Rich Market Helps Sellers in Poor Locations | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 07 March 2013 14:32

By Carl Medford, CRS

Special to the Times

The real estate adage, “Location, Location, Location,” means many things to prospective homeowners. To some, it’s a view. Others want a corner lot. A home near high-ranking schools is a must for the educationally conscious while a gated community is critical for the security minded.

It does not include proximity to railroad tracks, busy intersections, airport flight paths, high-tension power lines, freeways, industrial zones and the like. And yet, there are numerous homes within spitting distance of these less-than-desirable features, and they seem, for the most part, to be inhabited by reasonably happy occupants.

Which brings up the obvious question: “Why would anyone buy a home in a sub-standard location when they can purchase in a better locale elsewhere?”

The answer is usually very simple: Because that’s all they could buy at the time.

As an example, school API (CA Dept. of Education Academic Performance Index) scores vary from school to school. In the Bay Area, home prices directly correspond to API scores — the higher the score, the steeper the surrounding home values. We frequently encounter buyers who want their kids attending top-rated schools but simply can’t afford those locations.

Additionally, properties are controlled by current market conditions. While it might be hard selling a home at a busy intersection when there are plenty of choices, if there are no other homes, buyers will dutifully line up and submit multiple offers on homes in poor locales because it’s “that house” or “no house.”

In a hot market with limited inventory, it’s not a case of getting the home of your dreams; it’s more a matter of getting a home … at all — regardless of where it is and what’s close by.

All of which brings up an interesting point.

If you currently own a home in a “less-than-desirable” location, there will never be a better time to sell it than now. With current inventory at incredible lows, the resulting seller’s market is solely the result of a total lack of inventory. Consequently, buyers are snapping up any available home for top dollar regardless of where it’s located. It’s fulfilling the old maxim: “Beggars can’t be choosers;” and, to be very frank, there are a lot of begging buyers out there right now.

Our advice? Don’t miss out! When things cool off and buyers get picky again, you’ll have muffed your opportunity to score big… with a lousy location.

Carl Medford is a licensed Realtor with Prudential California Realty in Castro Valley. This article is sponsored by the Central County Marketing Association at



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