Location, Location, Location. How many times have you heard those words? They cannot be spoken enough. The location of your home will affect its value the most. Why? Because the better the location of your home, the higher its value.
What is a good location? One criteria of a good location can be its overall uniformity. Neighborhoods where homes are uniform in price are most preferred. The value of these homes is mainly within a general range (typically 10-20%) of each other. For example, in a particular neighborhood, the homes may vary in price from $80-100,000, not $40-150,000.
Neighborhoods that run the gamut in price range are not the most desirable. Higher priced homes will raise the value of lower priced homes. Conversely, the lower priced homes will bring down the value of the higher priced homes. Usually, these neighborhoods have few restrictions, less uniformity, making the higher priced homes overbuilt for the location.
Several years ago, a couple bought a modest home in a modest neighborhood. Throughout the six years that they lived in the home, they made several improvements, extravagant ones. When it came time for them to sell, they were disappointed that the $40,000 worth of improvements would only net them an additional $10,000! They had definitely overbuilt for the neighborhood!
In many new subdivisions, there often are restrictions known as covenants (written agreements) that help insure uniformity within a specific neighborhood. Some covenants can stipulate: minimum square footage; exterior material of the home (brick, siding, cedar shake roof, etc); attached garages; prohibition of fences, recreational vehicles, boats, etc.
I remember hearing of a young couple who purchased a lot within a new subdivision. Since their finances were limited, they intended to build an average-size home of approximately 1500 square feet. Unfortunately, they never built because the covenants for this particular subdivision prevented the construction of any home of less than 2000 square feet.
In other examples, many people have moved into subdivisions thinking they can park their recreational vehicles in their driveway or install visible fences for their dogs and children only to find they could not! As a buyer, you need to know what, if any, covenants exist. It is far better to know the restrictions before you buy rather than be surprised after.
Another consideration of desirable location is its geographical position. Is the home located on a busy street or near an airport, industrial site, or apartment complex? Is there noise from a nearby railroad, major highway, or school? Are shopping facilities within a comfortable distance of the home? Do the neighborhood schools have high ratings? Is there a view? Is the home located on a wooded lot? Is it a waterfront home? Is it near a landfill or high power lines?
Curb appeal is also important. Is the neighborhood visually pleasant to the eye? Are the neighbors’ homes and yards well maintained, or are there junk cars and debris near the home? Are the streets well paved or full of potholes?
Remember, that as a buyer, if something bothers you about the location of the home you are about to buy, this same defect in locale will most likely bother your future buyer when it is time for you to sell. I have sold many homes in undesirable locations, but each time, the price reflected any drawback.
Staying in Touch, Joyce Freese