The perfect home may be a hot spot away
Ocean breezes; able to walk to shops and public transport; stunning mountain views. These aren’t phrases for advertising a holiday getaway—they are descriptions used to sell houses I’ve bought.
In the U.S., we’ve been accustomed to buying homes based on their physical characteristics instead of our lifestyle and neighborhood preferences. While the number of bedrooms and the size of the garage are important features, more and more people want their dream home to truly reflect their needs, aspirations and social connections.
“Lifestyle search” is one of the fastest growing ideas in residential real estate that promises to match the best properties with the right owners. Using neighborhood attributes, from demographics to the location of schools and other civic and social amenities, lifestyle search uses spatial analysis to match buyers’ desires to the best property.
Searching in this manner is hyper-local and smart because it supplements the realtors knowledge with local information and the latest socio-demographic statistics. Any factor or variable can be considered and the outcome weighted by how desirable or undesirable each is to a person’s need.
Want to live within two miles of the best school, within walking distance to a park but away from the highway or noisy industrial area? Lifestyle search will find an ideal location by combining all the options and desires, then highlighting the best candidates using hotspot analysis, which compiles this large amount of information and visually shows which locations meet the most criteria.
Thanks to real estate apps, lifestyle search is changing how people think about buying a house. Home buyers (and realtors?) now have the ability to instantly understand neighborhoods, compare like homes and search based on location. It is no wonder these apps are some of the most popular downloads on smartphones.
Some experts have commented that lifestyle search is really just an extension of the analysis that has been going on in commercial real estate for a decade or more. Even so, empowering everyone with better tools to help make a decision about the most important financial investment of their lives has to be a good thing.