Too often house buyers find “The House” that is everything they have ever imagined and they start the purchase process. Although it may seem like the only safe way to get your dream house before somebody else snatches it up, purchasing the house without knowing the neighborhood can end up being a mistake that you will have to live with for a long time to come. Before you ever start searching listings for homes for sale that match your criteria, sit down and discuss what matters to every member of your household and what the perfect community looks like for you.
Unlike building your own home, when you make a choice in houses for sale based entirely on the house itself, you get the neighborhood that goes with it sight unseen. Following are some steps to take that will help you determine which of the homes for sale that you look at is really the best choice.
• List Your Top Priorities – If you have kids, or plan to have in the near future, consider the role that schools will play in your lifestyle. If you love to play golf, a luxury home in a gold community will put you in the center of the activity you enjoy the most. Do you prefer to have more privacy from the neighbors or be in the middle of the hottest night life?
• House or Condo? – There are also choices between single family homes, apartments and townhouses. If you aren’t sure what the features of each are, do some research so you know what to look for.
• Consider Your Commute – Decide how far you are willing to commute to work each day based on the mode of transportation you will rely on.
• Old vs New – Historic neighborhoods offer a lot of charm while new neighborhoods have more modern features and are less likely to require repairs.
• Evaluate Your Current Community – What do you like or dislike about the community where you live now?
• Water Access – If you have always dreamed of living close to the water, there are homes for sale on lakes in some locations and beach properties in others.
• Access to Shopping, Local Activities – If you enjoy spending time walking around the neighborhood going to local shops, taking the kids or dog to the local park, or going on bike trails, these are features that you want to look for when moving to a new neighborhood.
Other factors that you should examine in any area of interest include the crime rate, tourist attractions and neighborhood associations. Once you find the general area that you want to live in, start looking at the listings for homes for sale in that area that are a match for your criteria. If you have a chance to talk with an existing resident, they can give you firsthand information to help you make your decision. The more information you can obtain, the better able you will be to make a decision that the entire family can live with.