“Location, location, location!” is one of the few proclamations which needs no verb, no adjective, no preposition to fully communicate its message. Everyone in the Big Rapids area understands — and usually agrees with — its meaning: The location [of something] is all-important.
In the commercial context, it used to mean “your store better be situated somewhere that gets a lot of the right kind of traffic.” Today, in the same context, that “traffic” can be clicks on the web rather than auto or foot traffic. Either way, location, location, location! stands for a truism that’s inarguably valid.
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What’s interesting about the Big Rapids area location, location, location! axiom when it’s invoked in a residential real estate context is how true it remains — though for different reasons. When it comes to buying or selling a Big Rapids area home, location isn’t vitally important because of its being visible or easy for prospective buyers to find. This meaning of “location” points to a property being more or less desirable for a variety of reasons:
- Accessibility - offers easy access to local places of business, recreation points, etc.
- Inaccessibility — provides an oasis of privacy
- Position — offers superior orientation: for instance, receives more (or less) sunshine.
- Geography — takes advantage of superior land features: for instance, is on a hilltop, by a stream, etc.
- Exclusivity — it’s in a respected, physically safe neighborhood, home to successful families
- Community — offers desirable schools, lower tax rates, well-kept parklands and the like. The Brookings Institution finds that living near a high-scoring school can increase a home’s value by $100,000 — or more!
Needless to say, another facet of location, location, location! in the Big Rapids area is how important it can be in dollars and cents. It isn’t just that houses are listed for different prices depending greatly on their neighborhoods and even locations within the same neighborhoods, but the ease of buying and selling can also be location-dependent. The “comps” — estimated values assigned by reports of sales of similar properties — are assembled taking into account how near or far they are, as well as the characteristics of their neighborhoods.
For the most part, people tend to agree on the value of those location, location, location! characteristics — but in case you aren’t one of the crowd, the financial repercussions can be noteworthy. If, for instance, your ideal degree of privacy makes you value a home that’s considered to be too far out of the Big Rapids area for most people, the asking price could be at a considerable discount from the same house closer in. If you prefer cool, shady backyards over more open and sunny ones, your offer might be accepted by an eager owner who’s not had many other takers.
Location, location, location! may be a cliché, but it’s been around forever for a reason. When you are house hunting — especially if you are new to our area — it’s important to give special attention to local neighborhood characteristics that may not be obvious at first glance. In the Big Rapids area, it’s another good reason to count on a knowledgeable local real estate specialist.