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If you were to ask pretty much any Realtor, one working in almost any area, to list off the most important things a property for sale should have in order to be most appealing to buyers and ‘location’ is definitely going to be among their criteria.
But why does location matter so much? Surely a great home is a great home, no matter where it is located? Often, not so much. After all it is not easy, inexpensive or even practical to move a home and for many people even if a property is basically a mini Versailles if it’s located in an undesirable area it’s a no go.
One common piece of advice that Realtors (myself included when appropriate) give to their clients looking to get the biggest ‘bang for their buck’ is to buy the ‘worst house’ – one that needs some TLC to be truly great – on the best street. Why? Because taking on such a home and then investing the time and money to fix it up will very often bring a fabulous return on their investment.
So, having established that location is indeed very important to most home buyers what is it exactly that makes a certain street, a certain neighbourhood, ‘good’ in the first place? Here are some of the major characteristics that many associate with the concept:
We all know that the world has changed and that, no matter where you go, no neighbourhood can ever call itself crime free, even the very ritziest ones. However, people do want to live in an area where they can feel as safe as possible in their homes and they are often willing to pay extra in order to do so. We’re actually rather lucky here in the Kitchener/Waterloo area though as there are still many great communities where neighbours know one another and can be relied on to help one another out while also being very accepting of newcomers.
Even if you are shopping for a home as a childless person with no actual plans to have a family, school districts are still something to think about. Families looking to buy a second (or even first) home often look at what schools a home for sale is served by as a major priority and will search for homes based upon their preferences. So, this means that the better the school district, the higher the property values are likely to be. Found a home you love but the school district is subpar? While that does not necessarily have to be a deal breaker you should be aware of that issue if you are thinking resale down the road may be a possibility.
Good Access to Great Shopping, Restaurants and Community Facilities
Most people like to live in a place where there are some good amenities nearby. The closer a home is to things like a shopping centre (although not necessarily a big mall) great cafes and restaurants, parks etc. the more likely it is that someone will be willing to willing to pay a little more for a home.
It does not really matter where a home is if it has some kind of lake access or waterfront view then there are always going to be buyers willing to pay a little (or even a lot) more for that pleasure. And if the home happens to be a little distanced from its neighbours and boasts great views as well as that easy water access then there’s a good chance it has the potential to be a little goldmine in terms of resale value.