Deciding Where to Buy a Home

Moving can be exciting or a real pain in the neck.  Nonetheless, people are transferring from one residence to another all the time.  Maybe they are moving because they want a bigger home or in order to downsize to a smaller home.  Maybe it’s because they have a new job or they’d  just like to try living in a different environment.  The question is, where is the best place to move to?  The answer will depend on the individual, as everyone has a different set of criteria they use to make their final decision.

Investigating areas to move to can be extremely time-consuming, and one of the best ways to narrow down your search is to find someone with personal knowledge of the place you will be moving to.  This is where a real estate agent can be helpful.  Not only should a good agent understand the transaction side of real estate, but they should have an understanding of the local geographic areas in which they specialize.

Knowing how much of a home one can afford will save time when deciding where to relocate.   Talking to a mortgage professional is the best first step when looking for a home.  Having a price range in mind will save time, as your real estate agent will then be able to guide your search based on the upper limits of what they know you can spend.  Keep in mind that just because you can get a loan for a certain amount, doesn’t mean you have to take the full amount.  Setting a maximum price for what you want to spend is the always the best way to go.

After figuring out your price range, there are some other important things to consider.  Many people overlook crime rates, but in addition to safety and protecting one’s possessions, keep in mind that home values are adversely affected in neighborhoods with high crime.  Commuting can be another important thing to consider.  Think about the time it will take you to drive to work, schools and shopping.  Each extra minute spent driving means less time for other things in your life.  Year over year this lost time really adds up.  If you have children of school-age, the quality of schools in the area is another important factor.

Each home buyer is different and should make a list and mark them in order of importance.  Sharing this list with your real estate agent will help them to more accurately direct your search.  Additionally, many agents find that while they are showing homes to buyers, the buyers will often refine their search criteria.  Remember that it is always important to communicate any new home desires or changes of priority to your agent.