It has been one of those long standing dilemmas in real estate…do you buy location or do you buy price? In Colorado, you can get some amazing deals on homes that sit on the outskirts of the city. In areas like Parker, Castle Rock, and Centennial, you can buy some big, updated, or newer homes on nice lots for 60, 70, and 80 dollars per finished square foot. Those are some pretty amazing prices even in this market. Since this is a price driven market, this poses a tough decision for a lot of out-of-town buyers. In most cases, they would prefer to be a little closer to town. There is no question that having a better location can be a benefit, but you may also pay more and have a smaller home just to have a better location. So, what do you do in today’s economic environment?
First, it’s important to fully understand your lifestyle, short and long term plans. If you can’t stand being so close to your neighbor that you could hand him a hotdog across the fence from your deck, then maybe buying close in isn’t such a great idea. If you need space and wide open views, then buying on the outskirts is a must. This is really all about what type of lifestyle fits our personality.
Second, it’s also important to point out that real estate is not a good short term investment at this time. It really doesn’t matter if you buy in town or on the outskirts if you are planning on moving in the next 12-24 months plan on taking a loss on the re-sale of the home. If you have even an inkling that you will not be in the house in the next two years, don’t buy; rent.
Finally, if we have to answer the debate about price vs. location, I would always lean towards buying location over price. It’s been one of the basic tenants of real estate that if you buy a good location, you’ll never go wrong. With that said, I also understand that there are a lot more factors that go into the decision making process such as “what a buyer can actually afford.” If you do decide on the price route, make sure that you buy a great location in that neighborhood.
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