When a homebuyer is thinking of buying a home, they sometimes wonder aloud about the most important thing they should consider. Of course, you need to find a home that provides everything you need in a home, but after that?
A Realtor often replies with the phrase, "location, location, location."
It's become an almost hackneyed phrase, but it still has meaning.
Where a home is located is the most important factor in it's value -- both now and in the future.
For example, suppose you are buying a new home and have a choice between two identical houses. One is located close to the center of the tract and the other backs up to a potentially busy street. The house in the center of the tract will have a greater value.
On the other hand, you may be able to buy a four bedroom house on the edge of the tract for the same price it would cost to buy a three bedroom house on the interior of the tract.
And so on...
In an old-fashioned neighborhood with square blocks, a house in the middle of the block will have more value than an identical house located on the corner. Corners have more traffic.
A single family house in an area where there are mostly other single family homes will retain its value better than a similar home in an area where there are apartments, condominiums, or businesses -- not because apartments and condo are "bad" -- but because the neighborhood is fairly homogeneous. All the properties are similar to one another.
And so on...
A home in a thriving vibrant community will have more value than a home in a city where industries are failing, the roads are uncared for and schools are on the decline.
All other things being equal, a home in a desirable location is more valuable than an identical or similar home in a less desirable location.
So when deciding what you "need" in a home versus what you "want" in a home, sometimes it makes sense to settle for what you need in a desirable location -- providing resale value is important to you.
That's all real estate agents mean when they say "location, location, location." Location is important because it is the greatest determining factor in value.