You’ve probably heard the phrase “location, location, location!” plenty of times, especially since it’s something realtors like to say when they’re determining which houses will sell. But, it’s more than just a catchy slogan or marketing technique. Location actually is one of the most important aspects to consider when buying a house.
The location of a home can determine a lot of things, including the overall cost and monthly bills. It’s also important to consider location if you have kids in school, or if you plan to be an active part of your community.
So, if you’re currently in the real estate market shopping around for a new house, it’s important to understand just how much location should be considered within your search. Finding the right realtor can help to give you a head start on choosing locations suitable to your needs. But, whether you have a realtor or not already, let’s talk more about why you should take the location of your prospective new home seriously.
It’s Where You’ll Work, Play, and Live
Sometimes, it’s easy to get caught up in the home-buying process and just focus on the house itself, instead of the community that surrounds it. While statistically, people are spending more time at home, most people still have to go to work or school and participate in extracurricular or leisure activities.
So, it’s important to look at the surrounding neighborhood(s) when you’re considering a house. What are the schools like? What is the neighborhood itself like? According to Child Trends, in 2016, 64% of parents “definitely agreed” that their neighborhoods were safe. No one wants to fall into the other part of that statistic. Finding a safe and suitable neighborhood for your family should be a top priority.
You’ll also have to consider work factors into your location, including:
- How long will your commute be?
- Will you be able to take public transportation?
- How will it impact your schedule?
- Will it have an effect on your work/life balance?
Finally, because you’re not going to stay inside your house all the time, you’ll want to make sure there are plenty of things to do in the community. Finding local activities that match up with your interests and hobbies can help you to make a clearer decision as to whether the location is right for you. The same goes for making sure your kids will have plenty to do, too! Getting involved in a community can make it feel more like home much faster, and can make the transition easier on everyone.
Making a Good Investment
The cost of living varies throughout the country, and it has to do with more than just home costs. Cost of living includes:
- Food prices
It’s important to consider all of those factors when you’re choosing the best location for your home, so you can make a solid investment. Currently, Hawaii is the most expensive state in the U.S. to live in, with Washington D.C., California, and New York close behind. Alternatively, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and many other southern states tend to be less expensive.
If you’re less worried about which state to live in and more concerned about where a house actually is, consider the land. For example, if a house is for sale next to a highway, you might be able to buy it for a great! But, it could also be harder to sell in the future. Alternatively, if you buy a house with a lot of land, you could end up paying more, but it could be more valuable as property values rise, so you could make a profit if you ever decide to sell.
Going Location Hunting
About 52% of home buyers turn to the Internet as their first step when they’re starting to search for houses. The Internet has made it easier than ever to see multiple houses all over the country and feel like you’re actually “there,” thanks to pictures, videos, etc.
But, nothing beats actually seeing a home in person, especially if you’re thinking about purchasing it. If you’re relocating to a different part of the country, why not turn it into a fun road trip for the family? Pack the essentials, tune-up your car, and practice safe habits on the road while you go from house to house on your list. Seeing houses in person will give you a better idea of whether they’re the “right” place for you, if they need any extra work, etc.
Plus, it gives you the chance to check out the surrounding community.
So, “location, location, location” should be your mantra throughout the home-buying experience. If you’re not sure what to look for or where to get started, contact a realtor today. But, keep these ideas in mind as you begin your search, and you’ll be able to quickly weed out houses that don’t feel like the right fit.