Published 28 May 2019
There’s hardly a person with even a passing interest in real estate who isn’t aware of the three most important rules of buying and selling: location, location, location. But is the location of a property really that important? Almost without exception, the answer is “yes.”
Although a large number of home buyers rank property location at or near the top of their list of important considerations, many are unaware to what extent a property’s locale can impact its price or marketability.
Speaking from a national standpoint, properties in conforming areas with no nearby negative influences usually benefit from a higher level of demand. Higher demand, in turn, often results in higher prices and faster sales. On the other side of the coin, properties impacted by negative external forces usually sell for less and stay on the market much longer than their lesser-impacted peers.
Negative external forces are those that impact values without actually being part of the property itself. Examples include large overhead power lines, flight patterns, busy streets or intersections, railroad tracks, retail centers, and odor or noise producing operations such as dairies, sewage treatment plants and industrial centers.
Properties in Las Cruces are also impacted by these external forces, but to a much lesser degree than those in the national market. The most notable difference is in the price buyers are willing to pay. Unlike national-market buyers, who generally devalue “stigmatized” real estate, Las Cruces buyers make almost no distinction between impacted and non-impacted properties.
Impacted Las Cruces properties do, however, stay on the market longer than their conforming competitors. Most often, this is simply a result of a lack of demand. A much smaller percentage of buyers would opt for purchasing under a landing pattern, for example, than would choose a similar home in an unaffected area. An impacted property must, therefore, remain on the market longer in order to produce a sufficient number of showings to generate an offer.
This same-price phenomenon may have a limited life, however. As more and more people relocate to our area from different parts of the country, the profile of the average buyer will continue to change. And with the change will come more of the “national mindset,” meaning that homebuyers from other areas where impacted properties sell for less would be less apt to purchase impacted properties here.
Whether you’re buying or selling, it’s a good idea to check with the appropriate planning organization to determine what type of residential or commercial developments, road changes or additions, if any, may be planned for your area of interest. And keep in mind the fact that not all changes are necessarily bad. A new road may be planned to direct traffic away from a particular area, actually adding value to nearby properties.
When all is said and done, location counts. Only once in my 40-plus-year real estate career did a buyer finish describing his dream home by saying: “And I want it on a busy street.” In that one instance, the family derived additional income from weekly garage sales and decided that purchasing a home on a street with a higher traffic count would increase their business. Ironically, their dreams were crushed when soon after completing their purchase their city passed an ordinance limiting the number of garage sales to two per year.
See you at closing.
Gary Sandler is a full-time Realtor and owner of Gary Sandler Inc., Realtors in Las Cruces. He loves to answer questions and can be reached at 575-642-2292 or Gary@GarySandler.com