Location is one of the most important considerations when buying a home. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, or about to trade up to the home of your dreams, here a few things to keep in mind.

Setting

One of the best ways to find out where to go next is to figure out how you feel about where you are now! Think about where you live and consider your favorite parts about it. Similarly, what would you change about your neighborhood if you could?

Prioritize these “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves.” What style or type of home are you looking for? When it comes to ranches, townhouses, apartments, farms – environment dictates function. Are you a two-car family? Bicycle-only? There are neighborhoods, towns, and cities designed to encourage every type of transportation.

Usability

In thinking about “usability,” consider the convenience of your prospective new neighborhood to the key spots in your daily life, like these:

  • Your place of work
  • Partner’s place of work
  • Favorite cafes, restaurants, snack shops, live music venues, and movie theatres
  • Your place of worship
  • Community, proximity to friends
  • Places to walk, play, picnic, exercise
  • Crime statistics
  • Tourist attractions

Schools

If you are single, or in a family without children, it might not occur to you to ask about schools. But schools alter the fabric of a neighborhood whether you have children or not. A school can increase the property value in the area, and necessitate the building of parks and community centers for the children to play in. Grade level schools aren’t the only type of school to consider, either. If you are looking to move to a quiet rural community, make sure to see if your new home is a “college town.”

For those with kids, of course, be sure to check out the school district and remember to consider grades above where your children are now. If they’re currently in elementary school, schedule a visit with the local middle schools, and if necessary, the high school as well.

Back to: How to Prepare to Buy a Home

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