When you are shopping for a new home remember to take the neighbourhood into consideration too. You may find a great home for a great price but if the neighbourhood doesn't fit your lifestyle, you could end up unhappy or with added expenses. Here are five things you should think about when assessing a neighbourhood.
Commute time is critical. The farther you have to drive the more money you'll spend on gas and vehicle maintenance. You'll also be spending more time in your car driving and less time doing the things you actually enjoy doing. If you're going to use public transportation, can you get to where you need to be easily or will you be caught doing multiple transfers and having long travel times? The closer you can live to work the more time you'll be able to spend relaxing at home (or even sleeping in!).
Convenient business access will make life easier. Think about the businesses you visit weekly or even daily. You'll want to have grocery, banks, pharmacies, gyms, and restaurants nearby so you don't have to travel far out of your way and spend even more time stuck in traffic. Do the grocery stores carry the types and quality of foods you expect?
What are the weekend and night spots like? In addition to the businesses you visit frequently, you'll also want to have a little fun every now and then. Are there movie theaters, parks, museums, public pools, and bars or nightlife spots? Are they seedy or does it look like a respectable area? These are things that could also affect the future value of your home.
Proximity to schools for all grade levels is highly desirable even in you don't have children yet. It's good to plan for the future so you don't find yourself having to move to be closer to a school for your child someday. Also consider that homes that are near schools are not only easier to sell to families but also great for renting if you decide to use it as an investment property later.
Finally, consider how far away you'll be from friends and family. If you spend a lot of time with your loved ones, it would be better to be closer to them to cut down on commute time. Also, consider this bit of information. According to Rent.com's survey of 1,000 single men and women, 43% of them said they would not be willing to date someone who lived more than 30 minutes away. If you live in a remote area of town, you could be hurting your chances at love!
Take these five points into consideration when you are looking at homes and you should be to find your perfect home and your perfect neighbourhood. Happy house hunting!