We’ve all heard the old real estate saying, “The three most important things in real estate are location, location and location.” I couldn’t agree with this more as this was one of the determining factors in every home my wife and I have purchased. This would also explain the huge growth in map based mls listings web sites.
I can never figure out what would cause anyone to buy a home on a busy road or on the edge of apartment city, yet some people do. The fact is, not all home buyers look at a “location” the same way. Fortunately, because of survey research, we are able to put the proximity of different features to a neighborhood into a rank order from most preferred to least preferred.
This is good to know for both Realtors and home buyers. It’s good for home buyers because if you are planning to sell your home someday, the closer your home is to the top items on this list, the more likely you are to sell your home for a decent price in a reasonable amount of time.
This is also good for real estate agents to know when marketing for listings as the closer their new listing is to the top locations on this list, the more likely they will see a quick sale with potentially less price negotiation.
The following is a list of things home buyers are most interested in living close to. The percentages are for first time home buyers. There is also a cool infographic at the end of the list:
- Shops and services (78%)
I’m a little surprised that this is #1as in most metro areas, most suburbs are within 15-30 minutes of decent shopping. Not sure I need to be any closer than this.
- Their job (75%)
This is one I’ve never cared much about because in the 20+ years I’ve lived in the Twin Cities, I’ve worked for a number of different companies located all over the metro. If I have to commute an hour each way for the best job, I’ll do it. In this job market who wouldn’t do it.
- In a very good school district (66%)
This was one of the top factors for my wife and I when we bought our second home. Ironically, 15 years later, we are open enrolling are kids in a neighboring school district.
- Parks and other open spaces (61%)
This can be very important especially if you live in the city. For my family, our home sits on a ridge which makes our beautiful yard useless for kids sports. Thankfully we are within walking distance to parks and schools with tons of wide open spaces.
- Family and/or relatives (61%)
Really! You want to live how close to your evil mother in-law?
- Restaurants, nightlife and other activities (51%)
Having a cool neighborhood watering hole within walking distance is a great benefit. It can be a great way to socialize with the neighbors and if you’ve had one too many beverages and your brain hasn’t shut down yet, you can walk home to be safe.
- Easy access to public transportation (45%)
I think the only reason this one doesn’t rank higher is because many Americans have a love affair with their vehicle and the freedom it gives them to come and go as they please. If gas gets back to $4.00+ per gallon, we will definitely see this factor moving up.
- Recreational activities like golf (36%)
My brother moved from Minnesota to Hood River, Oregon so he could have the ability to wind surf and downhill ski in the same day if he wanted to. Kind of an extreme example but it makes the point.
The infographic below highlights this information and other factors that first time home buyers consider when purchasing a home. Click on infographic to enlarge.
Sources: Coldwell Banker, National Association of Realtors