March 28, 2011
Helpful home search advice
Location, Location, Location – I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times but the number 1 factor in real estate is that for a reason. Why is it so important that “location” takes up the top three spaces on your list of priorities? When you’re buying a house it’s never just about the house. It’s important to assess your everyday needs and whether the neighbourhood you’ve chosen will accommodate those as well as be a good fit for your lifestyle.
Consider the following list of factors that will affect your day to day:
1. Walkscore: Maybe you prefer to drive even 2 minutes to the corner store so you’ll definitely be driving to the nearest supermarket. But maybe you’d prefer to live in an area where you can walk instead, or must live in an area with local markets.
2. Schools: If you’re a parent then of course you’ll care about how great the schools are in the area. Even if you aren’t, it’s a good consideration for resale value.
3. Work Commute: Wasn’t there a survey of which the results concluded that the scale of happiness is related to the length of one’s daily commute? It makes a difference whether travel time to work one way is 15 minutes or 2 hours.
4. Community: What are the local services and amenities in your area? Are they easy to get to or would you have to travel out of your way to get to the library, ice rink, community centre, etc.?
5. Crime and Taxes: Just a couple of things that we can be sure of in life, but the question is how high? Of course you’ll want to research about the safety of the area and the municipal taxes.
6. Zoning and bylaws: Not really something you might initially think about but it’s how likely is it that an unexpected new condo is going to crop up and kill your backyard view. Or, it’ll be the ten years of ongoing construction may drive you mad. And if it’s not construction, maybe it’s an unexpected ferret farm as your new neighbour? Perhaps you have your own mini-menagerie that would break a local bylaw?
7. Public transportation: How much will you rely on public transportation? Is there a good local service that’s accessible?
8. Noise, Neighbours and Safety: What other concerns should you be aware of in your area? Is the traffic outside your door terrible or is your backyard fence next to a railway? Will you be comfortable with the type of lifestyle and activities of the area? Are there nearby power lines towers, a landfill or nuclear facility? These elements will affect both your quality of life and your property values.
Hopefully these questions will help you in your home search!
Please share you other thoughts on location with us in the comments area below.