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Buying a Bad Location

Posted by Rachel R. Vanderveen on Thursday, July 4th, 2013 at 1:16pm.

There’s a reason why REALTORS always talk about the big three L’s: location, location, location. It really is (or should be) your most important consideration when buying a home. Buying a home with a good location usually means that you’ll love your home for longer, and it will suit your needs better. Although you may not care very much about backing onto a gas station, the constant activity, and teenage loiterers will most likely get to you eventually, and if they don’t, the price we have to list at when you want to move away or upgrade will definitely get to you.



Houses with a bad location gain less market value than houses with a better location on the block. So if your friend with a normal house, normal location, and normal lot gains 5% value over 3 years, your home that backs onto Deerfoot or a gas station will gain slightly less. Homes with great locations gain more over time.

Houses with great locations sell faster and for more money, where as their less desirable colleagues with nasty views often sit untouched for a very long time unless priced very competitively.

What is a bad location? A bad location is anything that backs, sides, or fronts onto a busy road (the busier the worse), a gas station or shopping district or a multi-family dwelling etc. A bad location can also be a bad lot, like perhaps no yard because house and garage completely cover it, or a funny shaped lot where you can’t do a lot with the space.

A good location, in contrast, is something that backs, sides, or fronts onto a park, reserve, treed area, field, ravine or any other beauty. It can also be something with great views of the city, the country, rolling hills and/or mountains. Great locations can also mean big, huge lots or lots with lots of privacy whether the privacy is from large mature trees or the simple situation of the house upon the lot. Good locations can also mean proximity to places people want to be: hospitals, schools, bus stations (this one is a tricky one, you want to be close to the bus or trains, but not too close!)

What do you do if you have a bad location and you want to sell? Well, it certainly a case by case situation. If your house looks onto something less than desirable. We’ll do everything we can to stage the interior and exterior so that your better highlights stand out. We help draw the eye and the heart of the buyer to notice the things we want them to notice, rather than what we don’t want them to see.

If you have a home in a bad location, don’t spend a whole lot of money making renovating it. Yes, put down some nice tile, but don’t fly in Italian slate for 4 times the price. Upgrades on homes in bad locations tend to carry less value than homes with great locations.

Selling a home with a bad location is a lot of precise work, and it’s really like real estate surgery. If you have a home in a bad location, be sure to give us a call so that we can begin to discuss your options.

Rachel Vanderveen

The Vanderveen Team
Maxwell South Star Realty
Phone: 403.253.5678 Fax: 403.592.6736

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