The home buying process starts with figuring out the location of where you want to live. This can be extremely overwhelming with a lot of different scenarios to think about and a lot of decisions to make. Here at Ken Venick, we want to make the home buying process as easy as possible and that is why we put together 5 important tips a homeowner should know when narrowing down an area to live in.
5 important tips a homeowner should know when narrowing down an area to live in:
1. Location, location, location
It might sound obvious, but it is crucial to first nail down the location of where you want to begin your home search. Whether you know the exact street you want to live off of, or just an idea of the area, it is important to think about what factors matter to you when it comes to location.
If you are not into commuting and spending a lot of time in the car, make sure you find an area that is near your job or near your children’s school. Don’t have kids yet but planning on raising them in this house? Make sure you are picking a location that is in the school district you want your kids to go to school in. If you want to be close to the highway, make sure you make that a priority when searching. If you want to be under 2 minutes from your local grocery store, make note of that as well.
Check the crime rates of the area you are searching in. If there has been a spike in crime lately, maybe consider somewhere else. It is also important to note that if you live next to a police station, the police officers will most likely never leave the station with their sirens on. But if you live next to a fire station, they most likely always leave the station with their sirens on, 24 hours a day.
Have an idea of how much you are willing to spend on a home before narrowing down your desired location. You want to make sure the area is affordable and you won’t be living above your means. Don’t forget that buying a home comes with property taxes. Make sure you add that into the budget when searching for your home.
3. Drive the area during the day and night
We encourage all homeowners to make a trip to the area you are looking in. Make the drive both during the day and at night. Would it take forever to take a left out of your neighborhood? Will you be sitting in traffic every day just to make it to the highway? Drive around to see what stores and restaurants are in the area. Why do we recommend driving in the area at night? You will see a lot of different characteristics of the neighborhood when the sun goes down. Living right next to a 24/7 gas station means their lights will be on all hours of the night. You wouldn’t want them to be shining into your home at 2am in the morning or even attracting a lot of traffic, making it loud in the middle of the night.
4. Wide open spaces
It is important to take into account how much space you will want to have when figuring out what area you want to live in. Is it important to have a garage? Or do you have to have a fenced in backyard with multiple acres? You may not find that in the city, so you might have to rethink what you are willing to compromise on. Either the space, or the area you are wanting to live in. It is also important to think about your family growing in this home. Is there room for add ons, or will you have enough space to fit your future family.
5. Real estate value
Start with researching current home prices in the area you want to live in. Are they sitting on the market for a long time? Are they getting over the asking price? These are typically a few factors that come into play when understanding the long term value of your home.
It is also a good idea to research any new building projects that may begin in the area. If you purchase a new home and then a brand new grocery store goes in half a mile down the street, or a new multi-use shopping mall is built, you will most likely see a rise in home values in that area. Seeing the potential value in an area is always a great idea when finding a location to live in.
We want to make the home buying process as easy as possible for you. Ken Venick has over 35 years of experience in the real estate business and we are your one-stop-shop to handle all of your mortgage needs. Contact us today for more important tips a homeowner should know!