Transportation to and from residential properties influences their ability to generate income and appreciate in value.

There are two kinds of transportation to keep in mind: public transportation and roads. But start by considering who will occupy the property that you will rent or sell. Are they more likely to drive to the places where they work and shop, or most likely to take public transportation?

If they will drive, evaluate the number and condition of nearby roads. Think about traffic patterns too – a property that lies near a road that is clogged with traffic during rush hour periods will be harder to rent or sell.

If the future occupants of your properties will use public transportation, you need to take a look at those systems too. How close are bus stops and train stations? If you are developing a property and hoping that it will attract commuters to a nearby city, how long is the overall commute, and what is the quality of the trains or buses involved?

The issue of transportation is more complex than some people imagine. Here’s a quick case study to keep in mind . . .

Back in 2010, a real estate investor bought a four-unit apartment building in Jersey City, New Jersey. He looked at a map and reasoned that its proximity to New York would attract young professionals who wanted to commute into midtown. However, he failed to try the commute himself, which involved taking an unreliable bus to one of the train stations that provide transportation to Manhattan. As a result, his property turned out to be a lot less desirable than he expected – and a lot more difficult to rent.

To summarize, properties that afford convenient and quick transportation are more valuable, and easier to rent or sell. Be sure to weigh that as you consider potential real estate investments.

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