Think about it this way, if houses are spouses, then the neighborhood you choose is essentially an extended family. Good times and bad times do ensue, compromises happen. You’ll find it hard to love a house if the neighborhood is not to your liking.
Photo: Sadaf Sadiquie by Shazida Khatun
So how do you pick the right community for your family? In this article, we will be neighborhood detectives. We’ll show you a couple of ways to figure out what you’re looking for based on your family’s preferences.
What do you look for in a neighborhood?
This is basically profiling. Before beginning to look at your options, you must know what you and your family want in a neighborhood anyway. Note that you may have to make some compromise, so put your top essentials at the top of your list and “good to have” at the bottom.
Things to consider:
Do you currently have children or are looking to have them soon? If so, your first consideration is the nearby educational system. Even if you’re currently single, living in an area with a good educational system can raise your home’s value. If you have kids, you’ll want them to be near the best school as well.
Are you looking for single family homes? Apartment? Townhouse? How about a co-op?
You should also ask yourself if you’ll be willing to commute or are planning to walk, drive, or take a mass transit going to work. Planning to have a car or already have one? You need a parking area in the house or within your property’s vicinity
If you want to be able to go to places on foot, the neighborhood needs to be within walking distance of restaurants, parks, shops, and bars.
Further area evaluation
If you’re planning to move within the same city, perhaps you’re already familiar with different neighborhoods. Pick one that best matches your family’s preferences. If you’re looking to move to another city, you need to have more information and research. You can start by picking a part of town to look into.
Try visualizing yourself in that particular neighborhood. Think what your daily routine will be like. If you’re used to having morning latte on the go, there should be a café nearby. How about walking your pet or jogging by yourself? There should be a park as well. In short, you will enjoy a neighbourhood better if it matches your preferences.
What to do next?
Once you’ve zeroed in a neighbourhood and a property that matches your preferences, the next step is to find out how much house you can afford as well as the cheapest home loan that is available in the market.
The amount of money a lender offers you is typically more than you can actually afford to pay. You don’t want to be stuck paying more than necessary for years. Decide between fixed and variable rate mortgages by using online tools to check out the best loan term for you.
There you have it. What’s left is for you to start your research. Don’t forget to use both your heart and mind when deciding. Involve your family during the search and don’t be afraid to ask help from a professional broker. Best of luck!