Real estate values: What's in a neighborhood name?

Invoking 'country' can boost sales price

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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 multiple listing service 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.