When buying real estate, which factor comes out ahead: location, or style of home?
“Location, location, location,” has always been the mantra of real estate. It makes perfect sense that the “where” of the property takes precedence over style, since location is something you can’t change. Location is also the one feature that seems to affect every other aspect of your life – the time spent commuting for business or pleasure; where the kids will go to school; daily recreation, entertainment and errands; and of course, future resale value.
However, when buying real estate you can’t discount the importance of features. While you can always renovate a home to add bedrooms and living space, not everyone wants to take on that commitment, expense and inconvenience of it all. For these home hunters, features such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, storage space and lot size matter as much as location.
The great debate continues: what’s more important when it comes to buying real estate? The style and size? Or the neighbourhood?
We polled the pros…
We asked a panel of RE/MAX Sales Associates from across Canada for their take on what is most important when buying real estate: style or location?
From a resale perspective, an appealing location is key.
“Your home is not an isolated island,” says Gerry Footz, RE/MAX Elite. “For investment purposes down the road, it might be tougher to sell a nice house in an unappealing community.”
A great neighbourhood will always maintain the value of your home. Remember that you can always upgrade the home to meet your needs, which may change over time. As your home equity and savings grow, you can renovate your starter home into the home of your dreams.
“Negative externalities of the neighbourhood can’t be immediately fixed, such as railroad tracks next door,” says Bryan Furman, RE/MAX Results Realty.
A great location is also ideal from a lifestyle point of view. Many families share a vehicle, therefore, it is incredibly important that they live within walking or cycling distance of work, schools and/or shops.
“Choosing a home that is in—or close to—the neighbourhood where you spend your time working or socializing causes less stress than having to commute,” says Karen Carter, RE/MAX Crest Realty Westside.
Although the majority of RE/MAX professionals polled said location was the most important factor to consider when buying real estate, there were a handful of respondents who argued that style and size of the home is critical to meet the needs of the homebuyer. The rationale: you live in your house every day. If the size and layout don’t suit the dwellers’ lifestyle needs, the home happiness will be short-lived.
We also asked homebuyers…
To dig a little deeper into the topic of location, we surveyed Canadian homebuyers to find out what they really want in a place to call “home.” Here’s what ranks high on their “location must-have” list: