You hear it time and time again: When house hunting may seem to think it’s all about: Location, location, location.
Well, if you’re in the market to buy a home, location is important, but there are a few other factors to keep in mind. In other words, before packing up your entire world, you might want to consider the following points before making your final decision when house hunting and uprooting your family.
If you have kids in school, this is most likely at the top of your list. Be sure you thoroughly research schools serving those neighborhoods you’re most interested in to ensure you get the quality of education you want for your kids. GreatSchools.org is a good website to help you do your homework; it provides school reviews, test scores, demographics and more.
Do you commute to work? Choose your neighborhood smartly so you don’t end up spending more time in traffic (and the car) than enjoying your new home. When you start your home search, pay particular attention to how far your desired neighborhoods are from public transit (buses, commuter rails, subways, etc.), as well as any major highways. Decide how much traffic you’re willing to deal put up with on a daily basis and/or if the trade-off of living in your dream neighborhood is worth the extra commute time.
Living the Lifestyle
Are you more of a historic urban neighborhood type or are you looking for a quiet, family-friendly ‘burb? The quality of life you seek depends on your lifestyle needs, so you will want to live in a place ultimately makes you and your family happy, right? Be sure to take drives through the neighborhoods you’re interested in, walk around, and visit small businesses to get a feel for what living in those places could be like. Explore during the daytime and nighttime to get a real feel for what the city, town, or suburb offers. Don’t simply rely on online searches, Realtors, and reviews to make your decision; see it all for yourself.
What’s in Town?
Are you hoping to live close to restaurants, shopping and family attractions? Do you like to be in the center of things? Feel more comfortable when you can walk to the local coffee shop for a daily dose of caffeine? Or are you the type that prefers the quiet where there are no strip malls, chaos, and no city events? Keep these thoughts in mind when home hunting and stick to your guns. Once you unpack the boxes and place the sofa where you want it, it’s pretty hard to change your mind.
Even though you’re in the process of buying a home and setting down new roots, it doesn’t hurt to keep in mind resale values of the property since you might want to put up a ‘for sale’ sign sometime down the road.
When all is said and done, location, location, location is important but so are other factors when compiling your list when shopping for a new home.