Purchasing your first home is an exciting time, but there are a lot of decisions to be made. How many bedrooms? Do I need a garage? Do I want a garden? How will I pay for it? Is Keystart an option for me? The list goes on and on.
With all of these choices to consider, it’s easy to understand how many first home buyers get caught up in finding the perfect dwelling. All too often they neglect the equally important part of choosing the perfect neighbourhood when buying homes for sale by owner.
Where you live is nearly as important as the property you ultimately purchase. Think of it this way, you’re not just investing in a house, you’re investing in neighbours, a neighbourhood and a community. These things should reflect your own values and you should feel comfortable about your choice of location. Even if you find your dream home, if the location is terrible or the neighbours are awful, you won’t get full enjoyment out of it.
5 Things First Home Buyers Should Consider Before Committing To A Purchase:
1. Character of the community or neighbourhood: You’ll be coming home to this location every day. Do you feel comfortable with it? Do you feel safe? Look at how well the properties are maintained for a clue to the neighbourhood personality. Visit the area at different times of the day and night to see if the personality changes. Are neighbours outside, talking to one another? Does the area get a lot of traffic? There is no one best answer to these questions. Some people may want a lively neighbourhood with a constant flow of people and traffic. Others may be looking for a quiet place to retreat at the end of the day and not be bothered by neighbours. It’s up to you to decide which type of neighbourhood is right for you and your lifestyle.
2. Commute time: How long will it take you to get to and from work? This is an important factor. Some people are willing to have a longer commute in order to live further out from the city. Others want to be able to bike, walk or take public transit to the office. Determine what distance is right for you and start your search in those areas. Once you’ve found a few properties you like, do a test drive or two from the home to your place of work so you can see how long the commute will be. Try this at different times of day since traffic patterns change. If you want to take public transit, check the transit maps to see if there is a nearby route that fits your schedule. Test the route if you’d like. You’ll be doing this every day. Make sure it sits well with you.
3. Proximity to services: How close is the neighbourhood to necessary services like the market or petrol stations, police or fire? Do you have medical concerns that warrant living close to a variety of physicians or a hospital? How far will you have to travel to get basic needs met? Then ask yourself how far you are willing to travel for these services.
4. Amenities: Amenities are different from services. Amenities are things like parks and open space, sidewalks or a downtown shopping district. Does the neighbourhood or town offer the things you need or value in a community? If you love bike riding, are their trails nearby? Figure out what is important to you and then seek those items out in a community.
5. Schools: Depending on your stage of life the quality of the schools can be a deal breaker. Families with school age children are generally concerned with school quality above almost everything else. Even if you don’t yet have children or are past your child-rearing years, the quality of the schools can have an impact on you too. High quality school districts attract families, which means you can expect to have many families in the neighbourhood. Good schools will boost a property’s resale value when the time comes for you to sell the property. Many first home buyers are couples or young families who will have to consider the school district at some point. If you plan to stay in the home for several years, the quality of the schools is a consideration that is not to be overlooked.
Remember to consider the factors above before committing to a purchase. Taking the time to examine not just the home, but the neighbourhood and community will ensure you’ll love your home for years to come.