When you look at buying investment property, you should always weigh up its potential advantages and disadvantages, as seen through the eyes of prospective tenants. However, if the property is situated close to good public transport, then the advantages are likely to far outweigh any drawbacks.
Going green when buying property
As energy costs climb ever higher, society is becoming more green-minded and this is reflected in where we are choosing to live. Motor vehicles are major polluters, they kill and maim thousands of people every year, and congestion on our roads leads to stress, road rage and ill-health.
Living where you can either leave the car at home, or drive a few short minutes to the train or bus station is now a desirable lifestyle choice for many people wishing to reduce their carbon footprint. This means investment properties located near public transport are more attractive than ever before.
Just how close the property is to public transport is an important consideration. It needs to be within two to five minutes walking distance before leaving the car at home becomes a viable option. If it’s more than that, people will consider driving to the station, but then the quality of the station facilities comes into play. Is the car park free and, if not, is it cost-effective? Are there enough parking spaces to ensure you will always get a spot in the morning? Will your car be safe and, indeed, will you be safe if coming home after dark?
As well as proximity of the property to the transit centre, distance from the transit centre to the desired destination is also a factor. A property situated far from the city, but with an excellent public transport system nearby, is still going to be less desirable because of the longer commuting times involved.
On the flipside, if the property is right next to a train or bus depot, it will actually be less attractive to potential tenants. Public transport runs from early in the morning till late at night, so while having it just outside your gate might be convenient, it’s bound to be noisy as well. The combined noise, traffic and pollution associated with a transit centre can also lower the appeal of a neighbourhood and thus the value of its properties. According to some experts, this can be by as much as 10 to 15 per cent.
With living costs on the rise, the amount of energy a household consumes is becoming more important and this includes the energy used in commuting to and from work. A recent study by the EPA in the US found that the average household could reduce its energy costs by as much as 40% if it was located near good public transport.
Health and longevity are also important issues. A study done by the US Public Transport Association indicated that people who live near good quality public transport generally drive less, exercise more, are healthier overall and live longer as a result.
So it would seem that investing in property located near public transport not only makes good sense because of its logistical advantage, but also because of the advantages it offers on other levels, all of which will become more important to potential tenants in the future.