Realty Vision

Posted by Realty Vision on 8/17/2017

Four decades ago, moving near downtown was considered to be a bad idea by some homeowners. Buying a house downtown put homeowners near transient traffic, people who frequented the area only to go shopping or work.

Is living near a mall the new downtown dilemma?

Not living downtown could reduce the financial, social and community investment that people visiting the area put into downtown. Fallout of that reduced investment could be higher crime, less community offerings and lower community based social connections.

Yet, there are conveniences that come with living near downtown. The same applies to living near a shopping mall. Buy a house near a mall and you can be minutes away from work. You might be within walking distance of public transportation. And, of course, you'd be near clothing stores, restaurants, shoe stores and entertainment.

Market shifts are changing shopping malls

But, shopping malls are seeing less consumer traffic as are several other retailers. More consumers are going online to buy clothes, vitamins, shoes and products as large as house furniture. If the shift from shopping malls to online retailers continues, shopping mall areas might decline.

This could impact landscaping, investments that are put back into the area and the numbers and types of employers operating business near malls. Let the numbers of employers drop and people could start putting their houses up for sale. Vacant houses will more than likely impact the value of your home.

Chances that this could happen are good even if you take good care of your house, regularly performing general maintenance on your home. At first glance, the possibility might seem unrealistic, especially considering that It could take several years for the mall to start to show decline.

Protect yourself from mall decline

However, you could protect yourself by choosing neighborhoods that are not only near a mall but that are also near small businesses, bookstores, grocery stores, gas stations, medical facilities and businesses that aren't linked to the mall.

Seeing restaurants in the area that aren't located at the mall is another good sign that the area could continue to thrive even if consumers shift their shopping from the mall to online retailers. Another sign that the area may be a good choice is if residents organize and actively participate in several community events each year. You can also look for national landmarks, historic sites and indoor and outdoor sports and entertainment venues, establishments that can thrive even if the mall closes.

Drawbacks could outpace rewards if you buy a house near a mall

Similar to living downtown, living near a shopping mall offers a host of conveniences. Buy a house near a shopping mall and you'll be near businesses. You might be near some of the city's largest firms, potentially giving yourself greater opportunity to land a good job.

But, that doesn't mean that there aren't downsides to buying a house near a mall. With some malls experiencing decline, you could be buying a house in an area that might see economic fall off a few years after you buy the house.