Wednesday, October 5, 2022 / by Amy Brown
When we are making such a large purchase it is inevitable that emotion plays a huge part in that decision. We see a lovely home with the perfect layout and a lovely master suite, maybe it has a charming stone fireplace or is painted with our favorite colors. You walk inside and you are in love! You can imagine just where your furniture would go and everything seems perfect.
Two months down the road you realize that you may have made a big mistake...
Everything about a house is changeable but the one thing that you can't change is the location. I recently went through this same scenario...and I'm a real estate agent! I should know better! I found a charming log cabin with a 2 story great room, lofted bedroom, and a lovely deck to relax on. It was out in the country but so what? It was under my budget and a great deal. Who doesn't dream of a log cabin in the mountains, right? WRONG!
The location was WAY outside of where I conduct my normal business. I was spending my entire day in the car driving back and forth to the city, sometimes sitting in traffic for hours. By the time I got home, I was exhausted. I was also spending three times the normal cost in gas every week slowly pushing my "under budget" expenses over the top. I was spending more money and more time to do my job, not to mention that in the country, everything is farther away; groceries, restaurants, gas stations...and most importantly, my friends and loved ones. I was lonely and absolutely miserable...
Three months later I decided that I'd had enough and found a charming bungalow back in the city. It was over my budget but the money that I was saving in gas, time, and convenience was so worth it! I am 10 minutes from my sister, able to easily meet up with my friends, and inevitably I serve my clients better, thus continuing to grow my business while living a happier, more fulfilled life.
I quickly learned why LOCATION IS KEY. No amount of savings is worth it if you can't live your life effectively. That cabin that looked ideal soon became my worst enemy and I don't want that to happen to you!
When purchasing a new home, you must realize that first and foremost it is a business decision. And while a home's value is determined by more factors than price, location makes all the difference.
1. Is the house convenient to the places where I live my life? Work, school, the gym, grocery store, my bank, etc. Your TIME is a quantifiable asset and probably the most precious commodity that we have.
2. Is the neighborhood of a style and vibe that not only suits me, but would appeal to the majority of American families? The average homeowner only lives in their house for 5-7 years. Today, it might feel like you will be there forever but you never know what life may bring. You may get transferred for work, need to care for a family member in a different part of the country, or have a pivot in your financial status. Life happens and change is inevitable.
3. What does the area look like that is surrounding the home? Are you near a busy highway, do the neighbors take pride in their homes, are there any plans for construction or development close by? Neighborhood curb appeal, future development, and noise are extremely important for resale when a potential buyer has no emotional attachment to the property that they are considering. A buyer will drive right by a home that is next to an interstate, has a factory being built nearby, or whose neighbor has five junk cars in the driveway.
4. Have you looked at the history of the area? Neighborhoods are always changing; either through expansion, revitalization, or declination. Make sure that you or your agent researches the area surrounding where you are thinking of purchasing and ask your real estate professional the history of the area and how it has changed over the years. An agent worth their salt will know exactly where a neighborhood is headed and will be able to advise you accordingly.
5. Are you looking at an area that has had a steady increase in home values over the last 5 years? You want to purchase a home that will be an equity builder. Your home is your stepping stone to building financial wealth.
I hope that you have found this article helpful. Remember that we can always change paint colors, layout, landscaping, even square footage and style; but you can't change the location.
Allow me to help you make a sound financial decision and find a location that suits your lifestyle.