Location should be your first consideration when purchasing a new home. And your second. And your third. The reasoning behind this advice is simple: In some locations, homes are desirable. In other areas, they are not. Desirable homes receive a higher demand from potential home buyers, which means you should be able to sell your property quickly. And since high demand pushes up prices, you should also be able to sell it at a good price.
Why Choose the Best Location over the Biggest House?
What is it about location that makes it so vital to your real estate selection? Put simply: it's the one variable that is out of your control. The layout, condition, and amenities of any home can be changed with a little money and imagination. You can even change the size of your house with the right permissions. The one thing you can't change? The property's location.
This is why real estate agents advise their clients to buy the worst house on the best street—you can always add value later by fixing up the property. In the meantime, you get all the community and resale benefits of a premium location.
Location Affects Quality of Life
Location is important because "home" is more than just the physical structure where you eat and sleep. The neighborhood and surrounding community have a big impact on your quality of life. For example, most people have to work, but if there are no major employers in the area, or if the public transportation is lacking, getting to work will be unnecessarily hard. You might find bargains in these areas, but the trade-off is time spent on your daily commute. For most people, time is a priceless commodity for which they are willing to pay, so a more expensive property closer to work is preferable.
Access to Jobs, Schools, and Entertainment
Well-located properties typically have good transportation infrastructure and are located near a concentration of jobs. Other sought-after attributes include a top-rated school district, low crime, and access to shops, restaurants, and entertainment. When you buy a home in a location with these features, it's usually a solid long-term investment.
A premium location is always more expensive, so for tight budgets some form of compromise is inevitable. The advice remains the same, though: always buy in the best location you can afford.