An often repeated mantra of real estate is “Location, Location, Location.” This phrase has long held a connotation that the single greatest factor of importance when buying or selling a home is its location.
Are buyers motivated by the square footage of a home? Its layout? Its age? Its quality of finishes? Its size? Its neighborhood amenities? The answer to each of these questions? A resounding, “Yes!” However, the idea that location trumps these criteria even in 2023 is one that deserves consideration.
With the demand for home purchases still outpacing supply in most markets, buyers are finding that they sometimes have fewer options than they’d like. Why does location matter so much? Below are five factors that buyers rank as the top reasons location still reigns supreme in real estate decisions.
One reason that location continues to drive real estate decisions is simply a matter of convenient access to services and transit/transportation opportunities. Buyers cite accessibility to work, entertainment, places of worship, and proximity to restaurants, grocery stores, and medical treatment as a top priority.
Another reason that rates high on a buyer’s list of location preferences is the crime and safety factors of an area. Most buyers choose to avoid risks of burglary, theft, and other disturbances. Sites like Neighborhood Scout and Family Watchdog can often give insight into what crime ratings in a particular area are like.
For those homebuyers with children of school age, location to schools is of great concern. School ratings and reputations can be a driving force for a particular neighborhood’s appeal. Sites like Niche can offer information, ratings, and scores on area schools on topics like academics, teachers, diversity, sports, administration, clubs, and activities, as well as extensive user reviews.
The location of your home can have major implications for the future value of the home. Some neighborhoods and communities simply appreciate faster than others. Investopedia reports, “Homes in cities with little room for expansion tend to be more valuable than those in cities with plenty of room. Consider the accessibility, appearance, and amenities of a neighborhood as well as plans for development. A lot’s proximity to things like busy roadways may make it less desirable for resale.”
It Is the Only Thing That Can’t Be Changed
Finally, location is really the only component of a home that cannot be changed. You can add on square footage. You can remodel or renovate a home’s layout. You can update or remodel out-of-date finishes or fixtures. Although dramatic and of significant expense, you could even bulldoze the house and start over from scratch with a new build. The structure of a home can be adapted to fit your changing needs. The location, however, cannot.
A home’s location and how close or far away it is from important places and important people is of the utmost importance. Location impacts every area of life outside the home itself. Social and recreational activities, commute, proximity to needed goods and services– it all matters.
If you are relocating and don’t know the area well that you plan to relocate to, experts agree there are essentially six components to a good home location: proximity to community, land/lot size, neighborhood, development, amenities, and appearance. Consider your budget, cost of living in the area, job opportunities, big city vs. small town vs. rural area, culture and entertainment, climate, public transportation, school availability (including colleges and universities), and your future needs.