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.
To find the very best location for your new home, ask yourself these questions.
1) 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.
2) 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 in your new home.
3) What Kind of Atmosphere do you Like?
Your personal preferences can play a large part in where you ultimately decide to live. 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.
4) How Much of a Work Commute is Acceptable?
Unless you work from home, there will be a need to drive 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.
5) 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.
6) Is Acreage Important to You?
Some people like 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.
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.