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It’s often said that real estate value is all about “location, location, location.” In other words, if you know where the property is located, you know the most important thing about it. In reality, this is never entirely true, especially in a down market. My suggested replacement is “location, timing and luck.” Of course, location is always important when estimating value and arguably even more so in a down economy. If you can rent or buy a class A location in bad times for less than a class B location in good times, why wouldn’t you? The same folks who are driven away from prime locations at the top of the market flock back when those locations become affordable again. And, as a corollary, the less-than-prime locations suffer even more in a bad economy as tenants and investors flee toward quality.

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