Buying a home is a major life event. The decision about the location of your next home should not be taken lightly as it will impact your daily lifestyle, convenience, and financial well-being, for years to come. While a “perfect location” may mean different things to different people, the following are the most common factors most people consider while selecting a location for their next home:
- Lifestyle: The lifestyle of living in urban, suburban, or rural area, could not be more different from one another. Weigh in your likes and dislikes about each of these lifestyles to select a location that offers the type of lifestyle you and your family like to enjoy.
- Commute: Commute costs time and money, and causes displeasure and inconvenience. Select a location that is reasonably close to the places you frequent, such as work, friends and family, place of worship, gym, airport, favorite stores and restaurants, etc.
- School District: Generally, the higher the public school ranking,the higher the demand and price appreciation of the houses in the area, and vice versa. Also, the higher the public school ranking, the less severe the price decline during a housing slump, and vice versa. Choose the location of your next home in a better-ranked public school district to preserve the value of your investment.
- Demographics: Just as the school district, the area demographics also play a significant role in the demand and price appreciation of the houses in the area. Learn about various demographics that are important to you on websites like City-data. Some of the area demographics most people care about while selecting their next home include racial and ethnic mix, median household income, percentage of adults with a college degree, gender ratio, average age, and the area crime rate.
- Amenities: Local area amenities, such as libraries, parks, recreation centers, playgrounds, hospitals, public transportation, nature walks, and trails, are very important to many buyers. Consider the amenities that a location offers when buying your next home, as they will increase the desirability of your home when you sell it.
- Taxes: Different municipalities and counties charge different types and amounts of local taxes to their residents. Some of the examples of such local taxes include sales tax, property tax, and local tax credits and exemptions. Factor in your decision the incremental amount of local taxes you will be paying to live in a particular area.
You may also want to consider other things such as historical home price trend in the area, current home inventory, recent sales and how long were they in the market, local city and county governance, and overall infrastructure in the area.
Once you have identified the area you want to live in, the next step is to find a real estate agent who is specialized in buying and selling homes in that area. Your local real estate agent will help you learn about various neighborhoods in the area fitting your home price budget and meeting your home needs. Select the neighborhood that is the closest fit to your lifestyle and personality – a place where you will feel comfortable and where you are likely to get along with your neighbors. Consider the HOA fees, neighborhood amenities, and association covenants, before finalizing the purchase.