When it comes to buying a residential property, location is still an important factor as this can dictate the overall living experience of the homeowner. A properly planned community surrounded by beautiful scenery and accessible commercial areas are some of the ideal characteristics that most homeowners are drawn to.

Aside from providing an ideal living experience, buying a home is also a long-term investment opportunity. One can buy a home with plans to resell it in the future, or keep it and enjoy the benefit of being part of a community that continues to see developments.

For real estate experts, this investment opportunity is one that should be greatly considered and it all starts with location.

“You can buy the right home in the wrong location. You can change the structure, remodel it or alter the home’s layout but, ordinarily, you cannot move it. It’s attached to the land. The best locations are those in prime spots,” said Elizabeth Weintraub in her article published in the US-based Web site www.thebalance.com. 

Ms. Weintraub, a 40-year real estate veteran, sees homes as a long-term investment. She shared some of the considerations that property buyers should consider when purchasing their homes to better take advantage of their investments potential.

The first consideration that they should have is the property’s proximity to top schools. According to Ms. Weintraub, buyers who have children prioritize this variable so much that they would pay a higher fee for a home that is located within top schools.

The second consideration for home buyers is the scenery and recreational options. Homes near parks, near oceans, nature or a scenic view are said to be very appealing to home buyers “provided they are not in the path of a natural hazard,” Ms. Weintraub said.

Entertainment, shopping and boutique shops that are within walking distance from the residential property is also a good feature that property owners should consider, according to Ms. Weintraub. Residential areas that display “conforming” characteristics, where houses all share the same architecture and reflect the same lifestyle that the homeowner sees himself in are also appealing.

Another big consideration that property buyers should have is the city or the community’s  standing as an economically viable place. If this city has been growing and standing economic challenges, then the property in question would be a good buy. Safety and the property’s accessibility to places of public transport are just as important, said Ms. Weintraub.

Sharing the same view of location playing a big part in the resale value of a property, Amy Fontinelle, in her article published in Investopedia, a Web site for financial resource, shared three more considerations.In her piece, she added thinking about whether the property is in the rural, city or suburbs, as these settings would dictate the pace of life and the peace that is attributed to the lifestyle that the homeowner will have if they live in that house.

Knowing this would also help one identify how close certain services and places of entertainment is to his home.  The kind of neighbors and the people that the places attract should also be in a buyer’s list. Apart from an investment consideration, this also comes in as a safety concern, according to Ms. Fontinelle.

To better understand how good the residential lot is,  Ms. Fontinelle suggested driving by the neighborhood and the lot in the morning, at night and at different times of the day. The same nice neighborhood in the morning may look or have a different story in the evening.

Ms. Weintraub, on the other hand, shared what bad characteristics to watch out for. These properties are described to be near railroad tracks, busy highways, and flight paths or noisy areas. They can also be properties within industrial areas that tend to get polluted and noisy. These properties are also high-crime areas and economically depressed areas.

While the location is a very important factor that dictates a residential lot’s value, Associate Professor and property economist Francois Viruly of the University of Cape Town said that there is a new consideration that investors, homebuyers and the real estate market should watch out for,  and that is technology. He said that a community’s data capability and the development of technology as a whole will change the property trend.

According to Mr. Viruly, a trend called STEEP, which stands for Social trends, technology trends, economic trends, environmental trends and political trends, may influence the way people buy and sell in the property markets. A move to more digitized communities may leave some lesser other communities behind and deem them not profitable. This shift might also affect how houses and residential properties are sold. — Sigourney V. Tulfo