The right location for your new home depends on your lifestyle and preferences. When you choose the location for your new home, there are several factors to consider. It’s important to think about all of them before selecting a single location, especially if you are relocating and unfamiliar with the area where you will live and/or work. Your real estate agent is a great source of information about your new area if you have specific questions while you are doing your research.
Proximity to Work - If you will be commuting to work, think about the amount of time you’re willing to spend on your commute. If you plan to drive to work, determine how much time you’re willing to spend in the car. Draw a circle around your office that corresponds to the number of miles you will drive to the office. Look for neighborhoods within that circle and measure them against your other criteria. If your city offers public transportation, you will also want to consider how far you’re willing to drive or walk to the train/bus/ferry. Add this to the time you will spend on public transportation to determine your total commute.
Proximity to Schools - If you have children or plan to have them in the future, research the public and private schools in the areas you’d like to live. If you choose public school, look at the school ratings and the distance to the school for your target areas. If you choose to send your children to private or charter schools, again consider the commute. Commuting to schools can often be nearly as busy as commuting to work, so determine how much time you are willing to spend in the car and choose a neighborhood within your desired commute distance.
Proximity to Town Amenities - Decide which amenities you plan to use in your city or town and choose a location that allows you take advantage of those amenities. If you enjoy going out to bars and restaurants, you might want to live within walking distance of your downtown area. If you have young children and plan to use the parks, you might want to live close to those parks. If you are a baseball or soccer family, you might want to be close to the local fields. Your personal and family lifestyle should determine which town amenities you want to live near.
Neighborhood Amenities - Some neighborhoods offer amenities to residents, such as tennis courts, a community pool, parks, and playgrounds. Decide which of these amenities are ‘must have’ for your family and which are ‘nice to have’ for your family. If possible, choose a neighborhood that offers the amenities that you and your family will use most often.
Whatever location you choose, get to know the area before you make a final home buying decision. Test the commute, talk to parents at the local schools, and visit the parks and restaurants to make sure they work for you and your family before you select your new home.
Enjoy the adventure!