that have a good "walk score." That means they are within walking distance of shops, recreational venues, cafe and restaurants. People are choosy about what they want to walk to, however. Many buyers identify a nearby Starbucks (by name) as one reason to purchase a home in a particular neighborhood. The other top pick: parks.
  • Proximity to transit: Today's home buyers don't want to spend hours commuting to and from work. Gen X and Gen Y buyers, in particular, will often forgo a 3500-square-foot home in the suburbs for an 1800-square-foot property located downtown. These groups place their priorities in the ability to live closer to work, and social and cultural attractions.
  • Schools: Buyers with children prefer a location close to schools, but, interestingly, the home's value may decline if it is located too close to one.
Buyers can be a fickle lot, and today's top neighborhoods may be tomorrow's also-rans. But that said, it will still always be about "location."

No comments: