Geography - Ask yourself these questions when choosing your neighbourhood.
- Will you be looking in urban, suburban, semi-rural or rural areas?
- How will you be commuting to work?
- Do you have a preference with regard to natural features like woods, hills and lowland?
- How long will your commute be? Do you need to be near public transportation?
- Do you have a preference to be near water such as rivers, lakes, streams, ponds or the ocean?
Surrounding Areas - Keep in mind what you'd like to have near you, such as:
- Shopping Malls
- Department Stores
- Drug Stores
Neighbourhood Focus - This is the general appearance of the properties in the neighbourhood and if what you're looking for fits. You will look at things like...
- Are the homes well maintained?
- What are the main types/styles of homes and how far apart are they?
- Do the homes appear "newer" or "older"?
- Are there many visible property enhancements such as swimming pools, fences, decks and patios or extensive landscaping?
- Are vehicles primarily parked in garages and driveways, or are they parked on the street?
- Are there emergency stations such as fire and police close by?
Schools - For family with young children, schools are to be considered.
- Are there both public and private schools? Are there bilingual schools?
- Are they equipped to handle special needs if needed?
- How do children primarily get to school?
- What is the teacher per student ratio?
- Are there after-school activities offered?
- What type of sports programs and clubs are offered?
- What is the percentage of children that graduate?
Work Issues - Buying a home closer to your work site can sometimes help with the decision making.
- How long will your commute be?
- How many methods can you use to get there, such as walking, driving, car pool, taxi or bus route?
Recreation and Entertainment - It is nice to not only move into a great neighbourhood but also become a part of it...as a whole family.
- What forms of entertainment are offered?
- What types of indoor and outdoor sports facilities are available?
- Are there public parks, country clubs, and/or sports teams close by?
Community Involvement - Making your new community your own.
- Do the neighbours socialize regularly?
- Do they hold block parties or picnics?
- Is there a Home Owner's Association?
- How active are they in the community?
Selecting Your Home
When choosing the house itself, which features and amenities will be included? I suggest having all members of the family make a list of their preferences and which features are most important to them. You can then compare notes and come to a consensus about which items are "must haves" and which are negotiable. Once you've gone through the process of deciding on your home's features and amenities and sized up the neighbourhood characteristics that are most important to you, there is one more task to undertake: Prioritize! Then you'll have a definite picture in your mind of what you're looking for, and you'll be able to make logical choices when the time comes to decide if "this" is the home for you. Here is a sample list:
House Style Gourmet Kitchen Walk-In Closets Fenced Yard
No. of Levels Formal Dining Room Fireplace Large Yard
No. of Bedrooms Breakfast Nook Finished Basement Storage
No. of Bathrooms En-suite Bathroom Garage Age of Home
There you have it...the first step in finding what home is the right home for you and your family. It is easy to say you're moving, it's finding the right home that takes a little time and consideration to make sure it is the right fit for you and your family.
Until next time...Keep It "Real"!