First-Time Home Buyers Guide: Part 10 of 15
Area, Area, Area
You’ve probably heard the old real estate adage “location, location, location.” If not, it basically means that the most important factor in the value of real estate is location. You can have three exactly similar houses, all in entirely different locations, and the location will be what makes one worth more or less than the others.
So, yeah, location is important, and it’ll affect the value of homes you consider as well as the future value and appreciation of the property. Definitely keep that in mind. But for most people, the more important thing to concentrate on is “area, area, area.”
Choosing the best area to live in should be given as much if not more consideration than the house you buy. You can always upgrade a house more easily than you can change the area you live in.
What matters to you about an area will vary entirely from what matters to someone else. There is no right or wrong answer to this. It’s more of a soul-searching kind of thing. So, what matters to you? Here are a few questions to get you started:
- Do you commute? If so, how long are you willing to drive?
- Do school rankings and reputations matter to you? Will they in the future?
- Do you want to live in an urban area, rural area, or something more in between those two ends of the spectrum?
Once you have a decent handle on what you want, try to focus on the type of area you want to live in... more so than the house. It can be more tempting for first-time home buyers to buy a nicer house in an area they don’t love than to buy a house they don’t love in an area they’d rather live in. That usually leads to someone being less happy than they expected.