When it becomes time to buy a house or condo, you start thinking about the various attributes that properties have. Which is the most important? Anybody will tell you that the top three are location, location, and location. I’ll be extremely methodical about this and dissect them one at a time.
With gas prices at all time highs, being close to work is more important than ever. That’s especially true if you drive a big honking SUV. Hell, it can add up even if you drive an average car. Sure, buying a hybrid or motorcycle might be cheaper than buying a house, but you’re not moving just for that.
Besides gas, think about all those hours of your life you lose. They’re irreplaceable. Your time is worth money. Further, if you drive, all that aggravation and stress will take years off your life.
Starting your search with work as a central starting point if you have a stable job (which is a very good idea when making such a major purchase). If you’re buying with someone else, a midpoint can be a good central location.
I want to live near the ocean. I’m not alone (just examine any population density map). Some people want to live near a lake. Yet others like mountains. Figuring out what kind of terrain you want to live in can be very important.
Proximity to a population center is also important to consider. If you like the hustle and bustle of the city, the country may bore you to tears. Likewise, country bumpkins may be driven insane by the incessant noise of a city.
Finally, think about the people that will be living near you. Your neighbors can make your life miserable. The obvious example is if they’re drug dealers or gang members. There’s a reason I didn’t decide to live in Lowell.
However, a touchy older person can be just as annoying, constantly telling you to quiet down or even call the cops. Your neighbors might have kids, which might be annoying for some.
I Know Where You Live
Before you do anything else, research where you want to live. Drive around (if you can afford the gas). Talk to friends. Get crime and school statistics for the area you’re looking in. Realtors can supply this information, but doing the research on your own will get you less biased results.