Everyone says the three most important things in real estate are Location, Location, Location. What does that mean?
One of the reasons for that is the only thing you cannot change about a property is the location. You can rebuild the whole house, or just do parts of it, but you can never change the location. When buying a home, there is much more to location than the city, neighborhood, or even the block or street. The location has a strong impact on the price of a house as well.
One thing to look for is bad locations. These are some of the things to watch out for:
- On a major road, street or intersection with lots of high-speed traffic
- Next to a freeway, expressway, or highway, where noise can be an issue
- Next to restaurants/nightlife activities
- An area with high crime rates
- A neighborhood with droping home values
- An area with schools with poor funding or academic performance
- Next to a shopping center or gas station or apartment complex (if the property is a single family home)
When you’re out looking at homes, you should take extra steps in order to get a good sense of the location. An expert Realtoris a good starting point, because they can provide insight into how location affects the value of the home. There are also steps that you can take in order to investigate the quality of a particular location.
- Take a walk around the neighborhood. You can develop a much stronger sense of the area by walking than by driving.
- Find a place to sit and observe the people in the neighborhood. It is a good idea to get a sense of your future neighbors.
- Consider the date and time. If you are looking around on a weekend, there may be some significant differences in the area when compared to a weekday. For example, if there is a school right around the corner, you can expect to see a lot more traffic, people parking on the street, or noisy kids running around on a weekday.
Remember – location is one aspect of a house that you cannot change. Once you buy a home, you have the power to do almost anything you want with it. You can put new floors in, a new roof, repaint, etc. If anything is wrong with the house itself, you can fix it. However, if there is something wrong with the quality of the location, then the only option you may have is to move.