Whatever happened to Location, Location, Location?

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty 0575737

Commute TimeIn guiding buyers in finding the best place to live I think many Realtors may have forgotten what used to be an important factor and that is to stress location, location, location.

If that house out in the burbs is 75 minutes into work each day, maybe those granite countertops and the tree in the front yard are not as important as the cost of gasoline to get there and your life frittered away in the daily commute. Realtors need to help clients do the math with gasoline costs and time costs. Out of 16 waking hours a day how long would be your roundtrip commute?

There is also a math trick with miles per gallon converting it to miles per dollar.

For example if you have a car that gets 15 miles per gallon and gas costs $3.00 a gallon, if you divide the second number into the first you get 5 miles per dollar. Every 5 mile marker you see, ka-ching another dollar. Steep bucks. In a Prius at 45 miles per gallon, you get 15 miles per dollar, much further for your hard earned bucks.

To help the math challenged, I've included a Miles Per Dollar calculator.

Besides sheer distance between point A and B, Realtors can assist clients with traffic patterns by knowing the bottlenecks and rush hours and where all those annoying long traffic lights are on the way to and from home. Also, how far away are the stores you frequent often? If you run up to the grocery store for another loaf of bread or some milk three times a week, that "little" six mile jaunt from the golf course community with no stores around it gets pretty annoying.

There's never a perfect location to meet everyone's needs in a new living situation, but a buyer should probably drive the traffic at 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. from where they might live. It could be a real eye opener. Location is still very important in terms of schools, closeness to other family members, and desirability of neighborhood and its surrounding amenities. Don't be distracted by a potential new home by the goodies. See the forest despite the trees.  Afterall you are going to live there for awhile.



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Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate
Oh great, I don't like what  I just saw, but I added it to igoogle anyway.
Mar 23, 2008 12:57 PM #12
Mary Luz-Johnsen
Concierge Notary Services, LLC - Cape Coral, FL
I sell investment properties in Bay St. Louis, MS.  The average commute there is 2 hours each way.  The need for housing there has been so great. But when folks figure out how much money they will save on gas and time, the homes rent out immediately.
Mar 23, 2008 12:57 PM #13
Jim Albano
Prudential Damiano Realty - Little Falls, NJ
Team - Jean-Marie Vantuno / Realtors North Jersey Real Estate
Some good sound advice. It's something that many people don't think about until they're in that situation. Especially today with the costs for commuting, location is so important.
Mar 23, 2008 01:12 PM #14
Alicia Fry
Coldwell Banker Paslay, Realtors - Bethalto, IL
Gary, You make a great point and now more buyers do consider the gas prices. In ILL buyers travel about 30min each way and i do see them searching for homes closer to work first.
Mar 23, 2008 01:17 PM #15
Jan Evett
The Premier Property Group LLC - Rosemary Beach, FL
Broker Associate, 20 years+ in real estate


That Mile/$ calc is really cool ... I added it to my igoogle!  Thanks!!   

Mar 23, 2008 01:18 PM #16
Larry Bettag
Cherry Creek Mortgage Illinois Residential Mortgage License LMB #0005759 Cherry Creek Mortgage NMLS #: 3001 - Saint Charles, IL
Vice-President of National Production
location, location, location translates, to short commute, short commute, short commute.
Mar 23, 2008 01:24 PM #17
Trey Thurmond
BCR Realtors - College Station, TX
College Station , Texas Homes
Yep! Looks like this fuel crunch is going to not only effect the way we do business, but what is actally going to sell.
Mar 23, 2008 02:13 PM #18
Don Wixom
RE/MAX Executives Nampa, ID - Nampa, ID
"Looking out for your next move..."tm
Great reminder for us, Gary!  Wow... 5 miles per buck; Makes you think about buying a Hybrid of some kind, doesn't it!?
Mar 23, 2008 02:24 PM #19
Jimmy McCall
JimmyMcCall.com - Cunningham, TN
The Ex-Mortgage Consultant
Gary,  Great thoughts.  I think fuel costs are on everyones mind these days.  This should help a client determine a location and save a Realtor a few bucks in gas in the process.
Mar 23, 2008 02:38 PM #20
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth
This topic sparked quite a bit of discussion. I suppose if we revamped our lives and lived a 45 minute roundtrip into work, or worked at home, ordered videos from Netflix, had a high miles per gallon vehicle or used a bicycle or scooter or golf cart, and could walk to most of the stores around our neighborhood, this time / gas expense thing wouldn't be such an issue. I guess it just depends how you've set up your life.
Mar 24, 2008 12:53 AM #21
Joan Mirantz
Homequest Real Estate - Concord, NH
Realtor, GRI, CBR, SRES - Concord New Hampshire

Gary...I do think people are finally becoming more aware ....the palatial country estates on 5 acre plots are losing their "glow"

I finally figured out that you have a little book of "truisms..." And you look through it for post subject matter You are an incredibly prolific poster...and they are quality posts to boot! Kudos!!

Mar 24, 2008 06:50 AM #22
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth
Joan: The gorgeous countryside estate that is too far away from work and your time is sucked away is not worth it. My little "truisms" come straight out of my head. I guess that is where the book is. Maybe I should compile them and make a book?
Mar 24, 2008 08:49 AM #23
Liz Moras Migic
Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor
do you have a link/ calculator for kilometers per dollars?  :-)  Both good and hmmm maybe not good tool, especially if your community is 45 min. drive from the 'city'...! lol'
Mar 24, 2008 10:20 AM #24
Considering the price of gas it is better to be closer and even then you can just spend more time at home and not on the road.
Mar 24, 2008 10:38 AM #25
Jan Wood
None - Gallatin, TN
Gary:  I could have lived without the gas "math trick".  Wow.
Mar 24, 2008 12:04 PM #26
James Lockard
RE/MAX Properties - Saddle River - Allendale, NJ
Realtor, Allendale, NJ
Some people just don't care about the cost per mile.  Here in metro NY they look at the couple of hundred thousand they can save in home price, the acre of land they get as opposed to a 50' x 100' plot and decide to make the 75 minute commute!  
Mar 24, 2008 12:22 PM #27
Holly Galligan
Coldwell Banker Sky Ridge Realty - Lake Arrowhead, CA
Oohh, love the calculator! Great post. Gas here is nearly $4.00 per gallon. (choke). I drive a Durange (mistake) that gets 11 mpg. I don't need a calculator to tell me I need to stay close to home! I am one of the luck few who only has to commute 4 miles to work, however, I do circle it several times a day (approx. 11 miles). It all adds up. Thanks for the perspective.
Mar 25, 2008 06:34 PM #28
Patricia Beck
RE/MAX Properties, Inc., GRI, CDPE - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Realty

Sometimes this can be a difficult decision for buyers and they have to choose which is more important location or being closer to work?  What a neat little calculator, thanks for providing it to us!

Mar 27, 2008 03:16 PM #29
Sasha Miletic - Windsor Real Estate
RE/MAX Preferred Realty Ltd. - Windsor, ON
Thanks GARY, I did add that calc to my igoogle.
Mar 27, 2008 04:02 PM #30
Carol Culkin
Reece & Nichols - Leawood, KS
Overland Park
Gary, I learned the meaning of quality of life 9 years ago when I moved from the burbs to the country and it takes me 20 minutes to get to anywhere just for everyday errands. The time I spend in the car could be better spent enjoying a better quality of life by living closer to more conveniences. We live and learn...in this case - it's true "be careful what you wish for"....I always wanted to liev in the country. Now I would mve in a heartbeat if it were feasible.
Mar 27, 2008 05:05 PM #31
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Gary Woltal

Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth
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