Location Location Location  There Is More To This Saying Than Meets The EyeLocation Location Location There Is More To This Saying Than Meets The Eye

Over the years, you have probably heard the saying, ?Location, Location, Location?.

It is true that location is a key element in selecting real estate. It is important to the resale value of a property to be in a desirable location. But there is a lot that goes into making ?Location? that desirable entity that it has become.

Let's take a look at a few factors that not only make up a desirable location but will help you to select a location that is right for you?

First off, I suggest having your Exclusive Buyers Broker compile reports for closed sales in any area you are currently considering. This will be very helpful in determining a trend in resale values and determining desirable locations. These reports help give you an idea of what you may expect several years up the road as far as the potential appreciation of the property you are considering. An area that shows a steady increase in sales prices for properties sold over the last 3-5 years would be a good area to delve into.

When looking for a home, it is preferable to locate a property not only in a nice residential area, but one that is also close to commercial and business districts as well. Having a nice balance of residential, commercial, and business not only provides potential jobs for the residents but income to the city as well which could be used for added services or maintenance and upgrades of the area roadways.

Deciding on which community you want to live in is your next step.

Let's check out the curb appeal.

First and foremost, take a drive through a community that interests you. Look at the homes around you. Is there a sense of pride of ownership among the residents? Are the lawns neatly mowed and trimmed or are some unkempt? Is there a continuity of architecture among the homes? Are some properties in disrepair? What about the neighborhood streets? Are they well lit, nicely maintained? Potholes or poor drainage are signs that the community does not get the attention it needs. Any of these findings could adversely affect property values. What amenities does the community offer for you or your family? For example, having a community pool, golf course, clubhouse, or tennis courts would be nice if you enjoy participating in any of these on a social basis. However, these amenities come at a price and are usually paid for in an annual fee. Check to see if there is a homeowners association and if it is mandatory for all residents.

Okay, so far let's say you like what you have seen. Let's talk safety.

Where is the nearest fire station? What type of rating does it have? How far from the property is the closest fire hydrant? Knowing the location of and distance to both fire stations and hydrants is important as it will affect the rating you get and how much you pay for your homeowners insurance. Also, note locations of other fire stations. Are they located strategically enough to provide additional response if an emergency arose?

What is the crime rate? Check with the local sheriff's office or police station and see what the statistics are for the community and city you are considering. This will also affect your potential resale values.

Schools are another important factor. The better the rating, the better property values will tend to be. If you have children, there are a number of things that will affect where you buy. Will your children be able to attend the school closest to the prospective home? If not, why. Are the schools in that area over crowded? Are there plans to build additional schools to support the growing population?

Many areas now allow school choice. However, you must sign up for the school of choice ahead of the coming school year. If you are relocating during the school term, check to see if there are waiting lists. It is possible that a student will move out of the area and a slot become available for your child. Check to see how the local students have scored on the standardized tests? You want your children to get the best education possible. You may obtain free testing results for schools in your area by looking on the internet. Simply search for 'standardized test results city state? and replace the words city and state with the one you are concerned with.

Does the community have activities such as youth sponsored sports? Are there facilities such as a park or gym nearby that you or your family could benefit from? A community that has a nice blend parks and activities for young children, teenagers, adults and seniors is a community worth looking into.

So, next let's take a look at the property taxes. Not every area is taxed the same. One county could pay much higher property taxes compared to another. This may affect the way you view a potential property and its desirability. After all, taxes generally tend to increase as time goes by. Know your budget and take the area property taxes into consideration. Remember, the property taxes reported on the house you are considering are based on the present value of the property. Unless the owner is selling at a great loss, you can be assured that the property taxes will increase after closing due to the properties increased value resulting from the sale.

Another factor to consider is the price per square foot. How are various properties in different communities comparing to one another in their price per square foot? I would not base my decision to purchase on this fact alone, but it is one you may wish to consider. Many times, properties that are located in areas of higher taxes actually have lower price per square foot ratios.

When you take all these items into consideration (closed sales in the area, pride of ownership, location of emergency personnel, community activities and resources, rating of area schools) you come to understand just how important location can be.

Taking the time to do a little research will can make the difference between simply buying a property or making a wise real estate investment.

Next we will look more closely at the property itself and discover how different features can affect property values. However, that will have to wait until my next article.

Best of luck in all your real estate endeavors.

by Edward Blinn
References and Bibliography

?2006. Edward K. Blinn, P. A. is an Exclusive Buyers Broker at RE/MAX Sundance Realty in Bonita Springs, Florida who knows the value of SW Florida real estate, area communities, and their amenities. http://www.FloridaBuyersBroker.com

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