By Jennifer Wenzlaff, Flyhomes Client Advisor in Culver City
It’s true! Location is at the top of everyone’s list when looking to purchase a home, whether you’re a first-time buyer or an experienced veteran. Where you choose to put down your roots can define your lifestyle more than anything else.
The perfect location is ultimately a matter of personal choice. Only you can decide, but giving location your time and attention is definitely worth your time and attention as you track along your homebuying journey.
Even if you’re buying in the area where you’ve lived for years, a little exploration may surprise you and help you find a location you hadn’t known well before.
Your desired lifestyle is a great starting point for picking a location.
Do you want to cut down on commute time? Then choosing a location close to work is a no-brainer. Regardless of the city you’re in, chances are you have a commute, especially if you work in an urban setting. But living within city limits calls for compromises on air quality, parking options, open spaces, and more. Really think about what’s most important to you.
Do you prefer a quiet sanctuary, even if it means more driving or taking transit in your daily routine? A suburban setting might be more appealing. In that case, you may want to clock the drive time from the neighborhood you’re considering to your place of business to see if the commute time is acceptable.
Visit the property you’re considering at different times of the day and at night. Some streets fill up with cars after work hours and that may be a factor for you if a property doesn’t have off-street parking.
What if you’re an avid runner or have a child obsessed with skateboarding? Are local parks with trails or skate parks important? No question is too detailed or weird. If you are concerned about it, you should investigate! And your agent will be a great guide for this process as well.
Things To Do
Another consideration for choosing your location is what kinds of amenities are available in the areas you’re considering and what is important to you in a neighborhood.
For example, are you an avid foodie? If so, do you want to live near a specialty market when you’re whipping up one of your famous meals?
Are you a devotee of a certain gym or trainer and want to live close by?
Do you have a bunch of dogs and need a dog park nearby to get everyone exercised?
What’s important to YOU? There’s no limit to what you might want to have nearby and making a list is the best way to continue to narrow your search for the perfect neighborhood!
Everyone defines community differently. It’s important to consider how you define it and then to decide your priorities for the community you want to build around your new home.
Where do your friends or family live? Part of building your community may mean living a short distance from them.
On the flip side, you may prefer to have more privacy and isolation.
Are houses of worship important to you? If you are already a parishioner, do you hope to live close to your house of worship?
What about school districts? That may not be a priority for you right now but you should at least be aware of the school district for a home that interests you. That is also an important resale factor should you decide to sell the home.
Are you a patron of the arts? Or a participant? A quick online search will help you learn more about the neighborhoods you are considering and make you a better-informed buyer.
What’s your design aesthetic? It may seem like an odd question when it comes to homebuying but how your home looks can affect your psyche! I’m not talking about clean or dirty, I’m talking about how the shapes and style make you feel when you are in them.
Architecture is all about design and space and it’s another great way to help you narrow down your likes and dislikes, and even neighborhoods. If you are an avid Craftsman devotee, that may send you to specific neighborhoods that you never knew about or considered before. If you want a move-in ready home that has all the brand new everythings, then a new build may be more your speed.
Remember…this is all part of the fun of home buying! The history of every home is public knowledge and a quick google search of an address or a visit to your city’s online database can get you a lot of information about the history of a neighborhood or specific home. These are also great research skills to hone once you are under contract for a purchase because you will want to be exhaustive in your due diligence on the property and a trip to the city database will definitely be in order.
Trust how you feel!
Deciding to purchase a home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make and a home is likely the most expensive thing you’ll ever buy. Take the time to explore different neighborhoods. Go to a new restaurant. Grab a cup of coffee. Do some window shopping.
Think of the things you like to do in your current neighborhood and see if you like them in a new one. Talk to neighbors or coworkers about their favorite areas and why.
As an investment, location will be key for you in value retention as well as building equity. As a home, where you will live and rest and have your most precious moments, your location will define your lifestyle exponentially.
My best tip as you explore new locations is to ask yourself how you feel when you;re in them. That will be the biggest indicator about whether it’s a good fit.
Let’s talk about your journey!