What’s The Definition Of A Good Location For Your Next Move?
Real estate moguls like to repeat the mantra, “location, location, location.” But have you ever really sat down and thought about what it means in the context of your life?
It’s an incredibly important decision. If you can find a property in the right area, you’ll improve your quality of life and enhance your future wealth too.
A good location needs to offer several things. Hitting one or two home location features is okay. But if you can do all of them, then you automatically put yourself in a much better position.
But before we get started, a side note: ultimately the best location for your next home is an area that you love. So don’t feel pressured to choose somewhere that adheres to all of the following criteria. You want a place that fundamentally suits you.
So what are the criteria that define a good location? Take a look at the following:
The Centrality Of The Location
Great locations tend to be central in relation to other areas. In San Francisco, being central has a very specific meaning – the property is in the Bay Area. But in other locations, it might not be as clear-cut. “Central” could mean that the property provides good access to inspiring countryside.
Typically, you want to find somewhere that is “central” for the kinds of reasons people want to move to the area. In the city, being central means being near to places of work. In rural locations, being central often means being closer to sites of natural beauty.
Location also depends heavily on the surroundings or the local neighborhood. While the lot is important, never quite matters as much as the context. After all, you can make whatever changes you like to your home. The same, however, isn’t true of somebody else’s.
When looking for a suitable neighborhood, you’ll need to consider multiple factors. Top of the list should be accessibility. Can you easily get from the neighborhood to other parts of town? Are there good public transport links, roads or cycle lanes that you can use?
You’ll also want to consider things like the quality of the landscaping. Look to see whether there is evidence of anyone maintaining public landscaping features, such as trees lining the road or grass verges. Also, see how long homes on sale in the area stay on the market. Popular areas tend to have exceptionally high turnover rates, meaning that properties don’t last on the market for long.
You’ll also want to spend some time investigating the quality of local amenities. Schools are the number one consideration for families. However, if you’re a young professional, other things like bars and restaurants might matter to you more.
Lastly, you’ll want to consider the level of safety that the neighborhood offers. These days, most areas where people live have low crime. However, if you move to a dangerous area, you may become a victim.
The Risk Of Development
New developments can have both a positive and negative impact on the value of homes. In urban locations, developments are usually welcome. That’s because they add new amenities that attract wealthier people to the area. House prices typically rise in these situations because of the centrality reason discussed above.
Development, however, can also lead to lower valuations. This usually happens when new developments destroy natural beauty or block views. Most middle-class people who live in suburbia don’t want to live beside high-rise blocks.
Before you move, you’ll also want to consider lot location.
Lot location is a little different from the neighborhood. It’s about precisely where your lot sits on the estate. Naturally, some lots are better than others. In general, those close to the main road are less desirable and often carry significant discounts. Those tucked away down quiet roads at the rear of the development are typically more valuable.
Lots also become less valuable if they back onto the commercial property. Again, most people don’t want to live in properties that sit directly beside loud machinery. Gas stations can lower property values tremendously, so beware of buying a home close to these.
The Daily Commute
Before you move into any property, you’ll want to consider the length of the daily commute. The shorter it is, the happier your life will be. You don’t want to spend two hours every day going to and from work. That’s time that you could spend pursuing other things in your life.
If you’re worried about location, you can talk to moving companies about it. They usually have a good idea of how long your commute will take if you move. You don’t want a location that requires you to drive in two hours of heavy traffic every day.
The Value Of The Property
Lastly, you’ll want to consider the value of properties in your immediate vicinity. Generally speaking, the lower the value of homes in the neighborhood today, the better.
In most situations, property values will reflect the desirability of the area. However, the market isn’t perfect. Sometimes perfectly decent areas have lower than expected property prices. And these are major opportunities for buyers looking to pick up bargains.
If you notice that the prices for homes are a little lower than you might expect, think about why. Sometimes, it is because the market has made a mistake, but you need to be careful. There are many reasons why home prices might be lower than normal in a particular area. For instance, the neighborhood might have high radon levels, making it dangerous to walk on the ground floor. It might also be on a floodplain that’s prone to flooding in the near future.
Keeping all of these factors in mind will increase the chance of finding a property that meets your location requirements. You want a place that ticks all the right boxes. If you can, try to prioritize location over the house itself. A beautiful home in a foul location isn’t good. You need good transport, low crime and plenty of local amenities to keep you busy.