There are things you want in a home and things you need. Obviously, your needs come before your wants. Generally, there are three basic needs when it comes to buying a home in Jacksonville: location, price and size. Everything else is truly inconsequential. Really, even size can be compromised on, but price and location are two factors when buying a home that should not be changed. In terms of price, you have a maximum budget and you pretty much have to stick to that (unless you have a rich benefactor who is going to give you money for a more expensive home). It all comes down to location. Location is the most important factor to consider when buying a home. But, why?
Location, location, location
You’ve heard the old adage, buy the worst home on the best street. This saying rings true still today. The reason why is that the value of your home is determined not by how amazing your cook’s kitchen is, but by your location. Your house is only a small part of the equation in the value of your property and in fact, your land is what makes your property valuable. The “better” or more valuable your area is, the more your home will be worth. No amount of high-end upgrades will increase the value of a home in an area where the area doesn’t permit more than a certain amount. Every area has a cap on what homes will be worth, so even if you add hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of upgrades, your value will not increase and this is an important distinction to make.
Location is more than what it’s worth though. If you need a certain lifestyle, you are going to want amenities that favor that lifestyle. For example, if you have kids, you may want good schools, parks nearby, and lots of kids in the neighborhood. If you are without kids, you may be looking for an area where you can walk to bars and shops and are close to work. If you are retired, you may want good proximity to recreational activities, an area with other seniors and also be walking distance to shops and restaurants. In these instances, location is very important, regardless of price or size.
Speaking again of value, another factor to consider when it comes to location is the growth of the area. This could be new development or it could mean gentrification. Either way, you want the prospects in your area to be going up, which means home prices and land values will also go up. On the other hand, you want to steer clear of areas where values are stagnating, or worse, going down. By speaking to your real estate professional, she can let you know what areas are seeing growth so you can choose your new home wisely.