Better to own near Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods?

Two of our most basic needs as humans are food and shelter, so we thought it might be enlightening to run an analysis combining the two elements. For this analysis, RealtyTrac looked at home values, appreciation and property taxes in U.S. zip codes with a Whole Foods or a Trader Joe’s to determine the best combination of food and shelter when it comes to these two iconic grocery store chains with cult followings.

What we found is that homeowners near a Trader Joe’s have experienced better home value appreciation since their purchase, but also pay higher property taxes on average.

Here are the details:

Homeowners near a Trader Joe’s have seen an average 40 percent increase in home value since they purchased, compared to 34 percent appreciation for homeowners near a Whole Foods.

Average appreciation for all zip codes nationwide is also 34 percent.

Homes near a Trader Joe’s also have a higher value on average: $592,339, 5 percent more than the $561,840 average value for homes near a Whole Foods.

The average value of homes was $262,068 across all zip codes nationwide.

Homeowners near a Trader Joe’s pay an average of $8,536 in property taxes each year, 59 percent more than the $5,382 average for homeowners near a Whole Foods.

The average property tax across all zip codes nationwide was $3,239.

Methodology

For this analysis we looked at home values and property taxes for 1.7 million homes, condos and co-ops in 188 zip codes with at least one Whole Foods store (and no Trader Joe’s stores) and 2.3 million homes, condos and co-ops in 242 zip codes with at least one Trader Joe’s store (and no Whole Foods stores). We compared the average of current home values to the average of home values at the time the home was last purchased. Home value and property tax data are from RealtyTrac’s sales deed and tax assessor databases; grocery store locations are from the USDA (http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/retailerlocator).

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