True, the phrase, “location, location, location”, is a cliché. But smart homebuyers have come to realize that the location of their new home not only determines how happy they’ll be with their purchase but also dictates its resale value. Here is a primer to help you find the right home in the right location.
Pick the right neighborhood
Decide what you want in a neighborhood before looking. Don’t be tempted to buy a great house in a bad neighborhood unless you can see signs that the neighborhood is changing for the better. Future buyers will not be willing to pay top dollar for a house surrounded by fixer-uppers.
If it’s important to have excellent schools nearby don’t look in areas where your kids will have a long drive or bus ride to school. Check the schools out yourself on school rating websites such as www.greatschools.org. Agents are forbidden by law to comment or characterize schools under the Fair Housing Laws.
How safe is the neighborhood? Be sure to check it out at night and on weekends. Do your own drive-by’s and pay attention to the things which may or may not feel like a risk to you. Neighborhoods that may seem safe during the day can change when the sun goes down. Also look around you. Are your neighbors’ homes and gardens well maintained or are there rusted cars in their backyards? Watch to see how much neighborhood traffic flows by the home you’re considering. Is it a tolerable amount for your circumstances?
What amenities do you need nearby? If you’re looking for parks, walking trails and recreation centers, a suburban location is for you. For the local restaurant, bar and theatre scene, check out downtown properties.
And be sure to ask your sales agent about any likely changes in zoning, new schools to be built or recently approved projects that could have a positive or negative impact on the neighborhood.