City Life vs. Country Living
Choosing the neighborhood you want to live in will also include deciding whether you want to live in the city, country, or suburbs. Many people with families usually want to live in the suburbs because there is more rooms for children to grow, but is still close enough for parents to commute to work.
But there are advantages to city and country living as well. Those who live in the city will be close to work, close to restaurants, activities, and events. Those who live in the country may have a longer commute to work, but they will be able to enjoy the peace and quiet of having fewer people around them.
Whichever lifestyle you prefer, you should construct a pros and cons list that will give you a better idea of what to expect when looking for a home. Once you have looked at your list, you will have a better idea of which to choose. The following will get you started:
When choosing the type of environment you would like to live in, the following may play a role in your final decision:
You should check out both city and country living. While there will always be proc and cons, you should be able to find a home that will help you lead the type of lifestyle that is important to you and your family.
Making The Commute
You will have to count on the amount of traveling you will have to endure to and from your job when buying your first home. Unless you are relocating, you will have to find a neighborhood that is close enough to drive to or is accessible by public transportation. While some people enjoy sitting on a bus or a train for an hour or two during the day, you may not want to use your time this way. Unfortunately, living in the suburbs or in the country may require you to make a longer commute.
If you want to remain relatively close to your job, you should not search further than a thirty mile radius. Inform your real estate agent or drive thirty miles in any direction and see what is out there. Many times there will be neighborhoods you have never even heard of. You should find back roads as well as highway accessible roads that will make your commute easier.
You should also look for a home during different times of day in order to figure out the traffic patterns. If possible, live in an area that goes against normal traffic patterns. That way you will not be stuck in traffic going to work or when coming home.
Commuting to work can easily turn into a forty, fifty, or even an hour long drive depending on the time of day. While this may be inevitable, you should consider all of your options before purchasing a home.
Schools In The Area
If you have school age children, then you will want to find a home that is close to schools in the area. This goes for both public and private schools. If you find a neighborhood that you like, find out which school district it is located in. Not all districts are alike and you will have to send your children to the school district your home is located in.
While your children do not have to walk to school, being relatively close to home will make it easier to pick them up, participate in after school events, and give them a sense of community.
If you are planning on living in the country, the nearest school could be very close to home or very far away depending on where you move. The bus ride to and from school can be an hour or more. This could take time away from getting homework done or playing with friends. Be sure to weigh all of your options when choosing a home if you have children. Also, find out where the middle school and high schools are in the area. Eventually, your children will be attending these schools. Be prepared and find out everything you can about these schools as well.
Grocery Shopping And Other Necessities
While living in the country may seem peaceful, be prepared to do a lot more driving. The nearest grocery store or pharmacy may be thirty minutes or more. This is another factor you will have to consider when buying your first home. While small towns have centralized areas where the shops and grocery stores are located, unless you live in town, you will have to drive in order to get there.
Many people that live in the country will adjust their lives as well as their priorities. They may go to the grocery stores once every two weeks; they will not eat at restaurants as often, and will not go to the movies or other social events as often either. You will have to decide what is important to you.
Before buying a home, survey the town to see what is available. This will give you a good idea of what it would be like to live in an area. Spend a few days there if possible. This will save you from making a huge mistake later on.
If you are planning to stay in the city, you will have the advantages of public transportation, but you may still need a car for larger grocery shops. While the city can be convenient in many ways, parking a car is not one of them. You will have to pay for garage parking in many instances, which will end up costing you more money than if you lived in the country. But, you will be able to get to these stores quickly and easily at any time during the day.
Other Location Considerations
Other location considerations include:
You should be thinking ahead in terms of the weather. If you are planning on living in the country, for example, you should pay attention to possible flooding, snow, and other weather that could affect you getting to work. If the road is a dirt road, you should ask if the county will clear the road and how often they will do so. This is another advantage of living in the city because you could always use public transportation if you do not want to drive.
The location of the property is also important. If the property is located at the bottom of a slope, you may have flooding issues after a rainstorm. Also, as your family grows, you may need more room. You should find property that can hold a home addition if necessary. Investing in a home requires a great deal of thought and planning. Even if you do not have a family, you should find a home that will allow you to grow as your interests change.