Home Buying Checklist: What Else Does 'Location' Mean?5/24/2018
"Location, location, location" are the cornerstones of property value and neighborhood popularity. Evaluating this seemingly-simple, triple-impact factor goes beyond merely checking out the street address.
Yes, proximity to the places you and family members regularly must or want to visit is an important factor in identifying an ideal location. However, there's more to accessing location than an address.
Neighbors may include Airbnb hosts and other home-based business owners, some of whom may conduct their ventures in ways that end up disturbing neighbors. Many municipalities and police receive complaints from homeowners concerned about what businesses are doing around their property.
Schools particularly popular ones, can be a big influence on a location decision for those with children to educate.
Transportation carries different importance for different buyers. Have public transit and road systems kept pace with rising population in the area? Are neighborhood-changing transportation projects like rapid transit scheduled to begin in the next year or so? Will the bulk of related construction stress fall near this property?
Infrastructure is an often-overlooked factor. How recently have bridges and main roads, essential for access to the area and downtown, been up-dated and up-graded? Have water and sewage
services been upgraded to serve growing populations? Or, will you face months, if not years, of "under construction" streets around your home?
Water Supply and shortages can be an issue. Droughts seem more common and last longer. How prepared is the community to handle water shortage? Do summer shortages affect lawn watering and landscaping, making local drought-resistant plants and no-grass front yards essential? Are bush fires a recurring threat?
Flooding in low-lying areas and drainage basins can be a threat. Could rising water plague that real estate or the immediate area or access? How affordable and attainable is property
flood insurance in this area? When was the last time flooding was an issue and what happened during clean up? If the property is waterfront, is shore erosion or rising water an issue? Is the waterfront often fouled with dead algae or other smelly matter?
Traffic is more of a concern in urban areas. Is the residential area under traffic calming and speed-management strategies to reduce rush-hour traffic through the area? If there are speed bumps, how are fire and emergency vehicles affected? Is there a plan to add or remove traffic calming and why?
Airplanes can disrupt family life even if a property is not close to an airport. The increase in frequency of planes taking off and landing at all hours has many neighborhoods, even those distant from airports, plagued by airplane noise. Circling a city to land, means planes travel over many homes drowning out conversations and disrupting sleep. Just popping in for an open house or viewing may not make you aware of a noisy flight-path problem.
Landscaping and mature trees enhance neighborhoods. Large trees can present hazards as they age. Are trees downed in storms replaced? What invader species are working their way through the area to undermine outdoor enjoyment?
Pollution — air, noise, or water —is a problem in some areas? What is being done to reduce the ill-effects for residents?
Taxes are a key location-driven affordability factor. All of the above can impact how quickly property taxes and municipal fees go up. What's the pattern of increase in the area? How does local government raise the funds it needs to maintain quality of life in the area?
SOURCE: REALTY TIMES - PJ WADE