How to Choose the Best Location to Buy Your Home

Posted by Justin Havre on Wednesday, December 12th, 2018 at 9:39am.

Where to Buy a Home"Location is key" is a well-known cliché in real estate, but, indeed, it has a foundational truth. When scouting for a house, location is one of the key factors one will have to consider. Location dictates value, affordability, and one's quality of life. Here are four factors buyers should consider when choosing a neighborhood.

Finding the right house can really make a place feel like home, but it isn't just about the physical building itself. It's also about the location. Real estate agents talk about location all the time, and about how important it is for most people. There's a reason for that. Location matters.

Wondering how to find the right house to buy? To find the very best location for your new home, ask yourself these questions.

Are Schools a Factor in Your Search?

Having children is a big responsibility, and sending them to good schools can help give them the right start in life. Choosing a location near a good school can be a great way to provide the best educational opportunities for your child. Carefully research the types of schools in all areas you are considering to get a better understanding of their benefits - asking local parents what their experiences have been with schools is one way to get second and third opinions.

If someone is planning on starting a family and having children, schools could be a primary determining factor in his or her choice of a neighborhood. Thus, one should explore the schools in the area including high, middle, and elementary schools. It is also important to get familiar with the school districts and boundaries.

Have you Looked at the Property Tax Rates?

Even from one town to the next, property taxes can vary a lot. That's also true between different neighbourhoods. These rates can change over time, but finding rates that work for you in an area you really like can make a house feel a lot more like a home. What is considered a good rate can differ from person to person, so it can be helpful to create a plan of how much you are willing to spend month to month before you find a house.

What Kind of Atmosphere do you Like?

Your personal preferences on atmosphere can play a large part in where you ultimately decide to live. Which house are you interested in? Some like spread out areas with low foot traffic, while others like busy, dense areas where they can socialize. You shouldn't rule anything out until you visit the area in-person, but identifying what neighbourhood aspects you enjoy can help you prioritize your search as you get into it. Finding a home is about finding a place that makes you happy, and this should not be forgotten when choosing between locations.

How Much of a Work Commute is Acceptable?

One should consider how they intend to get around. Will one be walking, driving, or boarding public transport to get to get to work and other important activities? For most buyers who live in urban areas with major traffic concerns, it is crucial to consider the time it takes to commute to and from work or school. How long is one willing to commute each day? One's commute time will affect their quality of life and how much time they spend with their loved ones.

Unless you work from home, there will be a need to commute to and from a place of employment. Some people don't mind spending an hour each way in traffic, while others look for the closest possible place to live. How much a commute matters should be considered, so the right home location can be found. A long commute can take a big chunk of the day, and can also be frustrating, so carefully considering it from all angles can help you choose the right home location.

Do you Need a Quiet, Peaceful Place?

Noise is everywhere, but the amount and type of noise can really vary from one place to another. Being right in a city means noise traffic and nightlife. Living in a cul-de-sac in the suburbs may mean children playing outside during the day. Being in a more rural area can mean sounds from nature and wildlife. When looking for the right location for a new home it's not just the level of noise but the type of noise that should be considered.

Is Acreage Important to You?

For some, it is important to live on a big piece of land. Others don't want the upkeep, and would prefer a small city lot. There are always choices and trade-offs to think about when it comes to the land surrounding a new home. It can help to know your preferences and have an idea of how much you are willing to deviate from those preferences when finding a house.

Amenities and Conveniences

One should take time to explore all the neighborhoods he or she is considering and also identify the contiguous amenities and conveniences.  Also important is determining how far one is inclined to travel for common conveniences such as grocery, gas stations, convenience stores, health services, and more. 

Also, it is vital to research and identify other local amenities such as community centers, parks, recreational activities, and other attractions. Homebuyers are increasingly preferring areas where they can walk to shopping centers, dining spots, and the local coffee shop.

Market Conditions and Affordability

For most homebuyers, the ultimate factor in choosing a location boils down to its affordability and getting the most for their money. Although buying a home is a personal decision, it is also a significant investment. Thus, it is crucial to investigate each neighborhood to get a better understanding of the property values and market trends.

Finding a suitable location for a home seems a daunting task for many people. However, if one has done the homework properly and has a clear understanding of his or her short-term and long-term goals, the search for an ideal neighborhood becomes simple. 

With careful thought, and by assessing what you really want, you will have a higher chance of finding the home location that is right for your needs. Then it's possible to really enjoy a new place, and really feel at home with your choice.

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