A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 25, 2006
“Location! Location! Location!” (real estate adage)
It's often said that the three most important things to know about selling real estate are: "location, location, and location."

It is assumed that this saying comes from New York City (where real estate values are high in prime locations), but the first known citation is from an advertisement in the 1926 Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune. The saying was very popular in the real estate business in the 1950s.

A newer real estate adage (also involving location) is "Buy the worst house in the best neighborhood."


5 January 1939, El Paso (TX) Herald-Post, pg. 13, col. 4 classified ad:
You Want A $10,000 Home
BUY THIS BEAUTIFUL HOUSE
For 3 Reasons
Location, Location, Location

Google News Archive
8 January 1950, St. Petersburg (FL) Times, pg. 52, col. 5 classified ad:
LOCATION!
LOCATION!
LOCATION!
Elegant English Home
1727 8th Street North

Google News Archive
16 May 1950, St. Petersburg (FL) Times, pg. 24, col. 3 classified ad:
THREE THINGS
To Remember In Buying Real Estate
all three are
Location-Location-Location
(Griggs Walker -- ed.)

3 January 1955, Kansas City Times, pg. 27, col. 6:
LOCATION! Location! Location! Three most important points on home values!
(...)
Erisbols, Realtors, DE. 7777.

25 May 1956, Newark (Ohio) Advocate, pg. 21:
LOCATION IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ITEM when you buy a home.
(...)
Shannon Real Estate.

22 November 1956, Van Nuys (CA) Valley News, pg. 4-D ad:
Location Location Location
The 3 things to look for when you buy a home.

3 May 1960, Iowa City press-Citizen, pg. 15, col. 1:
LOCATION! LOCATION!
LOCATION!

A famous realtor once said the three most important features of a home are its location.
(...)
James W. Pearson, Realtor.

New York (NY) Times
On Language
Location, Location, Location

By WILLIAM SAFIRE
Published: June 26, 2009
(...)
Hey, Fred, anything new on this triple-word “rule” since your 2006 publication? Without a beat, he replied: “I remember one. Should be here on my computer.” Moments later: “Here it is, from a 1926 real estate classified ad in the Chicago Tribune: ‘Attention salesmen, sales managers: location, location, location, close to Rogers Park.’ ”
(...)
The context of the 1926 ad suggests it was already a familiar aphorism in Chicago; phrasal etymologists are not yet finished with this challenge, and the Lexicographic Irregulars are invited to weigh in.
Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBuildings/Housing/Parks • (0) Comments • Sunday, June 25, 2006 • Permalink