I just read a post that Robert Monk wrote about Location, Location, Location. His premise was that we need to remind our clients of three little things location, location, location. I could not agree more.
We learned this lesson the hard way over the years. Our first home was at a lake in Kansas 30 minutes from Wichita. We were using an FmHA loan as we had little or no money at the time so it had to be in a rural area. We bought next to a bar at the lake; young and dumb is all I can tell you. At the time we were told there was a permanent injunction against the bar and it would never be opened again. Two months after moving in the Dry Dock Inn opened for business. That was 30 year ago so I don't know they would get by with telling us something that was not true like that today. That was not an easy home to sell but we moved to Colorado and left my Mother in charge of selling it (again I can say young and dumb).
Our next home purchase was in Colorado. We bought a factory built home. They would build these homes in factories and then plop them on a slab. This home backed up to a pasture with a great view of the Colorado front range. The problem here was the land that was behind us was zoned light commercial. The entire time we lived there we were wondering what it would become. Years later it did become a church; which would not have been so bad. I was envisioning all kinds of things. My husband loved that view and to this day would tell you that was the best home we ever had. My reply to that is, "we did not have our own master bathroom". I guess it is all a matter of perspective.
From there we moved to a larger home (with our own master bathroom). The problem with this home was that it backed up to a road and as it turned out a very busy road. We went from this incredible view of the Front Range to a nice big noisy back yard. We had a wonderful rock garden but I would tell the kids not to go clear to the back as I was always afraid that someone on the road would not pay attention and plow in to the fence. We have always been outside people and we got to where we never went in to our back yard because it was like living in Grand Central Station with all the noise.
We do learn by our mistakes. Our next home was in Greensboro North Carolina. This time we bought backing to a little lake, on ¾ acre and we owned part of the lake. This was a wise move as my husband's company only kept us there a little over 2 years and by having such a dynamite location I was able to sell the house myself. This was actually my first foray in to real estate. I knew we had a great location and with 15 years of sales experience behind my belt I made selling that home my career for a couple of months. This was one of those life changing moments as I found I loved real estate and when we moved to Texas I immediately became a Realtor. Being a FSBO was definitely more complicated than what I thought and I don't know if I could have done it myself without my dynamite location and the fact that I made it my full time job.
As I said we do learn by our mistakes and when we moved to Texas we were the first to build in our subdivision. We picked a lot at the end of a long cul-de-sac as we knew we wanted something quiet. We had the option of the two lots at the very end that backed up to a vacant field but been there done that; we picked the lot next to the one that backed to the vacant field. Oved the years I have heard those two neighbors who bought backing up to the vacant field wondering what it was going to be. Everytime I hear them I am glad we made that decision. The land is owned by the Woodlands and it appears from the maps we have been seeing that it is going to be homes going in behind them; so that is good. It however looks to be patio homes and we have big lots so they could have several back yard neighbors.
This is my history of why I think location, location, location is so important! If you are going to buy a house that backs up to something whether it be a road, strip center, vacant field or whatever you just need to keep in mind that you might be getting your home for a good deal now but when it comes times to sale you will probably have to sale for less than other homes that don't back up to whatever. Since we don't have zoning in the Houston area that even makes it more imperative to watch what you back up to!
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