Driving through parts of Houston and Sugar Land, I wondered about the value of an entire area.
In my last post, I was discussing neighborhoods, but yesterday found me in two very different parts of the greater Houston area. I drove along Eldridge Parkway from I10 to a little beyond West Airport, then I headed for downtown Houston. Instead of considering the value within a neighborhood to look at the larger surrounding area. I came to the conclusion that defining value depends upon what you may want, but what you may also wish to obtain.
In downtown, you will have an easier time walking than driving, and their is a host of public transportation means at your disposal. On the far western reaches of Houston, walking may not be ideal, and there are few public transportation methods available. I hope that most of us could agree that having an option besides the car may be helpful at times. On the other hand, living along the far edges of the city may give you more peace and a better family environment. The value will be defined by the people who are buying into the area. The fact that public transportation was lacking bothered me though.
Most affordable homes are found along the outskirts of the city. This means that the house price may be closer to what most families can afford, but then these families may experience increased costs (like in transportation). I would argue that these affordable homes do not have value. We could look at other factors, like stores, to determine value. This may add value to some homeowners in the far reaches of the city. I could then admit that some value is added. This could go back and forth to refine the definition of value.
What does this mean to the home buyer? You have to think about value beyond the home that you wish to buy. The greater area plays its part. However, you do have an option to guide the area you choose into one that has great value: your participation. Being involved in community associations or voting for a candidate who will deliver that value to you. To make Houston affordable, home owners should become involved to encourage Metro to bring transportation systems to their neighborhoods, watch what city council members are doing to improve their quality of life, and speak up at events to let their concerns be known. Do not be satisfied with the value that you have; strive for the value that you should have.