LOCAL "PROXIMITY ASSETS" DRIVE AN INCREASE IN SALES...

By
Real Estate Agent with Douglas Elliman Real Estate 30HA0800896

"PROXIMITY ASSET" THAT EVERY ONE LOVES!LOCAL "PROXIMITY ASSETS" DRIVE AN INCREASE IN SALES....A Look At The Facts About The NEED For Proximity in today's real estate market...

A few months back the Wall Street Journal ran an article about the latest real estate trend for purchases of homes within walking distance to shops, groceries, drugstores and other places: Wall Street Journal Article: Home Buyers Look For Homes Within Walking Distance To Everything!

In that article it was noted that the most promising areas for a housing recovery are those areas within close proximity to the needs of the homeowner. It states the following: "A walkable neighborhood doesn't necessarily have to be in the city center. And it doesn't have to be more expensive".

Just what is an important "Proximity Asset"?... and what is the key to being the most sought after amenity when it comes time to look for a new home? Is it a practical asset i.e., a grocery, a bookstore..theater???

Here is a list of some of those amenities that home buyers are looking for when they shop for a home today:

COMMON PROXIMITY ASSETS:

  • Groceries in most residential areas
  • Schools, public and private
  • Shops including drugstores in most residential ares
  • Movie theater is extraneous but an asset if nearby
  • Library
  • Deli
  • Walking trails
  • Community tennis another asset if nearby
  • Community playground
  • Community Basket ball court
  • Skating rink, Bowling Ally and other public entertainment
  • Beach in a resort area

So, you ask: Why should I pay attention to this trend?

As real estate professionals, we are the single most important source of local information for the buying public and in these times, buyers need our wealth of knowledge more than ever. Since we are usually the first source that a buyers looks to for location information, we can help to build our business savvy by informing the buyers of an area's "Proximity Assets" and letting them know the distance to each.

"But I already do tell my buyers about 'assets' that an area offers!" you say--I do too, but now I focus on TURTLE COVE MARINAthe idea of "proximity" more than ever...and it pays off big time. There are shops and restaurants and playgrounds and walking trails that the buyer doesn't get to hear about until they have moved into an area...after all we are in the business of real estate not guided tours!

This "Proximity Asset" trend started with the recession in '08 and '09 and it is building as far as I can tell. Here in Southampton Village we are seeing huge growth in residential real estate. The year round part of the demographic has exploded since the events of 9/11/2001 and the housing crash in '08.

Most of the new year round families have settled into their second homes, giving up their city digs and have made a move that is life altering to say the least.

Many of these families downsized in the city, commuting and keeping a small studio for the workng parent to use as the rest of the family remains in the Hamptons for the year.

Southampton Village proper was 50% residential and 50% Village business/commercial in the past and now it is more like 80%--20% residential to business. This balance has swung significantly toward residential as the desirability of Southampton Village has grown and has become a place for young families to settle year round. Why? There is the Library, the theater, parks, playgrounds, walking trails, beaches in addition to the world class restaurants and shops located right in the heart of the Village.

TURTLE COVE PAVILIONAnother part of this trend is the smaller, stand alone communities that have grown in popularity over the years. These small communities here in the Hamptons happen to be on the Great Peconic Bay, which is North of Southampton Village: North Sea Beach Colony, Southampton Shores, North Hampton Colony and many more private communities dot the coastline of the Great Peconic Bay and other waterways that connect to the Bay. 

Some of these communities were founded in the early 20th century, as is the North Sea Beach Colony and North Hampton Colony--both founded in 1915. Then, there was a ground swell of families in the 1950's from New York City, Connecticut and New Jersey who were pulled to the Bay area because of the affordability. North of the Highway is what it is called here. South of the Highway offers the famous Atlantic ocean beaches--and much pricier properties.

These small  communities offer tennis, pavilion, nature trail, marina and many other amenities that the members of the community can use for a small annual fee of around $250. The common areas are usually easy to care for with a focus on the water (beaches and marinas) as the big draw.

Below is a new Real Estate Show that I just made for a new listing in Southampton Shores and here is a link to their website:  www.mysouthamptonshores.com   This show below may give you an idea of how these small communities have grown in popularity with the recession and as home buyers seek out the available, more affordable houses to renovate or tear down and build new! http://www.realestateshows.com/644559 

As we continue to see an increase in home buying (I hope!) the "Proximity Assets" will become more and more important to the buying public.

EVERY AREA HAS "PROXIMITY ASSETS"--WHAT ARE THE ASSETS IN YOUR COMMUNITY?

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Rainmaker
908,388
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

One thing we don't have a shortage here in the valley are parks, hiking and equestrian trails. I know when the housing market crashed commercial building halted. It may be years before building comes back, but the needs of where to buy the basics is something buyers look for when buying their new home. Thanks for sharing about your community Southhampton and the new trend of "proximity asset." 

Aug 04, 2012 05:45 PM #22
Rainmaker
2,312,842
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

Each property, each area has something unique. You make a grate point about proximity assets. When promoting homes that I flip, I need to do more of that. Thank you for sharing the post with all of us.

Aug 04, 2012 09:11 PM #23
Rainmaker
442,865
Debbie Cook
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc - Silver Spring, MD
Silver Spring and Takoma Park Maryland Real Estate

Downtown Silver Spring's proximity assets are:
Excellent Walkability to METRO, Art Venues, Prettiest Parks, Best Restaurants and Close proximity to Washington, DC.  Proximity Assets will make or break a real estate investment.  

GREAT Post and wonderful real estate show about your area of expertise! 

Aug 04, 2012 09:14 PM #24
Rainer
27,023
Jean French-Turner
Southport Realty, Inc. - Southport, NC

Proximity assets really drive real estate for me- "walking trails, ride your bike, waterfront."  When showing properties, I give a tour to newcomers of what amenities are available. Right now, it's just a little harder, as our inventory has greatly shrunk.

Aug 04, 2012 09:34 PM #25
Rainmaker
1,395,677
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Paula, I think with the price of gasoline and consumer products, buyers are looking for self contained communities like Southhampton Village. I can see where proximity assets have become important to many buyers.

Aug 04, 2012 10:51 PM #26
Rainmaker
2,532,559
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Very relevant points in this here post...YES to it and thank you sweet Paula

Aug 05, 2012 12:28 AM #27
Rainmaker
500,719
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Marie: Thank you so much--I appreciate your interest and hope that you begin commenting  AND writing posts more often!

Evelyn: Thank you for that link--I kenw about it from the article that I linked here too but I have never really used it because the information about this area is very scant on those sites..but everyone here should find it very useful--thanks again!

Aug 05, 2012 01:03 AM #28
Rainmaker
571,868
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Paula,  Interesting premise to your post.  Now that I think of it I would say that our market is dominated by one proximity asset: the Gulf of Mexico !

Aug 05, 2012 01:08 AM #29
Rainmaker
500,719
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Jon: I hope you find it useful and relevant for your area--it is surpising to me just how many amenities I have discovered just since I started to pay attention to these assets. Small and obscure businesses appear and I find it he;pful and I am sure the owner sof these little businesses appreciate it too!

Pamela: In your case it would be interesting to see if there are any commercial parcels of land available nearby; to focus on those and try to get a new grocery or a deli or even a Mom and Pop hardware or something of that nature. I am sure there are people who are looking to build a new small business and what a great way to enter a community by offering something that is much needed!

Joe: Thanks--I too did not have any idea how important this information was until I started to look, ask and share that information with my buyers...it was a real eye-opener! For instance, I have sold several houses in this particular area near Southampton Shores and never did I think about the real relavance the deli has on the other side of the street to the entry of this community. When I called one of my buyers recently, I asked how they were getting along living so far North from the shops and groceries in the Village. I got an earful of the ways this young family was able to stay within the community to play, shop for groceries (the basics like milk, bread, ceral etc.) and particpate in the assets available to them there--all within walking distance of their home! It was really refreshing to hear all that good news! 

 

Aug 05, 2012 01:17 AM #30
Rainmaker
500,719
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Debbie: Thank you so much and glad you enjoyed the Real estate show (I love making those for my new listing--and the owners are especially in love with them!) This idea of proximity began for me when I had a new construction listing in the Village of Southampton--I used the distances to the movies, the shops the restaurants and the ocean beaches and you should have seen the response! We sold that house in record time and even before it was completed. It got top dollar too in a time of huge discounts on existing homes...6 months later, i got another listing on the same street and advertised it the same way with all assets at the top of the list of reasons to buy this house! That one sold in even less time, before completion and at top dollar  too!I discovered two really important trends with those sales: New construction gets top dollar; and "Proximity Assets" bring the buyers to the site!

Aug 05, 2012 01:24 AM #31
Rainmaker
500,719
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Jean: I am finding the inventory here to has diminished significantly--it's a good thing in many ways though! You should be very proud of making that extra effort to inform your buyers! It takes a while longer as you show houses but I have found that the "Proximity Assets" give the buyer enough information to make a decision more easily and more quickly than in the past...This pays off big time, in this market especially!

Michael; You have hit it right on the head--I didn't even mention that in the post, thinking it is obvious--but it is not so obvious to many people, agents included. When it can take almost $100 to fill a tank of an SUV, that hits a persons pocketbook like nothing else--Now with grocery basics going sky high too, the need to be nearby a store becomes even more relevant than before! Thanks for the reminder!

Richie: You are too kind! Thanks for reading it and hope your area has many "Proximity Assets" too!

 

Aug 05, 2012 01:35 AM #32
Rainmaker
500,719
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Bill:...and what a terrific asset that is!! I think it used to be that when people traveled, they would look for truck stops because they could be sure the food was good there! Now that same thinking can apply to the "Proximity Assets" found in a community: If the local barber is there in a thirving business--he must offer great haircuts; or the deli must have the best sandwhiches and snacks! That is the truth or these businesses would not survive! There has to be a relavance and a quality to the offerings in these small stores or they would dry up and fail....So, which comes first the chicken or the egg? In your area, I am sure there are numerous businesses that survive with their "local" offerings simply because they offer a great product or service and the nearby population frequents those places--but the "Proximity Asset" of the Golf Of Mexico??? That can't be beat, can it???

Aug 05, 2012 01:44 AM #33
Ambassador
1,726,499
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional

Paula...

This is such good information ... and it really should affect the way we market our neighborhoods and communities.

Aug 05, 2012 02:54 AM #34
Rainmaker
500,719
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Richard: I think it is more applicable today than ever before too--My whole approach to advertising and showing houses has changed to reflect this new trend and what is happening is really eye-opening. The more information I give to a buyer the better chance there is of getting an offer. The areas that are compliant with this trend(meaning offering amenities and near shops/groceries) are getting houses sold faster than any other areas currently. They are literally the shinning stars of the real estate business right now!

Aug 05, 2012 05:10 AM #35
Rainmaker
922,039
Joy Daniels
Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd. - Harrisburg, PA

I play tour guide with people moving into the area and always point out parks, shopping, grocery stores, libraries, etc.  This is a very good post that we all need to focus on to make our buyer agency an "A" game!  Thank you, i have bookmarked it and will share it with my buyer team!

Aug 05, 2012 07:28 AM #36
Rainmaker
500,719
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Joy: That's a good thing to do--it may seem silly to some agents but I know from my own experience that it does pay off in the end--and the end comes much more quickly I have found!

Aug 05, 2012 07:54 AM #37
Rainmaker
559,224
Digital Digital
Alachua, FL
full service

Hi Paula,

Thanks for sharing this blog on proximities to amenities.

I have been noticing the same trend in my market, as I service clients in a downtown area and I'm seeing more and more where buyers and renters prefer not to have a car but to live within walking distance to major amenities. The savings on car payment and insurance is often transferred to entertaining and enjoying one's neighborhood.

 

Aug 05, 2012 01:58 PM #38
Rainmaker
500,719
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Wandana: That sounds like something I would like to do!!! :) The trend here is just that--the homeowner lives in the city--takes a train or bus to get out to the Hamtpons and then wants to basically vegetate when they get here. The year round resident is now looking to do the same thing with the use of Taxis if they want to leave the confines of their community!

Aug 05, 2012 11:47 PM #39
Rainer
152,258
Anna Tolstoy
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Natick, MA

Paula, I notice similar trend, and I'm in the suburbs. (I used to think this is mostly relevant to bigger cities) Accessibility and walkability is the taking over. One has to know where the area amenities are, and if there is a walking short cut to them (it's not always apparent from the map). I call it small scale infrastructure. 

One also has to first learn more about clients' life style so that one can suggest local amenities.  If clients have kids, I alwasy suggest to stop by at a local playground to "get a feel for the neighborhood". if they have dogs, I mention local dog walking trails. etc There is a great park to here in Wellesley, where where everybody walks dogs, the entrance is kind of hidden, it looks like a dirt road to someone's farm. Easy to miss, but oh such a  delight to discover. I would say, that discovering and pointing out local "things to do" is part of the job that I enjoy a lot. I help people fall in love with their new place to live, whatever they need - I can help them find it.

Aug 06, 2012 12:19 AM #40
Rainmaker
500,719
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Anna: Good for you! --I can see you have been doing this for some time and it must be paying off! I was looked at as a kook by other agents when I would point out the amenitites that I thought enhanced a neighborhood. Now look who's laughing all the way to the bank! I am not kidding--it makes all the difference in the world how people trust and respect you if you take the time to do the research and identify those things that are essential to today's buyers.

Aug 06, 2012 07:49 AM #41
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Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA

...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons
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