While some would say that affordability, number of bedrooms, number of bathooms and square footage are the key elements to consider when purhcasing a home, most would agree that these items fall under a bigger umbrella. There's an old saying in the real estate world that says there are only three things to consider when purchasing your next home. Those three things are, "Location, location, location". Not only will the location of your home purchase impact your home's current and future value, it will also impact your lifestyle for the amount of time that you're living there. When working with a Buyer's agent during your initial Buyer's consultation, you should review your preferences for neighborhoods and nearby amenities, thereby creating a more targeted search. Here's some items to consider when it comes to location, location, location.
Rural, Suburban, Urban- what type of community can you see yourself living in? Are you the type that enjoys the hustle and bustle of an urban setting? Do you prefer a neighborhood feel? Is the thought of a perfect home have lots of acreage and space for your organic garden? Very different communities for varying personalities and preferences, and it's probably the most key item on our list, as it will impact all other items.
Commute time- Reflecting on the response to the question of rural, suburban or urban, where do you work, and what is an acceptable commute time for you? If you're purchasing a home with someone else, will you compromise and split commute time half way? Is one of you more comfortable with a longer commute than the other? What about winter weather driving and how will that impact commute time? For some a two mile drive across town is too far (and depending on the town can take a relatively long time), while for others a 40 minute drive is palpable. All consideration when determining where to buy.
Easy highway access- You may have a relatively short commute time from where you work to "your exit" off of the highway, and another item to consider is how far from the highway is your home? Despite living in the same town, a street closer to the highway may cut down on that commute time significantly versus living on the "other" side of town.
Public Transportation-Is there any? What types?
Nearby schools-Even if you don't have any children right now, the reputation of the nearby schools will impact your home's property value now and in the future. Be sure to be informed about the local schools and how they are performing compared to others in the area.
Restaurants and Retail- How far is it to the closest pizza shop? Or is there a pizza shop on every corner? Is it a couple of miles to the nearest grocery store, or will you want to be sure that you pick up what you need on the way home from work, so that you won't have to go out again later?
Recreational and Park facilities- Are there walking trails? Parks? Baseball Fields? Tennis Courts?
Length of time you plan to live in your home-your Buyer's agent should be able to share with you recent market history as well as growth trends. The decision to buy in a particular area may be swayed depending on whether or not you plan to stay two years, or twenty.
If you took a ranch style home, with three bedrooms and 1 bathroom with approximately 1000 square feet in Vernon, CT, and transplanted it to Malibu, California, the selling prices would certainly be vastly diffeent. Location, location, location. Three little words that mean so much when it comes to the purchase of your next home, your lifestyle, and your home's current and future value. Take the time to clarify what (and where) you're looking to buy, with all the decision makers, to target the search for your next home.
Melissa Rolland is a licensed Connecticut realtor. She lives in Tolland, along with her husband Todd, a licensed broker. Together they manage the Rolland Realty Group at Keller Williams Realty. You can connect with them at www.RollandRealtyGroup.com