If you’ve ever read a local political mailer, odds are you’ve seen the term infrastructure. Candidates often talk about “making sure there is enough money for local infrastructure” or “ensuring that our community’s infrastructure is up-to-date.” But what does that really mean to you as a homeowner?
The word infrastructure is defined as, “the fundamental facilities and systems serving a country, city, or area, as transportation and communication systems, power plants, and schools.” From a local property owner’s perspective this includes things like; roadways, wastewater transport (sewers), water mains, electrical supply, telecommunications (high-speed cable) healthcare and emergency response services.
Even though most of us may not use the word “infrastructure” in everyday conversation, as homeowners we actually talk about it a lot. Last week, I asked our neighbors if their basement flooded after a recent thunderstorm. We were basically talking about the local infrastructure, we just didn’t realize it at the time.
Your community’s ability to provide a good quality-of-life to you and your neighbors is directly tied to the health of its infrastructure. A home based in a community that does a solid job of providing basic needs like electricity, clean water and the ability to commute to work is going to have a higher value than one whose systems are outdated or in disrepair.
It’s not realistic to expect your community to keep its infrastructure in perfect working order at all times – especially in older communities. But it is realistic to expect regular, ongoing maintenance, repairs and overhauls to be a part of your area’s infrastructure planning. This attention ensures that home values remain steady.
If your current or prospective community has new infrastructure projects in the works, it may mean that your home’s value is about to rise. For example, Southern Indianapolis homeowners were excited when the city began construction on the Red Line, a new 13 mile bus rapid transit system (BRT) that would run through “Broad Ripple down to the University of Indianapolis, passing by plenty of single-family housing along the way”. They knew that the accessibility of the new Red Line would make housing prices take a big jump.
Prospective homeowners should look beyond the property line to assess the health of the area’s infrastructure before making a decision to buy. A beautiful home doesn’t have much resale value if the community’s sewers fail whenever there is a rainstorm.
Some things will be self-evident, like the condition of the roads. However, asking your REALTOR® a few infrastructure focused questions is always a good idea. Here’s a few examples;
- When the electricity goes out, how long does it usually take to restore power?
- Is their high-speed cable internet available, or if not are there plans to install it soon?
- Do you know what the average response time is for emergency services in the area?
- When was the last time the city water mains were updated, removing older lead pipes?
- What is the garbage pickup schedule and is there a recycling program in place?
- Have there been issues with sewer discharge in the past 5 to 10 years?
My name is Alicia and I can help you sell or buy a home in Park Hill, Green Valley Ranch, Montbello, Montclair, Central Park, Aurora, and the Greater Denver area!