Choosing Where to Buy a Home

Map with pins in it

Location is often the number one most important thing people consider when looking for a home – and for good reason. Where you live can affect several factors, from property taxes to resale value to homeowners’ insurance. And of course, you’ll want to live somewhere where you’ll be happy! Here are a few factors to consider when searching for a new house:

Geography. Different areas of the US offer different benefits. Consider things like proximity to family, the job market, climate, and lifestyle preferences. If you’re a beach bum, you might not be happy in the mountains – and vice versa.

City, Suburb, or Rural? Do you prefer the hustle and bustle of an urban area? Maybe the quiet, tree-lined streets of the suburbs are more your style. You might even prefer to be away from it all. Think about the activities you like, transportation preferences, the schools in the area, access to medical care, shopping, and entertainment, and other preferences when house hunting.

Safety. While it may cost less to live in an area with more crime, the amount of worry and stress you’ll feel won’t be worth the savings. Resale value for homes in high-crime areas aren’t great, either.

Neighborhood. Once you select a general area to search, consider the type of neighborhood that fits your lifestyle. You might be fine with a long commute to work if the school district is amazing, or you might want to be within walking distance of a downtown area. Try to pick neighborhoods that make you feel comfortable!

Schools. If you’re planning on having kids (or already have them), area schools are going to be a big concern. Even if you don’t have children, buying a home in a good school district is excellent for resale potential and property values. Another option is to weigh the cost of living in a great school district vs. living in an area with less stellar schools and paying for private education.

Family and friends. Even your perfect home may not feel very comforting if you’re far away from family and friends. If being near your support system is important, search for homes within a couple hours of your loved ones – just don’t make this the only reason for choosing a specific location, since people might move away.