Home Values: What's in a Neighborhood Name?

Want to boost the price on your house? Go country. Commonly held wisdom is that a prestigious-sounding name can add value to a neighborhood or subdivision. Now the research proves it. Buyers are willing to pay a premium of 4.2 percent for a property with "country" in the name and an additional 5.1 percent for the phrase "country club," according to new research.

The researchers from the University of Georgia looked at data from MLS sales reports in Baton Rouge, La., between 1984 and 2005. Like the country club areas, subdivision names tend to include words suggesting a slower, more bucolic lifestyle -- along with exclusivity and prestige.

Some of the industry's favorite buzzwords include "pleasant," "acres," "hills," "estates," "ridge" and "heights." One Denver blogger created a mix-and-match grid for Rocky Mountain neighborhood names. How about a residence at The Manor at Silver Fox Range?
In cities, the art of the well-named neighborhood has long been in the dominion of brokers and developers eager to re-cast an area as upwardly mobile. In New York City, the rise of new neighborhood names has been so fast and furious that Brooklyn's Democrat Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries introduced a state bill in April trying to limit the names on micro-neighborhoods.

Try telling that to CitiHabitats. The realty company is creating a buzz for the area around City Hall, which is squeezed between Wall Street and Chinatown, to be renamed as City Hall Park. Its new residential landmark is the New York by Gehry building.

CitiHabitats president Gary Malin says that these kind of nicknames help build growth for the city.

"You create energy and it helps the whole city," he says. "People are curious and they come and check it out. There is a cool factor." Malin disses Jeffries' bill to halt the trend in New York City as "legislating for legislation's sake."

In the race to create a name that sticks, there is a fine line between too-cute and and not-cute-enough. Seattle has undergone its own renaming period in recent years. "Midtown" Seattle was coined to separate the area from other distinct nearby districts such as Belltown, Pike Place Market and South Lake Union. Residents complained in the Seattle PI that the name sounded like New York.

In San Francisco, micro-neighborhoods between more established ones have cropped up over the years, such as "The TenderNob" between the Tenderloin and Nob Hill. More recently, a local movement by a food blogger successfully renamed a micro-'hood between the Mission District and Bernal Heights -- if appearing on Google Maps is a benchmark of success.

It's now known as "La Lengua" in honor of the preponderance of restaurants serving tongue meat.

Catherine New is a reporter with the Huffington Post Media Group.

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doldhipster

as an early resident of manhattans lower west side I can attest to the effect a name can have on an area. An area which was created in the late 1600's and by the mid 1900's had become a warehouse district just East of the Hudson river and by the late 1970's populated by a few hearty souls willing to give up the bright lights of the big city to live in the shadows of the World trades (before the addition of the World Financial Center ).Living a Bohemian life style no longer found in " The Village " in an area totally deserted at night except for 3 or 4 sawdust on the floor bars his great area was discovered by a few artests,,,,,,,,,,, the best known was Robert Deniro. By the mid 1980's this triangle below Canal street became known as Tribeca and became popular with everyone..soon condos replaced parking lots chic restaurants appeared and the sawdust bars turned into $8.00 a drink yuppie bars...Last time I was there Puffies Tavern was all that was left of those bygone day's and you could not take a step at any time of day or night without bumping into someone.

May 19 2011 at 2:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
LOUISE

I live near a town that was named "Cold Springs, Ma" They changed the name for a former politician. The new name i Belchertown. I would move If they changed my town to Belchertown

May 18 2011 at 11:07 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
sjpxmas

IF YOUR HOUSE IS WORTH $500,000 BE READY TO TAKE $450,000 FOR IT...

May 18 2011 at 9:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sjpxmas

YOU AND I ARE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO SELL OUR TREE HOUSE ANYWAY...IT'S ALL BS, EVERYONE HAS TO COME DOWN IN PRICE, OR THE BUYER WILL JUST GO SOME WHERE ELSE AND BUY..

May 18 2011 at 9:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sjpxmas

YOU GO LIVE IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD, AND I WILL LIVE IN MINE... I JUST DON'T WANT TO SEE A PIECE
OF JUNK CAR IN THE DRIVEWAY OF MY NEIGHBOORS, AND AN UNKEPT LAWN,, IT'S WELL WORTH IT FOR ME TO PAY THE EXTRA BUCKS SO MY HOUSE WILL MAINTAIN IT'S VALUE, THAN HAVE MY HOUSE LOSE A COUPLE OF HUNDRED THOUSAND SO THIS GUY CAN SIT ON HIS PORCH AND WATCH HIS UNPAINTED HOUSE AND JUNK CAR...

May 18 2011 at 9:00 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
sjpxmas

STOP IT,,, JUST FREAKING STOP IT OKAY,,,, IT'S EITHER YOU GOT THE MONEY TO BUY THE TREE HOUSE OR YOU DON'T, WHY ARE YOU SLOBBERING OVER THE PRICE AND THE MORTAGE,,, GO DOWN TO YOUR PRICE RANGE, QUIT TRYING TO BE SOMEONE YOUR NOT...

May 18 2011 at 8:50 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
koriannder

I actually lived in a neighborhood called South Park, in Dayton Ohio. We would find all sorts of characters taped to the signs. lol

May 18 2011 at 8:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chas and dot

just think some day all this will be communal properity with Obamas people as organizers telling us that the soylent Green is not made from American Citizens. Then we must pay homage to the Supreme leader, In this future third world nation that the master is pushing for, our homes will be occupied by the 25 +million illegals that are comming in as voters to keep the Obma regime in power. Then what will a name matter

May 18 2011 at 7:13 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Robin

Developers destroy wildlife habitat to build houses and then name the streets after the animals they have displaced: Pheasant Way, Fox Run, Hawk Heights, Black Bear Road, etc.

May 18 2011 at 6:48 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
Dars3

Am I the only person that doesn't want to live in cookie-cutter subdivisions with HOA fees and common areas and rules restricting things on my property like mailboxes, and windows, colors on the outside of the house, and other things like flags? Not to mention that all the new "named" subdivisions have ridiculously huge houses and no yards and trees. I'd rather live in an older home with character, have a yard, and fully grown trees than provide shade.

May 18 2011 at 4:17 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply