What Makes a Neighborhood Prestigious?

Real Estate Agent with Solutions Real Estate CA DRE #01490977

What Makes a Neighborhood Prestigious?


I was touring some homes over the weekend in Carlsbad for a client and the notation in the MLS listing on one property was that it was located in a prestigious neighborhood.




That was not at all my impression, even before I drove up, since I know Carlsbad real well because I live and sell proeprty there, and the drive through the area was not at all what I considered prestigious.


It made me think - so what makes a neighborhood prestigious?


Is it the general reputation, through word of mouth?


Is prestige defined by values?Is it based on pricing?


I have to wonder if a $600,000 home in a community where the average price of homes that are selling is close to $800K, and there are multiple homes listed in the $1M to $3M range, and some homes sell in excess of $6M, might be considered prestigious?



So who defines a prestigious neighborhood?


The residents?


The community at large, who views a particular are as prestigious because of the type of homes, views, and costs?


Desirability and difficulty of purchasing property there, based on prices, and supply and demand?


The people who live there? Celebrities, billionaires?


Is it what a reasonable person would define as prestigious? We all know those places, don’t we?


Or is it just marketing verbiage, where an agent is choosing to define the home and the community as being prestigious simply as a way to presumably attract buyers who may not know otherwise or will feel it means the home is worth more than it really is?


Is this home in a prestigious community?


Do buyers care?


Do they want to buy in a “prestigious neighborhood?” or is that all hype?


Does defining a community as prestigious translate to a higher price point or is it all artificial?


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  1. Will Nesbitt 08/29/2014 04:23 AM
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Roy - that is probably a good way to define it but clearly not everyone will agree

Nina - well there are certainly areas that are felt to be particularly desirable because lives there, or who they perceive lives there. It even comes down to the building in some places

Brian - I suspect waterfront in many areas is felt to be prestigious, at least in terms of the cost and views, and the limited supply

Carla - there are lots of differeing opinions, clearly. And does it really matter?


Aug 29, 2014 09:12 AM #18
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher
I guess all that's true, But growing up I never remember the incomes of the families that I used to hang with. I remember quality friendships and times and little moments.
Aug 30, 2014 01:25 PM #19
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Jeff - I think that prestigious is in the eyes of the beholder.  There is nothing to quantify it.

Aug 30, 2014 01:30 PM #20
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Jeff, it's man-made (or builder-made?) fallacy that some neighborhood are considered prestigious! (And once it is named so, prices go up!)

Aug 30, 2014 01:48 PM #21
William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA
Retired Real Estate Professional

Hi Jeff, Wonderful post and certainly a topic that deserves to be explored. I don't know that a one size fits all answer is either accurate or possible. Throughout the US, there may be areas in communities that  would fit the word, prestigious. Belvedere Ave in Newport RI comes to mind. However, when one speaks of Newport, one imagines wealth, sailing, country clubs, estates, etc. Is all of Newport presitgious? I guess it all depends on the specifics  and who is talking. If I lived there in an estate, I for one would never mention that word. 

Aug 30, 2014 01:57 PM #22
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

Prestige is in the eyes of the believer.  I can think I live in a mansion, but the other subdivision residence may be counting the day until they can move on.  I think it was puffing...

Aug 30, 2014 02:08 PM #23
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Laura - and for many prestige REALLY does not matter. There are others who are into all that it entails

Grant - well I agree. Prestige IS not the same for all, whether it's housing or other matters - clothing where we dine, the cars we drive, etc.

Praful - well that is certainly true. Once the word is out...

William - or Ocean Avenue in Newport where so many "cottages" are. True in many areas. Malibu for example. Nob Hill. Atherton. Rancho Santa Fe. And some people dont want to live in those areas, even though they can afford to do so The low-key lifestyle is far more appealing!


Aug 30, 2014 02:13 PM #24
Chris Griffith
Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL - Bonita Springs, FL
Bonita Springs Listing Agent

The comments are usually more like. MOTIVATED sellers! PRESTIGIOUS neighborhood!  Commentary is mostly lip service.  The commentary should be selling features and benefits of owning, not how the sellers or the agents feel or feel about the property. 

Aug 30, 2014 09:45 PM #25
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

I would add to this another in what I consider REALTOR® fluff, which is home listed in sought after neighborhood. Yesterday I saw one listed like this in the neighborhood I grew up in and knowing the neighborhood I can tell you it did not rise to that level.

Aug 30, 2014 09:51 PM #26
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

Puffery!  We have many "prestigious" neighborhoods here in Fort Wayne,  They are often golf course communities with higher end priced.  That would be $400,000 and up here.  

Aug 30, 2014 10:02 PM #27
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

It's probably better not to use the word "prestigious" when describing a neighborhood. What is prestigious to one person, may not be to another. 

Aug 30, 2014 10:36 PM #28
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher
I suppose there's a market for every niche including prestige even more then another areas of town. I'm not discrediting gentrification either.
Aug 30, 2014 10:55 PM #29
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Evelyn - in this case it was clearly exaggeration

Chris - I think that is an attempt to use emotion to sell. I doubt anyone falls for it, especially when they see the property live and it ain't what they felt it would be

Joe - yep, we see it all the time. It's an attempt to appeal to the emotions and desire

Jared - I bet every town has 'em

Pamela - no doubt. And does it really make a difference?

Laura - for some that IS important. Others dislike it


Aug 31, 2014 01:24 AM #30
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Jeff, I would go with your last paragraph - the agent defines a neighborhood as prestigious, but probably not out of thin air. All the other points you make are also valid and it's a great advertising tool.

Aug 31, 2014 02:14 AM #31
Sybil Campbell
Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia - Williamsburg, VA
REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia

Jeff, I think it is a play on words on the part of a smart agent who uses marketing and human nature to draw in prospetive buyers.

Aug 31, 2014 03:34 AM #32
Sharon Paxson
Compass - Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach Real Estate

Hi Jeff - great topic about what makes a neighborhood presitigious. I think it is when one describes a neighborhood, using prestigious is stating that it has a specific reputation.

Aug 31, 2014 04:08 AM #33
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging that Sells Portland Homes"

"Prestigious" is such a relative description that it comes across in a real estate ad as hinting of snobbish or exclusive.  If you think about it, it really just sounds foolish -- like they're trying too hard.

Aug 31, 2014 04:09 AM #34
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

It is always perception on the part of the owners and those that look at a neighborhood. If the homes tend to be above average and are well maintained then that location gets special consideration and over time and gets the prestigious award.

Aug 31, 2014 07:10 AM #35
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

I don't use the word prestigious when marketing a home - it's up for debate and not everyone appreciates the verbiage. You've given us food for thought, though!


Aug 31, 2014 07:37 AM #36
Frank Nolan
Nolan Realty Team / Pacific home Brokers - Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA
Jump and the net will appear

Honestly, I don't think it is hype, puffery or artificial. It is just a word that is very subjective. If the agent was used to listing properties in parts of South Central LA and they all of a sudden took a listing in Carlsbad they may look at that as being a very prestigious neighborhood. Likewise someone coming from the swamps of Louisana to Compton might see that as a prestigious neighborhood. Regardless of the description, the client you take there will have their own opinion and interpretation of what they consider prestigious and they would soon let you know if it didn't meet their expectations

Aug 31, 2014 10:18 AM #37
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Jeff Dowler, CRS

The Southern California Relocation Dude
What's my Carlsbad CA Area Home Worth??
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