Everyone has heard the real estate expression location, location, location. In fact, there are not many factors that can influence the value of a home more than the location. While you may fall in love with a particular home because of the layout, features, or character if it is located on a main intersection next to a fast food restaurant you may have difficulty selling it in the future.
Most people start first with choosing a town and then start to narrow their search by neighborhoods based on their lifestyle. One of the top considerations is schools. A good school system can drive up property values and hold them. You will also pay a premium for a home and you will pay more property taxes in a good school district. Even if you do not plan on having children, the quality of the town’s schools will affect your property values.
The safety of the neighborhood is an important consideration. The website www.neighborhoodscout.com checks the safety history of crime for most every city and town in America. Street lighting and sidewalks are also part of the safety check.
Is there easy access to the highway? Do you mind driving an additional 20 minutes to get from your neighborhood to the highway? If you are commuting this is a definite factor to consider. Also check and make sure that your neighborhood is not an easy cut through for people to access the highway. Proximity to shopping, grocery stores and restaurants is an important consideration in choosing a neighborhood. The convenience of getting to these necessary places definitely impacts quality of life.
If the neighborhood is near railroad tracks you will want to check the train schedule to determine how the noise will impact your life. Do they run at night interrupting sleep or do they run during the weekday when you are at work? On the flip side some commuters are thrilled to be in close proximity to the train. Similar to the railroad tracks, highway noise should be a consideration. A neighborhood near high tension lines can also create problems selling. Some people don’t want to look at them and others are concerned about potential health risks.
For some lifestyles the ability to walk to stores and restaurants is a major selling point in urban areas. For others having a great environment for running or walking the dog is important. Access to parks and playgrounds are a consideration.
You can always renovate a kitchen or bath or sometimes add an addition to your home, but the location of the home is not something you can change. Shopping location first is a smart approach to home buying.