Shopping for a new home is a process filled with excitement and anticipation, while it also brings some uncertainty and even stress. Choosing the right home for you and your family is a big decision and selecting the right location is as important as the house itself as where you live affects aspects of your daily life.
Here are the most important factors to consider when choosing the right location for your home.
Step number one: figure out the amount of money you can comfortably spend on your new home and compare that to average home prices in a particular area. Price point is often the primary determining factor for homebuyers looking to relocate. Can you afford the amount of house you would like to have in the area in which you are looking? Use our calculator to help determine your answer.
This decision may be predetermined based on career or proximity to loved ones, but if you are open to moving to a new city or even state, it’s important to do your research and make this decision carefully. There’s no doubt that geography plays a role in local culture, so consider the lifestyle you want to live. Take also into consideration climate, average home prices and job opportunities in a particular area.
If you aren’t tied to a particular geographic location, climate is the next factor to consider. Do you prefer warm or cold weather? Rain or dry? Cityscapes or landscapes? Do you participate in outdoor activities such as cycling, hiking or skiing? Consider what you enjoy doing and the type of climate in which you would prefer to live.
Different neighborhoods have different characteristics. Which one best fits your personality and lifestyle? If you have kids, you may want to consider a neighborhood with lots of young families and children. Ask yourself how comfortable you feel in a particular neighborhood and if you think you’ll be able to get along with your neighbors or if you’ll feel as though you’ve always got to “keep up with the Joneses.” What parks are nearby and how close is the neighborhood to your local school, entertainment and shopping? Take a drive through the communities in which you are looking. Visit local shops. Get a vibe for the community. Go back on several days and at different times of the day so you can get a feel for the pace of life in any given neighborhood.
This is a top consideration for most home buyers. Areas with higher crime rates often offer more affordable housing, but is the difference in price worth taking a risk on your safety? This factor can also play a role in the resale value of your home. An online search will reveal facts and statistics that can tell you everything you need to know about the safety of any given neighborhood or part of town.
You might be surprised what you could learn about a neighborhood if you took some time to meet your potential neighbors. What kind of people live in the neighborhoods you are considering? Are there many families with children, or is the area full of retired folks or young professionals? These factors can certainly affect your long-term happiness in your new home.
If you have kids or are planning to have kids, school district may be one of the most important factors that determines the location of your next home. If you are confident in the local school district and neighborhood schools, you could save thousands of dollars you may have otherwise spent on private education. Keep in mind that in some cases, a school district that meets higher standards may mean paying a premium for your new home.
Proximity to Daily Activities
From work to school, shopping and play, the amount of time you spend driving each day can significantly impact your disposable income and quality of life. More time spent driving means less time relaxing at home with your family and participating in activities you enjoy. An hour-long commute to and from work means less time at home with your spouse and children.
To find the home of your dreams in the right location, choose a reputable real estate agent who is familiar with the areas you are interested in and can help you make the choice that best suits your needs and desires.
Have you already found the perfect home, or are you starting to search for it? Contact PrimeLending today to speak with a lending expert who can tell you more about your home loan options.