LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION You hear this all the time! Is it really the number one thing you need to think about when choosing where you want to live?
Routinely when I am showing homes, clients will fall in love with the interior decor of a home and ooh and aah over about how it is just what they want. Sometimes I will see issues with the location of the home. Unlike a typical sales person I often point out the negatives to them like: it backs up to a busy road, the power lines are too close, it is the first lot in the neighborhood, it is at a T in the road and the headlights will shine in your front windows, etc. Where do you want the sun to rise and set? Some of these are of course personal preference and may not be a negative to everyone. However, they often can impact the value of the home and how easy it will be to sell in the future.
"It is easy to fall for a house while forgetting that you will inherit the homes’ neighbors, so give that serious consideration too."
Neighborhoods have characteristic personalities designed to best
suit single people, growing families, two-career couples, or retirees. I recommend that you investigate to determine if the neighborhood matches your lifestyle and personality. As your realtor I can help you with the neighborhood demographics. I pull reports so that my clients can see details in the neighborhoods like how many are married and single, how many children and their ages, the ages of adults etc.
We recently moved from our Brookside neighborhood because the area we were in had a lot of older kids. Our 7 year old son didn't have kids around to play with. We were concerned that technology and video games was his only form of entertainment. In our new neighborhood there are about 10 boys around his age and that is predominantly why we picked this neighborhood. It's good to know the demographic you will be joining and really consider what it would be like to live there.
Ready to Build?
Here are some things to look for when you are preparing to build:
Quiet streets, front, and back
Future development that could arise around the area
Services - water, sewer, storm water
Topography - slope, flood plane, etc
Building Restrictions (size, siding, design)
Exposure (South gets sun all day)
Soil Conditions - Clay, rock, farmland converted to residential
Location of utilities - electrical box, power lines, etc.
Neighborhood amenities - pool, tennis courts, golf course access, clubhouse, playground, etc.
Service/Shopping amenities - grocery, pharmacy, gasoline, fire services, etc.
Work Commute - look for traffic patterns and long term construction plans for the city and area surrounding your potential parcel
Neighborhood Demographics - family friendly, quiet for seniors, pet friendly, education levels, etc.
HOA - fees, bylaws, restrictions, etc.
When choosing your next home, you want to research what the feel of the neighborhood is, and if it aligns with your needs and wants. Some people want to have block parties often and be very social with their neighbors, some are even a lot like a big happy family, while some offer more of a peaceful, quiet, sleepy lane feel.
When you think you have found a home you love here are my recommendations to see if it is really right for you:
Drive through the entire area at different times of the day, during the week and on weekends.
Get out and walk around, talk with neighbors
Look carefully at how well other homes in the area are being maintained; Are they painted? Are the yards well cared for? Are parked cars in good condition?
Listen for noise created by roads, railways, public areas, schools, etc.
Check with local civic, police, fire, and school officials to find information about the area or research the buyers resource website addresses at the bottom of this blog.
How is the commute? Drive to and from work during your regularly scheduled work week.
Does the neighborhood have a homeowners association?
Is it near major highways and shopping?
Is it near parks, churches, recreation centers, sports arenas, theaters, public transportation, restaurants?
Information can be found at city hall or through the local Chamber of Commerce. Future developments change a neighborhood, increase taxes, and increase traffic. It's a good idea to investigate the future potential of the neighborhood then decide if that outlook will be suitable for you and your family.
I know it seems like a lot to consider before picking the perfect location. That is why I recommend having a trusted realtor that knows the area and your wants and needs to help guide you through the process. By asking the right questions and considering all of your options, you can find the perfect neighborhood suited to your sweet home ~ sweet life.