An old joke goes like this:
Q: What are the three most important factors in a home?
A: Location, location, location.
What characteristics do you want in your neighborhood? Some things to consider are:
- How do you feel about your commute? Do you want to live 5 minutes from work or are you ok with living 30 or 60 minutes from work? Are you willing to drive on highways and take bridges or tunnels to get there, or will you be willing to take mass transit? Select neighborhoods that allow you to have the commute you prefer.
- How important are the quality and proximity of schools to you? If you have, or will have children, then you want to do some research into the schools in the neighborhoods before you commit to a house. How close do you want to be to the schools – is walking distance necessary, or will you drop your children off at school or will they take a school bus?
- Do you want community parks, green space, lakes, playgrounds, or other recreation available near by? If so, then make sure that the neighborhoods you choose have those amenities.
- Is it important to you that shopping be within walking distance or within a short car ride? Are you comfortable driving 20-30 minutes for groceries?
- The type of restaurants in a neighborhood might be an important factor for you. If you like to dine out, then you’ll want to choose a neighborhood that provides the types of restaurants that you enjoy.
- For many home buyers, the proximity of a House of Worship to their home is an important factor.
This is the most important advice we can give you – Spend some time in each of the neighborhoods you’re considering. Get to know the neighborhood and the people in it – eat in the restaurants, shop in the stores, visit the library. Go to the post office and the convenience store. Do these people seem like people you want to live near? What’s the “feel” of the neighborhood?