When investing in a piece of real estate, there are hundreds of things to analyze. And while the property itself is very important, every real estate investor knows that location is a key component of property valuation. Don’t get caught up in the house, apartment, or property without paying attention to location and what the community has to offer.
More Than a Piece of Land
Whether you’re investing or buying for personal reasons, it’s critical that you look at the overall picture. People want to live somewhere that’s convenient, safe, and well-rounded. Here are some of the community features you should consider whenever investing in a piece of real estate:
- Schools. Chief among important community features is a quality school system. According to a survey by Realtor.com, 91 percent of homebuyers claim school boundaries are an important aspect of the search process. Even more telling is the fact that one out of every five buyers say they are willing to pay a six to 10 percent premium for a home in the right school zone. A striking 10 percent of buyers say they would be willing to pay as much as 20 percent more on a home if it’s located in a good school district. It only makes sense then that you should consider nearby schools and zoning laws when investing in a property.
- Medical facilities. Medical facilities and hospitals are considered very important as well. Most people want to be within ten or fifteen minutes of an emergency room – and preferably a highly rated one. Other types of health care facilities, such as dentists, orthodontists, and family practices are important, too. Consider the demographic you will be selling to and what their health care needs may be.
- Fitness facilities. For families looking to live healthy lifestyles, fitness and workout facilities are extremely important. Nobody wants to drive half an hour to the nearest gym or wellness center. When investing in property, consider whether there are local sports clubs and whether they offer activities for the whole family. Specifically look at whether facilities have amenities like youth classes, physical therapy, personal instructors, and structured classes.
- Entertainment. Nobody likes to work too hard without having some fun. Are there entertainment options in the area? Residents want choices including movie theatres, bowling alleys, bars, clubs, theatres, and concert venues.
- Shopping. While shopping may be considered entertainment for some, it’s a necessity for others. Are there plenty of stores nearby to keep residents from needing to drive out of town for errands? Quality shopping centers and nearby strip malls can add value to a property.
- Sports and recreation. When the weather is nice, many families like to spend time outdoors. Living in an area with walking trails, ponds, or sports complexes can enhance the perceived value of a community.
- Public transportation. In highly congested areas or downtown districts, owning a car may not be realistic or possible. If this is the case, take the time to study public transportation and how convenient it is for residents to access subways, trains, bus routes, and more. When buying a house or apartment in the city, access to public transportation and walkability are usually near the top of every buyer’s list.
Looking at the Whole Picture
By remembering to analyze the surrounding community for the presence – or lack – of these features, you’ll ensure you’re looking at the entire picture. Most individuals want to be part of a community and your ability to pinpoint offerings like good schools, top notch medical facilities, state-of-the-art fitness facilities, quality entertainment and shopping, diverse recreational offerings, and convenient access to public transportation will be important.