Location, Location, Location...

This phrase is used a lot in the real estate industry and for good reason. Location can be a huge factor in either large increases or decreases in a home’s value. It is the number one rule in real estate while also often the most overlooked.


Desirable Locations

You can buy the right home in the wrong location. You can change the structure, remodel it or alter the home’s layout but you cannot move it. 


Here are some of the most desirable locations with the highest home values:


  • Areas with top-rated school districts: Homebuyers with children are concerned about their children’s education and often will pay more for a home that is located in a highly desirable school district. 
  • Recreation & nature: Homes next to the ocean, rivers, lakes or parks hold their value because of the location, providing they are not in the path of a possible natural hazard. People enjoy being by water or visually appealing settings.
  • Scenic views: Some homes sell quickly and for top dollar because they provide beautiful panoramic views of cityscapes, but even a glimpse of the ocean from one window is enough to substantiate a good location. Other sought-after views include mountains, greenbelts or golf courses. 
  • Conforming areas: People tend to gravitate toward others who share similar values and their homes reflect it. Homebuyers mostly prefer to be surrounded by similar types of properties in age and construction, where people just like them reside. 
  • Entertainment & shopping: In many cities, you will find homes that are located within walking distance of movie theaters, restaurants and boutiques are more expensive than those further outside of town. Many people would rather not drive if they can walk to nightlife. 
  • Economically stable neighborhoods: Neighborhoods that stood the test of time and weathered economic downfalls are more likely to attract buyers who want to maintain value in their homes. 
  • Public transportation, healthcare & jobs: Most people do not want to endure long commutes to work, the doctor’s office or the airport. They prefer to be located close to emergency services and conveniences, so naturally, homes in locations that shorten travel time are more desirable. 
  • In the center of the street: Some buyers prefer corner locations, but most homebuyers want to be in the middle of the street as it makes them feel less vulnerable. 


Undesirable Locations

It is almost easier to talk about what constitutes a bad location than to discuss good locations. That’s because the qualities that make a good location desirable can vary, depending on if you are looking in the city, the country or the mountains. Bad locations are easier to pinpoint. 


  • Commercial/industrial areas: Unless you live downtown, commercial buildings on your block diminish residential value. Part of the reason is that homeowners cannot control loitering. Homes next to gas stations or shopping centers are undesirable because of the noise factor, and nobody really wants to listen to truck engines idling at night or during early morning hours. 
  • Railroad tracks, freeways or under flight paths: Some city dwellers have homes close to railroad tracks and endure rumbling and other noise 24 hours a day. Excessive noise often makes buyers sell quickly, even when such homes are located in otherwise desirable areas. 
  • High crime areas: Plain and simple, people want to feel safe. When cars come and go throughout the night, and the police often visit a neighborhood, the assumption is that the area may have a crime problem. This makes buyers wary of buying homes in that location. 
  • Economically depressed areas: If owners show no pride of ownership in maintaining their homes, evidenced by lack of maintenance, poor landscaping and junk in the yard, you might think twice about moving into that area. On the other hand, some areas like this are at the center of proposed rehabilitation projects but this is never a guarantee. 
  • Close to hazards: People do not want to live next to nuclear power plants. Few homebuyers want a transformer in their yard, either. If the neighborhood was built on a landfill or was recently swampland, give that one a hard pass and move on to the next option. Tip: Always order a natural hazard report when buying a home. 


The moral of the story here is research, research, research! Always visit the neighborhood during the day and at night. With the worldwide web at your fingertips neighborhood information is easily accessible. Even when you do find a home in a desirable location at what seems like the right price, it never hurts to look at additional factors such as any new construction close by, or vacant land that could be developed in the future into something that impacts the value of your potential new home.


Homebuyers can now skip the agents and use fsboHandshake to close on their new home.