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15 August 2011

Communities

At Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, we have always focused on the importance of community as an integral part of the home buying process.  Yes: the quantitative characteristics of a house—square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the vital stats of the kitchen—are and always will be important.  But when the dust settles and the final boxes have been unpacked,  a big determinant of long-term happiness in a home is the community in which that home is located. 

In fact, we conducted a nationwide study this summer with Meredith Corporation which underscored the importance of community: the study showed that 1 in 5 homeowners have moved or plan to move because their community doesn’t fit their lifestyle.  That is a significant percentage.  This presents an exciting opportunity for real estate professionals to add even more value to the home buying process.  In addition to being an expert on the inventory in your market, be an expert on your market.  Is it family friendly? A great place to live for commuters? Filled with terrific restaurants or cultural activities? Or, if you are lucky..all of the above?  Knowing the lifestyle benefits of your market—really knowing them—is not an ancillary part of the discussion, it’s a core part of everyone’s job. 

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate is further enhancing community as part of our brand promise by introducing our new community search on our website’s homepage, www.bhgrealestate.com.

This new tool gives prospective homebuyers an easy way to search community characteristics that are important to them such as schools, health, shopping, restaurants, and golf courses, with just a few clicks. 

The happy by-product of our community focus has been the infusion of interest we have generated in a special list of “affordable, fun” communities across the country.  Venessa Wong of Bloomberg Businessweek recently published a terrific story on the top 25 affordable, fun places across the country

This story was inspired by our lifestyle search and our study with Meredith Corporation.  Given the current economy, and the growth of the Echo Boomers as the future of homebuyers, an intriguing topic is the exploration of areas that are affordable yet have plenty of things to do.  Perfect places where the next generation of homeowners could stake their claim on the American Dream.

We have been so pleased to see the excitement from the subject communities.  Check out this clip from ABC 15 Daybreak, in Arizona, in which Mayor Hugh Hallman talked about how Tempe, number 3 on the list, gained this distinction.  You can hear the pride in Mr. Hallman’s voice as he talks about “…the largest small town you’ll ever want to be a part of.”

In the end, we all want to be part of a community.  Help people find their perfect match, and the sales will follow.

 

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