Location, location, location

This expression, attributed to the late British real estate tycoon Lord Harold Samuel in the 1950s, traces its beginning to almost a century ago when it appeared in a 1926 Chicago Tribune real estate classified ad, per Fred Shapiro, editor of The Yale Book of Quotations, as clarified by William Safire in his article “Location, Location, Location.”

Why the emphasis on location? It was originally meant to highlight the fact that similar homes, when built in different locations, will vary in property values and prices. 

Below are six reasons why location is given utmost importance when purchasing properties:

1. Everyone wants a safe and secure neighborhood. It is a principal consideration of buyers, their family members, and or their project’s target market. Parents look for areas that they know will keep their children out of harm’s way, while allowing them to socialize with friends. As such, the perception of which neighborhoods can better provide a safe and sound place to live determines how much more buyers would be willing to pay for their planned property purchase.

2. New development areas allow for price appreciation. Green and brown fields are reasonably priced at launch and early development stages. These properties are usually offered at reduced prices. However, over time, their prices increase as construction progresses and nears completion, thus making price appreciation certain.

3. Growth areas attract businesses. As communities grow, more residents are drawn to these areas which, in turn, attract businesses and support facilities. Shops will begin to emerge, enticing even the bigger chains to be established in the same areas. Commercial spaces targeting other retail and services locators would develop thereafter. Understanding what will and how much they could contribute to the desirability of these communities are added considerations in site selection. 

4. Good infrastructure and excellent amenities are vital. Not all communities are the same. Developments within or near city-center are usually provided with critical civic and social infrastructure, and superb amenities not found in many areas. These additions enhance the prestige of both the communities and the properties themselves, as the convenience they provide enrich the property values.

5. Educational institutions are magnets for residents. No parent would want their children to be late for class. Thus, locating homes near schools is a major consideration for growing families. Not only does it reduce the need for parents and children to have to wake up and prepare very early, it also provides families with more time to enjoy life to its fullest.

6. Ease in accessibility cannot be understated. People hate having to endure long commutes to work, so homes in areas that require shorter travel distance and time are more appealing and sought after. However, as commuting to and from work remains a big part of the daily routine, having a house near transport hubs and stops, major thoroughfares, and or rapid rail stations will always be in great demand.

The next time you look for a property, keep these location considerations in mind. You will never regret it.

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References: “Location, Location, Location” by William Safire (nytimes.com); ”The Epitome of Location, Location, Location” by Elizabeth Weintraub (tampabgcc.com); “The Factors of a ‘Good’ Location” by Tara Struyk (investopedia.com);

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 Henry L. Yap is an architect, environmental planner, former real estate practitioner and senior lecturer, and recently named one of the Undersecretaries of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development.