“Something to do, Something to love and Something to hope for…”
My father offered this pearl of wisdom to me many years ago. I’ve often found it interesting one’s home and family satisfy all three of these basic of human needs.
Generations have come and gone, they’ve experienced an array of diverse and divergent life changing events in their lifetimes, but one thing has always rung to generation after generation, being a homeowner.
I belived in my heart of hearts, that it is still true today. Economic turmoil has come and gone before. Multi-generational living has been common throughout history, and it is true again today. One thing is certain though, as soon as economic circumstances permit, people will want to be homeowners again. The dream of one’s own castle has not ended, it has just been postponed. What goes around, comes around.
All that being said, what are the generalities making cities, neighborhoods, and communities great? Here’s my list. We all have different imprints from childhood, life’s lessons and years of experience. I’d love to discuss your list of needs, wants and non-negotiables. In the meantime, take a look at mine.
- Proximity to employment/transportation/highways: This might not be the #1 item on a homeowners list, but for neighborhood residents, it is always in the top three.
- Proximity to quality schools: Even for homeowners without children, they understand the resale value of good schools. Moving forward, this may become even more critical to homeowners.
- Proximity to recreation: If community pools, parks and recreation didn’t mean so much to buyers, new home developers would leave these benefits behind, but they seldom do. Recreation bonds homeowners to each other and their family.
- Proximity to open space: Open space makes a homeowner feel comfortable in areas of higher density. From walking the dog, riding a bike or going for a run, open space is always a top 5 for the majority of homeowners.
- Proximity to child care: One of the top reasons families become homeowners is because of their children. With so many two income families, the need for child care is not going away.
- Protection from inharmonious non-residential uses: Factories, industrial uses, some apartment uses, power lines, heavy traffic corridors, over flight traffic and heavy rail lines can limit the upward potential of a neighborhood.
- Access to entertainment: Since this is not an everyday event for most families, this can be some distance away, but its nice if their is a Cineaplex down the street.
- Access to shopping: I’ve heard people homeowners say, “I don’t want to be so far out that I can’t get a pizza delivered”, well, this is true for the grocery store and routine shopping needs too!
- Access to healthcare: This is always something that homeowners consider. Is there good healthcare nearby, and is it readily accessible?
- A reputation of being crime free: Although in tenth place here, it could be #1 too. Safe neighborhoods are always a top concern for long term residential appeal, resale values and community reputation. So, although last on my list, for me it ranks #1.
With my Top Ten on the table, take a moment and comment on what your #1 item is for neighborhood appeal. In the meantime, there is no doubt in my own mind; we will maintain 60-65% of our US households as homeowners. Did you know Italy ranks as having the highest percentage of home-owning households in the world at 81%?