The Top ‘Lifestyle Factors’ When Home Shopping

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

If you want to make a sale, selling the lifestyle in a community or neighborhood is becoming an important piece of the presentation of a home, according to a new survey. One in five home owners have moved or would like to move because they don’t think their neighborhood or community is a good fit to their lifestyle, according to a recent survey of more than 1,000 home owners and future home buyers

The majority of those surveyed said they would place more weight on lifestyle factors–such as family-friendly neighborhoods or easy access to cultural activities like museums and music venues–when shopping for a future home. The survey was conducted by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC and and Meredith Corp.

“While the relation of price to features has become very favorable in many areas throughout the country, ultimately the surrounding community may determine how happy you are with your home purchase,” says Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC, which used the survey results to launch a “Lifestyle Search” tool on its web site to help buyers factor in community preferences–such as “arts and recreation” and “family and community”–more in their search.

Here are some of the top lifestyle priorities survey respondents reported they’ll be looking for in their next home:

  • Ease of commuting by car: 38%

  • Access to health and safety services: 34%
  • Family friendly neighborhood: 33%
  • Availability of retail stores: 32%
  • Access to cultural activities: 21%
  • Public transportation access: 19%
  • Nightlife and restaurant access: 18%
  • Golf friendly area-access to golf courses: 6%

Melissa Tracey

Melissa Dittmann Tracey is a contributing editor for REALTOR® Magazine, writing about home & design trends, technology, and sales and marketing. She manages the magazine's award-winning Styled, Staged & Sold blog.

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  1. These results are exactly why Country Club Lifestyle Realty was created. Our knowledge of clubs and social life in Houston, Texas is here to clients and potential clients. There is no way a potential buyer can learn about all the clubs, the leagues, and the social life in Houston by themselves so we have lived and researched the information and can bring it to clients directly. Schools are clearly important but so is lifestyle.