Looking for a home? The first question you ask yourself is “Where should I live?” Choosing a location is a critical factor when shopping for a new home. After all, a home with everything you need – but in the wrong location—is still not likely going to feel like the right home.
Here are a few things to consider when choosing a location:
- How easy will it be for you or your partner to get to work? What are the commuting costs and if there is local transit?
- Where will your children go to school? How will they get there?
- Do you want to live in the city, a town or the countryside?
- How close would you like to be to family and friends?
- Do you need a safe walking area, or recreational facility, such as a park nearby?
- Is it close to local amenities like the grocery store?
Homes in a viable neighborhood are located near schools, shops, recreation, work and other daily destinations. This helps reduce driving costs and lets residents enjoy the health benefits of walking and cycling. Land and services, such as roads, are used efficiently. Viable neighborhoods also feature a choice of home that are affordable. In your search for a viable neighborhood, here are some key questions to ask:
Easy transportation: Are stores, schools, recreational facilities, restaurants and health services within easy distance to either drive or walk. Will your children need to take a bust to school? Can they walk to nearby parks? Are there highways nearby to get to work? Is there local transit? How long is a bus ride to work? Or school?
House size and features: Are the homes reasonably sized with adequate yard space or are they compact? Are there different dwelling types like townhomes, semi-detached, detached or apartments nearby? Is there adequate spacing between homes or are they too compact? Are the walkways or driveways too small?
Look and feel: Is it a clean neighborhood? Do the homes appear interesting to look at? Does the street feel welcoming? Do the building sizes feel comfortable and have enough space? Are the roads maintained and easy to walk along or cross? Is it safe for children? Are there families with other children for your children to play with?
Safety: Do you feel safe in the neighborhood? Is there adequate lighting? Is traffic slow moving on the street for children? Are there enough people around to feel safe that people will notice things out of the ordinary in the neighborhood?
Location! Location! Location! Once you choose a location the next step is to find that perfect home.