Location remains the single most important factor when choosing a home. However, there is a lot more to a prime location than waterfront views.
Before you even start house hunting, you should be location hunting. First, decide what you want in a town or city, and then do some research and talk to real estate experts to find a few choices that fit within your specifications.
Of course, what constitutes an ideal location will vary from buyer to buyer. Because everyone's preferences vary, lifestyle will determine the best place for you to live. Some people prefer the suburbs while others thrive on downtown living. If you like peace and quiet, do you want serene woods or rolling hills? If you favor city living, find out what part of the city suits you best--a fast-paced neighborhood or one slightly more subdued. When searching for your ideal destination, feel free to dig deep. Talk with the neighbors and check out details like traffic patterns, and even sounds and smells.
No one wants to purchase a house to find out it's slammed with school bus traffic during morning rush hour, or downwind from the dump. Make sure to get below the surface level when it comes to location. Spend a time hanging around local hot spots, driving the street at different times of the day getting to know the character of the community."
What else should you take into consideration? Basic guidelines can include property taxes, while other specificities will depend on where you are in life. Is accessibility to work and local school systems important factors? Looking to downsize and retire? Consider local recreation, community, and distance from any grandchildren who may need routine snuggling.
Location is important-- and can be more important than the number of square feet or cost of your down payment. By focusing on it before you start to house hunt, you will be on the right track to finding the best house for you!