Value and Space Are So Very Subjective

NYC front yard on 10th st.
(screen grab courtesy of Google Maps)

I was on vacation in New York City last week, taking a walking tour of the Greenwich Village and Chelsea neighborhoods. While on tour, the guide pointed out a street that had front yards – Actual front yards! – and was clearly excited about this 3-foot-deep patch of grass. My first instinct was to laugh, but after spending only a few days in the hustle and closeness of the city, I could see where her excitement was coming from. Space, in New York, is at a premium. It adds tremendous value to a home.

It got me thinking about how our differences in experience can change our perspective and influence our wants and needs when we’re looking for a home. In Portland, a high value is placed on homes that are walkable to shops and restaurants, particularly in certain close-in neighborhoods. Those houses have maintained value better during the real estate downturn because native Portlanders have collectively decided that we find it important to, at least occasionally, get out of our cars and enjoy even a peek of sunshine.

It’s not important for everyone, though. Recently I worked with some people who were relocating from a suburb outside of Atlanta. They were accustomed to large lots in gated communities, and were having a hard time seeing any value in the close-in neighborhoods that I mentioned above.

In other words, perspective effects experience in nearly every situation in life. Including real estate. Portland was the 37th most expensive housing market in the country last year. Some transplant clients (Atlanta suburbs) think it is absurdly overpriced, while others (New York) thought they could get a fantastic bargain.

Interestingly, nearly everyone comes to the have the same perspective about Portland after living here. People tend to fall in love with it, though it may take a couple of rainy seasons to do it.

If you’re looking to move into your next overpriced bargain of a perfect home, give me a call or email.

Amy Seaholt, Oregon Broker, CDPE

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