We’ve all heard the saying the real estate is all about “location, location, location” but I disagree. Real estate is about location, timing, and feel.
Location is obviously one of the most important factors in real estate, for a few reasons- first of all because you can’t change your neighbors. This is the main reason HOA’s are so popular now. Nobody wants to live next door to the guy fixing his cars on his front lawn, the huge atennas all over over their home, or the freshly-painted pink house. And different areas are imore sought-after and desirable (by the beach, city/mountain/lake views) and some cities are more desireable because of weather or crime rates or culture. Other factors about the location of the home within a city add to it’s desireability- the distance to hospitals, schools, stores, freeway access, etc.
But timing can be as important. If you buy in a hot seller’s market you’ll pay a premium. If you buy when homes are sitting for months and the market is soft, you’ll be more likely to negotiate a great deal. In a recent post I discuss the natural cycle of the real estate market and this is what timing is all about. If you bought in Vegas four years ago and sold last year you probably made a ton of money no matter the condition your home was in or whether it was next to the toxic waste dump and railroad tracks.
What I mean by feel is the experience you have walking through a property. The floorplan, the condition of the home, the building materials, the finish work. There are hundreds of little things that can affect how you feel about a home. Maybe the colors remind you of your childhood home or you’ve always wanted vaulted ceilings. Or maybe you notice cobwebs in the corners or the scent reminds you of an ex-boyfriends house. This is why people hire home stagers and interior decorators and this is also why Feng-Shui is so popular.
Each of these factors have an impact on the investment of your home. I tell my buyer clients that I’ll give them all the information I can about a home’s value and investment potential because their natural instinct is to focus on the question of which house is most likely a good home.