Is Location Really Everything?
The simple answer to this is no.
When buying a new property location is not everything BUT it is something.
Often buyers know exactly what they want their new home to have. I ask a buyer how many bedrooms, bathrooms, floors, square footage or if they want a garage or yard space and most times buyers can answer these questions very easily. They know what will suit their needs because they have thought about it a lot before deciding to make a move. Let’s face it, moving is a big deal and a large financial commitment so this should not be surprising.
What is surprising is that when I ask where they would like to live, they have often narrowed it down to an area like the Westshore or the Peninsula or a community like Langford or Oak Bay; what buyers rarely do is request proximity to things that enhance their lives or make them easier. This is often an after thought and in the worst-case scenario, it is so much an after thought that it doesn’t occur to them until they have taken possession and moved into their new home. Now they have a new home they love in a location that doesn’t suit their needs.
Over time, they begin to love their new home less and less because it is inconvenient for them. We have busy lives and our time is important to us – we don’t have time to be inconvenienced by our location because if we are…we always are.
Most of us are limited in our options depending on price. This is normal. It is also normal to make concessions and purchase what we can afford and that may not check every single box on our want list. However, it is advisable to make a neighbourhood wants list because this will help you identify what is important for your new neighbourhood to have. For instance, a deal breaker for me is an off-leash dog area. Anywhere I live must be within walking distance to a place where my dog can run around off leash. Perhaps yours is speed controlled roadways, proximity to a bike path, good bus service, green space, being in a Block Watch area – the list is endless and based on personal preference.
So, make your neighbourhood wants list and then classify it into “must have” (deal breaker), “wish to have” (would pay slightly more for), “nice to have” (not mandatory but still flagged as important). Once you have done this, share it with your Realtor. This will help your Realtor serve you better and will ensure you do a valuable check-in with yourself when you find that perfect home.
Remember, a perfect home is not perfect in the wrong location.