As you look for the right home to buy, you know you should consider the house layout, size, number of rooms, condition of the house, etc. But, are you also considering its location? This is important for you, since its proximity to schools, work, stores and restaurants may affect your quality of life. After all, you probably would be willing to compromise on yard size over a shorter commute from work. I know I would… especially with today’s gas prices!
Location isn’t only a matter that affects your quality of life, but it also affects resale…BIG TIME. Even though you may have plans to stay in your home for many, many years, this may not be the case. Life happens and you may end up selling this house sooner than you thought. If this is the case, knowing that your home will sell fast is a huge help.
Do Home Buyers Prefer Location Over a Bigger Home?
Ok, so now that you’re thinking like the next big real estate mogul and considering the resale of a potential home for you, let’s look at recent data that tells us what types of communities are most popular with homebuyers. This may actually help you when making a decision on buying a house based on resale potential, rather than just about your current needs.
According to the NAR Community Preference Survey of 2013, most Americans prefer houses with easy walks to schools, stores and restaurants over houses with large yards, but where you have to drive to go to schools, stores and restaurants (55% to 40%). An even larger majority prefers houses with smaller yards but a shorter commute to work over houses with larger yards but a longer commute to work (57% to 36%). However, when given a choice between a detached, single-family house that requires driving to shops and a longer commute to work and an apartment or condo within walking distance to shops and short commute to work, 57% of respondents picked the single family home over an apartment/condo.
What does this survey tell you? Well, it says that Americans prefer walkable communities, but only to a certain degree. Whenever home buyers have the option between two homes, a smaller one in a walkable community and a larger one in the suburbs, the smaller one is chosen by more home buyers. However, if there’s a choice between an apartment/condo in a walkable community and a larger home in the suburbs, more buyers will pick the house in the suburbs.
Keep in mind that preferences change according to many factors, such as the local market, and even gas prices. In other words, even though this survey tells you that in today’s market, you’re better off buying a smaller home in a more walkable community (in terms of resale), this may change depending on outside factors. So, don’t feel like you MUST follow this information and sacrifice space for walkability, just for resale potential. But, as you make such an important decision of buying a home, think about your current needs as well as any potential moves in the future in order to help you choose the right house for you.