(StatePoint) If you are in the market for a home, you are probably weighing a range of factors, including size, amenities and architectural style. But experts say that the old adage “location, location, location” should never stray from one’s thoughts.
“Location not only affects your daily life in countless ways, but it also has an unquestionable influence on the current and future value of your home,” says Charlie Young, president and chief executive officer for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.
Young points to The Coldwell Banker Home Listing Report, billed as the most extensive home price comparison tool in the US, as a good place to begin your research. The report, which can be found by visiting bit.ly/coldwellbanker2016HLR, analyzes the average listing price of more than 50,000 four-bedroom, two bathroom homes on ColdwellBanker.com between January 2016 and June 2016 in more than 2,000 markets.
The findings reveal that while the national average listing price for a sample size home of $320,120 can buy a similar home in nearly 1,300 markets across the country, there are some major outliers on both ends of the price spectrum. In Detroit, the country’s most affordable market, the average listing price of a sample size home is less than $65,000. However, in Saratoga, California -- the most expensive market -- that same size home costs nearly $2.5 million, fueled by the region’s high-tech enterprise.
But Young says not to view home prices as a yardstick for quality of life, “You can find a great place to live in most markets. In fact, Detroit has been experiencing a renaissance in the last few years. An invigorated community, culture and a resurgence of young professionals, is making it an affordable, viable city in which to settle down and build roots.”
Another major location factor homebuyers should take into consideration is the local school system. Even if you don’t have a child in the family, schools can play a major role in home value.
But remember, location matters beyond pure finances and can affect every aspect of your life, like the length of your commute, the presence of parks, the walkability of the surrounding area, and the relative safety of the neighborhood.
Other factors to consider may include doing a bit of research. How large is the community and does it fit with the type of place in which you want to raise your family? Will your new home be situated near key shopping destinations for daily staples like groceries, dry cleaning and other necessary services? Will your new community wind up costing you more in local taxes or other municipal fees? A bit of advance checking can help you make the best choice for your needs.
So while you are counting bathrooms, admiring a newly shingled roof or imagining yourself enjoying a prospective property’s pool, don’t forget location and its potential impact on your lifestyle and your wallet.