How attractive is My Neighborhood to Renters/Buyers?
When you are entering the rental or realty market, you’re not just relying on the viability of your house – you’re relying on the viability of the neighborhood it resides in as well. A neighborhood can make or break an investment. However, sometimes you can accommodate to the setting and make it work. You’ll first need to understand what makes a neighborhood appealing to renters/buyers and what drives them away.
Location and Knowing Your Market
While some locations may seem obvious to avoid, such as neighborhoods known for violence or drug trafficking, etc., others might not be such a clear choice. A lot of what the broad amount potential renter or homeowner is looking for, aside from a nice house to live in, is convenience.
If a neighborhood is on the outskirts of town or in the boonies, it will likely lose a lot of appeal. Being far away means it takes extra effort to get into town, to work, to school, or anywhere else the person may need to get to. There are some people who enjoy being far removed and like to live more independently, but appealing to these people may prove to be a more difficult endeavor as it really narrows your market.
Schools, Shopping, Attractions, and Transportation
Going along with the idea of convenience, easy access to essential commodities and institutions can affect the value of your investment property. Aside from poor locations deterring potential buyers and renters, a great location can bring them in.
Families in particular enjoy being close to schools, this way they do not need to worry as much about getting their kids to school. A home in a highly regarded school district is also a huge bonus. Many families will opt to spend more to live in a community with a better school district.
Local landmarks can also sway buyers and renters as well. Being in a close vicinity to shopping centers, hospitals, and other services all appeal typically to renters/buyer, knowing these resources are easily viable when they need them. Being close to a bus, transit line, or local carpool is also a great selling point for commuters.
Perhaps one of the strongest factors in the house seeking equation is how safe a person will feel living in the area. As aforementioned, if an area is clearly violent and riddled with drug dealers then they are less likely to find the house as an option. There are, however, even more practical things to consider. How safe would someone feel walking from their car to their front door at night in this area? Is there a lot of theft in the area? Would you then need to install a security system?
Buying an investment property in a generally hostile or sketchy environment can be a big financial mistake. Unless you have some sort of long term plan and see the area changing in the relatively near future, this generally should be avoided. If the area is crime ridden, you’re likely going to get more applicants with less-than-desirable backgrounds which will make the tenant seeking process even more frustrating and time consuming.
How to Compensate for “Non-Premium” Neighborhoods
For those hosting homes or apartments in less than desirable areas, there are things you can do to make it more appealing to the masses. The biggest and best thing is to adjust the price accordingly. For those living on a budget, it makes more sense to prioritize necessity of convenience.
Offering amenities such as pool and/or gym access, in unit washer and dryers, and others extra options can greatly raise the appeal. Also investing in the property itself can be a huge help. Making sure all appliances are up-to-date, putting in new carpets or hardwood floor, and a fresh coat of paint can also give renters and buyers assurance with the property.
About the Author
Dusty Henry is a writer and editor at All Property Management. As one of the most expansive directories and collections of property managers on the Internet, All Property Management http://www.allpropertymanagement.com/serves as a tool to connect property owners with the right rental manager for them.