Location, location, location is a cliche, but it also happens to be true. When choosing a new home in the area where you plan to move, location ranks at the top of the list of important factors.
That’s not always easy for people to accept, especially when they’ve found the perfect house, but it’s in a less desirable location. While it can be tough, it’s best to move onto another option if you want to have less trouble selling your home when the time comes.
But what factors go into making a good location? They include the following.
If you have kids, no one needs to tell you about this factor. But if you don’t, it’s possible you might not have schools at the top of your list of factors for great locations. But you should. Highly rated schools elevate a neighborhood’s value, even if you don’t (yet) have children. Homes zoned to great school districts are far more likely to retain their value and resell for a higher amount.
This applies especially to larger cities. Since land is finite, the areas around the city center often get redeveloped to provide residential housing that tends to retain its value. This can also hold true of some of the suburban areas. However, outlying areas tend to have more neighborhoods that people leave permanently, leading to pockets of deserted homes and boarded-up businesses. Living near the city center can be more expensive, but also help you earn money in the long run. That said, if you pick a suburb, make sure it ticks all the boxes on this checklist.
You can check the crime rates for specific neighborhoods with a service such as City Protect. The sad truth is that most of the time, areas with a high crime rate tend to have a high crime rate for a long time. Conversely, low crime rate neighborhoods tend to stay that way for decades. While there are exceptions, it’s important to make a thorough check on the history of crime rates.
A great way to check out a neighborhood is to drive through it during the morning commute hours, during a weekday evening, and on a Saturday. That gives you a good feel for what the neighborhood is like at different times, and allows you to see the neighbors in action. If you see people who are loud, have a lot of unleashed dogs, tons of cars parked on the lawn, etc. – those are all signs of bad neighbors. And even in a good neighborhood, bad neighbors can drag down home value.
Home prices represent another area where history can tell you much about the future. By looking at how much prices have appreciated, you can get a good idea of where your home value will go in the years to come. The higher, of course, the better.
Most of the other areas can be determined using statistics and observation. But another factor in location is your own preference. Depending on where you are in life, you might want a neighborhood full of young single professionals, couples with kids or seniors. Keep in mind that you should also assess the neighborhood by the other factors, but your personal preference can tip the scales if you’re trying to decide between two options.
Location ranks as the top concern for home buyers, and for good reason. You want a home that suits your needs and provides you the most value. As time goes by, you’ll be glad you considered all the different good location factors.
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