Location, location, location; it’s the most important aspect of any real estate deal. It’s been said that buying the worst house on the best street is the best way to buy, but no one wants the worst house, right? Additionally, not everyone can afford to buy the worst house and fix it up, nor does everyone even have the desire to go around fixing up houses that are not in the best state just so that they can have a good investment in their real estate deal. Unfortunately, that’s usually how it works. The worst thing you can do is own the best house in the neighborhood, because there is nothing comparable. When there is nothing comparable, you’re left feeling as if your house is amazing – and it likely is – but the chance you will actually sell it for what it is worth is slim in that condition.
So how do you know if the house you’re buying or building is in a good location? What even makes for a good location? There are so many things to consider here that it’s not even possible to list them all, but you have to ask yourself some questions before you buy property to build or just buy a house in any neighborhood. Here’s how to know if your real estate investment is a good one, or if you’ll eventually find yourself sitting a home that’s not worth enough to sell based solely on location.
What are the other houses in the neighborhood like?
If all the houses in the same neighborhood are older, in need of repair, have no or very few upgrades, or aren’t all that impressive, chances are good that you’re probably not going to want to buy a gorgeous brand new home there. Even if this house has all the upgrades, it’s significantly bigger, it has everything you might want; nothing is comparable and it probably won’t appraise for much more than any other houses.
Is it close to anything?
Here’s a situation you might want to consider. Let’s say you have a $250,000 budget for a house and you have to decide between two. You find one that’s pretty far from anything in the city or town, but it has all the upgrades you want in a home. You find another at the same price that might have more space, but not as many upgrades, but it’s right down the street from shopping and restaurants and just located in a more central location to all the things you enjoy doing.
Which will you choose? We know you’ll choose the one near everything. After all, you can add granite countertops or wood floors to a new home, but you can’t add a city to the neighboring streets of a home that doesn’t already have that in place.
What are the neighbors like?
When you have a budget and you find a bunch of houses all in the same price range in various neighborhoods, which will you choose? The house on a street that is filled with houses with nice landscaping and well-kept homes, or the one that has a neighbor with multiple cars up on blocks, trash in the yard, grass that’s five feet tall and pretty much anything else you might imagine makes the worst neighbor ever?
Believe it or not, you might not care what the neighbors look like, and you might be willing to overlook that for a piece of property you like, but other buyers might not. Other buyers might prefer the better street; the one that doesn’t make you cringe when you drive by.
Are there good schools?
Another very important factor to consider is whether or not a neighborhood is in a good school district. You might not have kids or care, but other people might be turned off by the fact that you are far from good schools or located somewhere that requires their kids go to a school that’s not rated very well. Remember, location is important for parents who have kids that want to go to school.
What does everyone else say about the area?
A great way to get to know whether or not a community is a good one in terms of location and future profit on your home is whether or not other people live there or if they think highly of it. If almost everyone you meet is unsure where your community is, it might be a bad sign. If people love the area and have nothing but good things to say about it everytime you mention it, chances are it’s a good buy. Why does this matter? It matters because people look more at homes in locations they know exist and they are familiar with. If you don’t buy a house in a place people are familiar with, you might never even show it when it comes to selling at some point down the road.
Photo by Getty Images