Here’s a real estate myth doled out to agents from the pros at Investopedia.com:
“A lot’s proximity to things like busy roadways and community centers may make it less desirable for resale.”
REALTOR® Magazine gives us something similar: “If your seller’s home is in a part of the neighborhood that borders a highway, train tracks, or an industrial area, it’ll likely fetch a lower price.”
While Investopedia is flat-out wrong (read why below), REALTOR® Magazine got it partially right.
The takeaway from this for real estate agents is to always check with more than one source when it comes to helping a client with an investment as large and important as real estate.
Believe it or not
University studies about several aspects of the housing industry litter the internet. Why take advice that is, on the face of it, either agenda-driven or based on anecdotal evidence? You owe your clients more than that.
The truth is, although “location” is critical to the present and future value of a home, the truth of the specifics of the location are a bit more complicated.
If you truly are your area’s “real estate expert, put in the time to perform proper research. You may be surprised by what you learn.
Location Myth: Homes near a railroad fetch a lower price
In 2007, researchers studying the issue of rail transit’s impact on home prices cited previous studies and claimed that the conclusions were “… not uniform.”
In other words, “location,” as you know, includes many variables. When it comes to a railroad, some of the considerations include:
- Is the property commercial or residential?
- Is the railroad a commuter line or heavy rail?
- Is “railroad” referring to the proximity of railroad tracks or a station?
- And, naturally, the addition or deduction of value for these properties depends on the region.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, for instance, a study reveals that a home “… immediately adjacent to BART [Bay Area Rapid Transit] would sell for close to 38% more than an identical house not near any BART service.”
Other studies find that a home located near the commuter rail in the suburbs of New Jersey and in Philadelphia also saw higher sale prices than homes further away.
On the flip side, homes located closest to a station area in Portland were worth less, “… due to the traffic and noise.”
We’ll feature additional location myths in the future. In the meantime, next time you hear or read that one of the drawbacks of living near a railroad is that it depresses property values, do some research on homes in the community you serve.
You and your client may be pleasantly surprised by what you learn.
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