“I Love My Kitchen, But I Hate Where My House Is”

Real Estate Agent with RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate RES.0781237


At a recent party I had a conversation with a fairly new homebuyer from out of state.   She was telling me that she moved into her new home a year ago and was thinking of moving out. 

My first thought, not knowing her, was that there were financial problems. That was not the case.  She told me she purchased the house because, among a few other features, she LOVED the kitchen, with its sleek granite and shiny stainless appliances.  It was something she always dreamed of having. 

Her problem was that she did not think through the location of the house enough. She was attracted by the kitchen and general appeal, and didn’t really give much thought to the following:

  • The house was on a busy cut-through street
  • The location was much further ‘out’ than she estimated.  Too far away from family, friends, work and shopping.  The few trips she made to/from the house before closing didn’t seem so bad. But when she moved in and had to schlepp around all those extra miles every day, it was just becoming very tedious.
  • The house was not really in a ‘neighborhood’.  Now that she and her husband were expecting a baby, she would like a place to walk the baby and play safely in the yard.  With all the traffic and speeding cars and a lack of a true neighborhood appeal, this was not, in her mind, the right location to bring up a family.
  • She really wanted a flower/vegetable garden and there was no place for that on her property without having to excavate and cut down a considerable amount of trees.
  • The house across the street has multiple cars parked around at various times of the day and night and there is excessive partying going on. She had only visited her house during the day prior to closing and other than 'some' reservations regarding the amount of cars passing through, the area seemed relatively quiet.   It changed its personality a bit after the sun went down.

I felt sorry for her as she really loved that kitchen and the house, enough to buy it, but had not thought the location through.

 You can always change the house, but you can’t change the location. 

Buyers need to think their location needs through FIRST, then focus on the house.   If the house didn’t have the beautiful kitchen she wanted, that is something that could have been changed after purchase.  BUT, she couldn’t change anything location related.

If you’re thinking of buying or in the process, satisfy your location requirements FIRST.  Loving the kitchen is a nice requirement to satisfy, but it's not the most important.   You can change almost anything in a house…..but NOT the location.


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Jan Green 05/24/2012 07:48 AM
  2. Donna Bosze 05/24/2012 11:45 PM
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Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

I know someone going through that. Do we fix up the house we have and stay even though we don't like the location or stay put because it has enough of what we want to make it worthwhile? Great topic.

May 24, 2012 07:12 AM #4
Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 AdrianWillanger-broker.com - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

Barbara, It's hard to fix a location, you can always fix a kitchen. Good advise. 

May 24, 2012 07:26 AM #5
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Barbara, this is an important factor, as location cannot be "changed".    GREAT post!

May 24, 2012 07:27 AM #6
Beth and Richard Witt
Long Island Cash Home Buyer - Huntington, NY
Long Island Cash Home Buyer 516-330-6940

Location, location, location... isn't that what it's always been about... But it's always been easier to sell the Sizzle than the Steak... 

May 24, 2012 07:49 AM #7
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

Yes, a person can always upgrade or add new things to a kitchen , but they can't change the location -- location, location, location!

May 24, 2012 08:06 AM #8
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


Too bad you weren't her Realtor.  For someone who does not know the area, the agent should make the buyer aware of the problems with the neighborhood.  The agent might not know about the neighbor, but she surely knew about the busy street and distance from town.  I tell my buyer customers that they need to spend time in the area, not just during the day, but the evening too.

May 24, 2012 08:36 AM #9
Reuben Fine
Fill-In-The-Blanks PDF Flyer Templates www.TurnKeyFlyers.com - Rossmoor, CA

Great post Barbara; really drives home the point that finding the perfect location is more valuable than finding the perfect house since you can make modifications and renovations to the property but cannot change the location of the house.

May 24, 2012 08:42 AM #10
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Hi Barbara..... location is the one thing that can't be changed..... too bad she didn't think that through....

May 24, 2012 08:43 AM #11
Marney Kirk
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Towson, MD
Towson, Maryland Real Estate

What a great post. Buyers need to make sure they go by the home at different times of day, and do test runs of drives as well. Very good points!

May 24, 2012 09:09 AM #12
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Barbara, WOW I would have expected a few of those negative features to have been apparent during the times she viewed the house before purchasing.  Goes to show the need to stop by the house at different times to get a true feeling for the location it is in.

May 24, 2012 09:11 AM #13
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

You are so right...that is the one thing you can never change.  You do need to start w/ this first.  And, I so agree w/ George's comment.

May 24, 2012 10:04 AM #14
Barbara Altieri
RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

Mary Elizabeth -- Yes, buyers definitely need to visit the property at different times during the week and weekends as well. 

Jan -- No doubt driven by her dream...

Marnie -- Exactly. It is so easy to be tempted by the beauty of new furnishings and forget about where the house is.

Jill -- I actually do, too.  They love where they are and are revisiting whether to renovate or move on.

Adrian -- Yes, you can't fix a busy, heavily traveled cut-through street.



May 24, 2012 11:22 AM #16
Barbara Altieri
RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

Joan -- Which is why location should be at the TOP of the criteria list.

Richard and Beth -- Buyers definitely love that 'sizzle'. No doubt about it.

Evelyn -- I tell my buyers the same and make sure they are aware of anything I know about the location that might make the property a poor choice for them. 

Reuben -- Thanks....my point exactly!

Barbara -- I think she did give some thought to the busy street, but was just so impressed with the interior that it clouded her thinking.




May 24, 2012 11:29 AM #17
Barbara Altieri
RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

Marney -- Yes, this homeowner was very dismayed when she found her neighbors were in an almost continual party mode.

George -- The makeup of the neighborhood can definitely change day to night.

Debbie -- Location must be on the top of the list of 'must-haves'.

May 24, 2012 11:31 AM #18
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Barbara, that is one of the reasons for asking so many questions up front. I call it identifying the quality of life they want to live in after they buy the house and try to take that into consideration when looking at homes

May 24, 2012 11:38 AM #19
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana!

Barbara many a time over the years I've had this conversation with buyers - are you sure you want to live this far out etc etc etc. We go over the pro's and con's and I keep going back to what they 'said' they wanted.  Almost always they decide to move on to the next.  It's so important to have an agent that will help them through these situations - rather than just trying to sell them anything.  Ugh.

May 24, 2012 11:47 AM #20
Barbara Altieri
RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

Ed -- You know exactly what to do.  Too bad this girl didn't have an agent like you!

Anna -- Ditto on the last comment. A good great agent will listen to the criteria, understand the lifestyle, and point out any deviations in their search to keep them on track and guide them to making the right decision.

May 24, 2012 11:57 AM #21
Barbara Altieri
RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

Valerie -- If you don't like where you're living, it makes everything else seem insignificant.

May 24, 2012 11:39 PM #23
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

Hi Barbara, so true. If even the smallest thing is very important to you, listen to it. I have had some clients that must have a southern exposure to the sun. If it is that important, think it through.

May 25, 2012 02:11 AM #24
Robert Bob Gilbert
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties - Katy, TX
Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert


Congrats on the featured post and your final line says everything. The number 1 item buyers need to consider is location.

Jun 03, 2012 07:10 AM #25
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Barbara Altieri

REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale
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