You most likely have a list of features that you want your next home to have. You may not find a house that ticks all the boxes, which means you’ll have to make some compromises, and it’s important to know when you need to be flexible.
Look for a Neighborhood Where You Will Feel at Home
It’s easy to focus on a house and overlook problems with the surrounding area. A neighbor’s unkempt lawn or barking dog may not seem like a big deal now, but homeowners who neglect maintenance can drive down property values for everyone else, and noise that never seems to end or that occurs when you’re trying to sleep will quickly get on your nerves.
Look for a place where your family will have people to interact with. If all the neighbors are much older or younger than you, or if there are no families with children around your kids’ ages, you may feel isolated from the rest of the community.
Find a neighborhood where your family will be able to participate in activities you enjoy. Whether you like to play in a park, go hiking or swimming, or pick up takeout from a local restaurant, make sure that things that are important to you are close by.
Crime can happen anywhere, but you want to avoid an area with high crime rates. Ask your real estate agent about statistics related to crime in the area, what types of measures are taken to keep people safe and whether the numbers have been going up or down.
Find a House in a Good School District
The quality of the local schools is important, even if you don’t have kids, you don’t plan to have any or your children have already graduated and moved out. For families with children, making sure that their kids will have access to a quality education is of the utmost importance.
The performance of local schools directly impacts property values. If you buy a house in a good school district, when you eventually sell, you’ll have a much easier time finding a buyer and getting a high price than you would if you bought a home in a poorly performing district.
Think About Your Commute
Many people have fallen in love with a house and then discovered that their commute to and from work was so long and unbearable that they didn’t have much time to enjoy relaxing at home. Don’t make that mistake. Before you move ahead with a purchase, drive back and forth from the house to your workplace at rush hour to find out what the commute would be like. Then ask yourself if you would want to make the trip day after day, week after week, or if you would be better off choosing a house closer to work.