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Realtor study reveals why home buyers choose to buy in their neighborhood – report

Where do people move to?

It’s not just a theory that Realtors should be focused on their neighborhood or area, the data supports the financial side of this concept. According to the 2011 National Association of Realtors® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, home buyers moved a median of 12 miles from their previous residence.

Although buyers in the South moved the farthest from their home at a median of 15 miles from their previous residences, the Midwest and Northeast moved only ten miles. Although ten to 15 miles isn’t exactly a neighborhood, most buyers didn’t move a state away, they moved across town.

Why do buyers choose their neighborhood?

As with years past, the top factor that home buyers cited as their most influential reason to buy a home in a specific neighborhood was the quality of the neighborhood, even above the second factor of convenience to work.

Nearly half of all buyers say affordability is an important factor in their choice.

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Predictably, married couples and people with children name quality of neighborhood and convenience to schools more than other buyers while unmarried couples and single males cite convenience to entertainment and leisure as their most influential factors.

Single women are more likely to place a higher priority on convenience to friends and family and all singles note affordability as a driving factor.

The takeaway

Buyers are relocating within their own cities, often just a few suburbs down the road, and the quality of a neighborhood is their top priority, closely followed by convenience to work and affordability. With the rising foreclosures leaving blight houses behind (which studies show that an abandoned building within half a block of a home reduces its value by $28,000), buyers will likely to continue pointing to neighborhood quality as their top factor in purchasing a home.

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