Despite a continuously changing market, the old adage about the 3 most important factors in valuing real estate still rings true: location, location, location! Location is critically important when considering the investment you’re ultimately making in your new home, and since you not only want that investment to accommodate your individual needs but also to appreciate over time, the location of your home should be a key focus. While unfavorable economic conditions will affect all real estate values, homes located in desirable areas simply hold their value better. When scouring the market for a new home, you’ll notice the resiliency of home prices in good locations, a clear sign that your surroundings matter. So how do you choose a location? Consider the following tips:
- Pay attention on your drive in. It’s certainly tempting to occupy your mind during long car rides with your favorite songs. Or maybe you find yourself distracted by your children bickering in the back seat. But don’t forget to look around! One of the best ways to evaluate location is on your drive in. Everyday scenery should factor into your decision. Maybe the nearby dump didn’t faze you at first, but is it something you want to see each and every day? When you ultimately sell your home, how will a future buyer perceive it? Don’t overlook your potential surroundings.
- Don’t assume things will change. What you drive past today might very well be there in five years. Progress is often slow, so while it’s easy to explain away undesirable aspects of location by convincing yourself things will change, fight the urge to do so. Nearby major roadways running through your yard generally aren’t relocated and typically don’t become less traveled. Vacant buildings may take a while to find occupants or be improved. The diesel trucks leaving the recycling facility across the street today will likely be just as loud a year from now. Assume that the way things appear now is the way they’ll appear for the next five years. Are you comfortable with it?
- Account for your family’s future needs…odds are, they are similar to the family that may purchase your home in the future. How smart would it be to avoid saving up for your daughter’s college tuition because she’s only two-years-old? You’ll find yourself crossing off dates on your calendar faster than you’d have thought, so remember to think ahead. She may be in a crib today but is your yard big enough for a jungle gym or trampoline in a couple of years? How about a swimming pool? Are there other families nearby? Parks and recreation? Places to shop? Cultural interests? How is the school system? When considering location, in addition to your current needs, also weigh your family’s future needs to avoid selecting a location that fails to allow for your family’s growth. While every family is unique in its own way, space, utility, surroundings and convenience carry universal appeal and will only serve to enhance your enjoyment and the long-term value of your home.
Keep these tips in mind when researching neighborhoods and communities you’ll potentially call home. The area you live in, and the people and places nearby, play significant roles in enhancing your quality of life, and ultimately in preserving long-term value.
Robert Adinolfi is the Vice President of Land Acquisitions & Project Development for Renaissance Properties, a New Jersey centered, multi-faceted luxury residential and commercial real estate development firm. For more information about Renaissance Properties, please visit renaissanceprop.com or find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/renaissancepropertiesinc.