Living Near a Trader Joe’s Can Increase Your Home’s Value—But That Might Not Be a Good Thing

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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Few of us can resist the lure of Trader Joe’s frozen potstickers, honey mango shaving cream, and Anthropologie dupe candles. So when the prospect of living just a block or so away from a store pops up, visions of slashed takeout budgets and dark chocolate peanut butter cup-stocked pantries dance in our heads. And if that wasn’t tempting enough, there’s the fact that, according to a recent analysis by ATTOM Data Solutions, having a TJ’s in your zip code can positively affect your home’s value.

Just take it from Alex Tran who owns a two-bedroom condo in Seattle just a 10-minute walk from the TJ’s in Queen Anne. Tran says that when purchased, the home was valued at $300K. Now it’s worth at least $450K!

Kathleen Spiking, an agent with ReeceNichols Real Estate in Kansas City, Missouri, says that while property values in the city have been steadily gaining speed due to revitalization of the downtown and midtown areas, there was a noticeable shift in property values (she says +44 percent) in the surrounding neighborhoods after a Trader Joe’s opened at the Ward Parkway shopping center.

Now, the reasons behind this magical “Trader Joe’s effect”? According to Spiking, it’s generally that a location of the popular grocery store chain signifies a certain tier of neighborhood amenities. They also generally open in neighborhoods with a lot of new investment or currently exist in an already coveted area. These factors generally lead to additional demand in housing supply—which could raise values quickly if there’s more people who want to live near a Trader Joe’s than there are available homes or apartments.

And, unsurprisingly, there are a ton of people who want to live close to them! Take, for example, Ethan Elkins, an account executive at DADA Goldberg in New York City. He chose his current apartment because it was only one street away from the Trader Joe’s location in SoHo.

“It’s extremely convenient and economical compared to other grocery stores or delivery services,” he says.

Elkins isn’t a rare occurrence of someone deciding their housing on the proximity to the grocery chain. Kelsey Searles decided to buy a home in an unfamiliar-to-her neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley. While she loved the house’s look (and budget)—seeing a Trader Joe’s around the corner really sealed the deal for her.

Even Holly Sose, an agent with Corcoran Real Estate in New York City, says she’s seeing increased attention for a current Manhattan listing right across the street from a Trader Joe’s about to open.

Now, increased demand like this is good for home price—but it can also cause annoying everyday realities for those who live nearby.

“The downside for those neighborhoods that do have a Trader Joe’s is the increase of traffic on both busy streets and in neighborhood streets,” Spiking says.

Stephanie Johnson rents an apartment a block and a half away from the Lowest Greenville Trader Joe’s in Dallas. Because the location was in an already popular area, the already backed-up traffic got a little worse once the store opened. Thankfully Johnson was able to sidestep this since the location was within walking distance, but it does make coming and going from the area in a car a bit harder.

And if you’re thinking of driving the minute or so to stock up, Tyler Smith, who lives near the Monterey, California, Trader Joe’s, says you have another think coming:

“It’s not always easy to get into the Trader Joes […] or even leave the parking lot,” Smith says. “The lot is too small and this leads to a line of cars trying to get in and out. All the locals know about the Trader Joe’s parking lot nightmare, and due to traffic and poor parking, my wife and I often decide to ride our bikes to get groceries and then pack them in our bike bags.”

Live happily far enough away from a Trader Joe’s where a visit every-so-often remains more of a treat than a hassle? Reward yourself with a few of these tried-and-true home items—they’re all under $10.

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