If you’ve ever worked with a real estate agent on the purchase of a home before, you’ve probably heard the phrase “location, location, location.” This is a popular saying that refers to the importance of location when shopping for a home. Most real estate agents even claim that the location of a home is more important than the home’s other features, such as the number of bedrooms, the presence of a pool or the construction style.
Before starting your home search, it’s important to learn why location is one of the most vital factors to consider before putting in an offer. You should also find out exactly what is meant by the term “location” and specific characteristics about a home you should analyze before you agree to buy it. To pick apart the real estate industry’s favorite saying, find out how to analyze location and make the best real estate purchase for you and your family, review the sections below.
An obvious interpretation of “location” is geography. This is where the home is located and more specifically, how it relates to you, your life and your needs. If you plan to purchase a home and live in it for a long time, you should be happy with the geography of the home. For example, if you are a beach lover who wants to live steps from the sand, you should only search for homes that are beachfront and can offer you views of the ocean. If the mountains are more your style and you want to be able to view the peaks from your kitchen window, make sure the home you buy offers the right geography to meet your needs.
The home’s proximity to close friends and family members should also be considered before placing an offer. If you enjoy frequent visits with local loved ones and the new home’s geography will make these visits few and far between or much harder to achieve, figure out if the home is worth it before moving in.
When analyzing the geography of a home, you should also think about how the location fits into your lifestyle. If you work in an office, consider the commute you will face if you purchase the home. The geography and location of the home should make your life easier, not harder.
The neighborhood that the home is located in is also one of the most important characteristics of the property. The type of neighborhood and the neighbors who live in it can make or break your happiness for years to come. Analyze the type of neighborhood the home is in and whether it fits your lifestyle. If you want to live in a golf community with amenities, such as a community pool and fitness center, make sure these items can be checked off your list. If you have kids and want them to make neighborhood friends, spend some time in the neighborhood so you can find out if there are other families with children that live there. It’s always a good idea to take a walk around the neighborhood before placing an offer on a home to make sure you feel comfortable and can see yourself living there for an extended period of time. Striking up conversations with your potential new neighbors can also allow you to gain insight on how the neighborhood operates and if you want to live there.
Some neighborhoods have Homeowner’s Associations (HOAs) or deed restrictions. These are implemented to ensure the homes in the neighborhood are maintained to specific standards and that other aspects of the neighborhood are also preserved. However, you can expect to pay additional fees each month to the association and you must follow all the community rules. If you want the freedom to paint your home a different color without consulting the neighborhood advisor, or if you want to park your boat in your driveway, you should probably steer clear of homes in deed-restricted or HOA designated communities.
The school district is one of the most important aspects of a home’s location and should be researched before you decide to purchase it. If you have children, you’ll probably be interested in researching the local school district and its:
- Local rankings.
- National grades.
- Parent reviews.
This information can help you in learning about the type of education your kids will receive from the local public schools.
If you don’t have children and aren’t planning to in the future, the school system should still be an important part of your home location research, as the resale value of your home is directly related to the quality of the school district. The higher a school district is ranked and the better its reputation, the higher you’ll be able to price your home if you ever want to sell it.
Rural vs. Urban
Whether you purchase a home in the city, suburbs or country is completely dependent on your goals and the lifestyle you’re looking for. It is important to ensure that the location of the home is in line with where you ultimately see yourself and your family living, as demonstrated by the following:
- If you want to be able to walk to local restaurants and shops, you should probably only browse homes for sale in urban areas.
- IF you’re looking for a gated, family-friendly community, you might end up buying a home in the suburbs.
- If you’re planning to own livestock and don’t mind driving 20 minutes to the closest grocery store, a home located in a rural area may be best for you.
There are many factors to consider when purchasing a home but location is one of the most important characteristics to consider. If you keep these aspects in mind while looking for a new home, you’re bound to find the right house in the right location. By taking the time to examine a home’s location during the buying process, you can guarantee you’ll be happy with your purchase for years to come!