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New Home Locations: The Factors You Should Consider

new home locations imageWhere should you live? With so many options, this is the first decision you need to make, long before you begin to shop for a specific home. Whether you are a life-long resident of your city, or moving there for the first time, it can be confusing to choose both the home that is perfect for you, as well as the ideal neighborhood.

Factors For Possible New Home Locations

Even within an attractive community, there can be some streets and home locations that are more desirable than others. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation website, it is well worth the effort to carefully research a variety of neighborhoods. Your Realtor will be a valuable resource. What are some of the factors you need to consider?

Commuting

The first thing you need to think about when contemplating new home locations is your commute to work. Most people find that a shorter commute makes it more likely that they will experience long-term satisfaction with their home. One possibility that may broaden your commuting options is if your neighborhood has easy access to public transportation. On the other hand, with so many people telecommuting from home these days, your work commute may not be an issue. However, what about your drive to visit relatives and friends? Do you want to live close to them?

To Downtown or Not

Another consideration is whether you want to live close to the city center, in a newer neighbourhood outside of downtown, or on a large piece of property or acreage outside city limits. Part of this decision will be based on your lifestyle. If you have children, you’ll also want to take their happiness into consideration. What are the schools like in the areas you’re considering? How far away are the schools from the homes on your list? Will your children be able to ride a bus to school, or will they need to walk? Are there parks and other recreational facilities in the area?

In addition, how safe will you and your family feel in these neighborhoods? If you move near downtown in a city, you may want to live in a high-rise or condominium complex with a lot of security. If you live in a typical residential neighborhood, you’ll want to check the crime statistics for that area. One thing to consider is the number of “eyes on the street.” In other words, do most of the homes have large windows facing the street? If so, it’s much more likely that people will be aware of suspicious activities or strangers in the neighborhood. Another option is to limit your search to homes in gated communities with limited access. Of course, this is no guarantee that you’ll be perfectly safe, but it does limit the number of strangers who can easily drive by.

Once you have narrowed your search down to a few specific neighborhoods, you still haven’t completed the process of choosing the best location for you and your family. There are a few more issues that will help you narrow down your choices. For example, do you want to be within easy walking distance of shops, restaurants and movie theaters; or would you prefer to live in an area with less traffic, away from the local businesses?

The Surrounding Factors

You may be able to purchase a larger home for your money if you are willing to live on a busy street, near a business, or in proximity to a noisy neighbor, such as a fire station. However, if you choose such a location, you need to remember that even though you’ll save money today, you’ll also have to ask a lower price when you decide to resell the home someday. If this is acceptable to you, then you can sometimes find tremendous bargains in these locations.

Before you make a final decision, take the time to drive through the neighborhood a few times. For example, you may want to practice your commute both before and after work, to see how heavy the traffic is during the hours when you will be commuting. If you have children, you may want to drive around on a Saturday afternoon to see if other families are outside, and if it looks like a neighborhood where your children can easily find playmates. If the home you’re purchasing is on a side-street near restaurants, you may want to drive down the street on a busy Saturday night. This will help you determine if restaurant goers will be parking in front of your house every Saturday night, or if there is an exceptional amount of noise and traffic at certain times of day.

Once you feel comfortable with the area, you are prepared to choose the specific home that meets your needs, secure in the knowledge that you are going to love your new neighborhood!

What’s been your experience with shopping for new home locations? Please leave your comments in the box below.