Buying a house is a monumental decision that takes a lot of planning and thought and shouldn’t be rushed. Some people are at a complete loss when trying to find a place to live and so I thought I would be able to help a little bit, by telling you some of the things you should be looking out for.
You’ll likely have to deal with a company like www.communityassociationmanagement.com or something similar at some point when buying a property (be it a house or a condo), and they will be able to help you with a lot of the stuff mentioned in this article.
You should really pay attention to the schools in the neighborhood. Not just because you might be thinking of having children and want them to get into a good school. Think about this: if there are lots of good schools in the area it will probably mean that there are lots of good kids who go to those schools, which will also mean that those kids come from good families and good families equals nice neighbors and an idyllic place to live.
This is a hard one to gauge except by speaking to a handful of the current residents. For me, a nice, strong, wholesome community feel is the most important aspect when looking for an area to live. You’ll want to know what traditions the town or neighborhood had, whether there are book clubs, and local sport teams, if they have a resident Gatsby who hosts incredible parties where “men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.” It can be difficult to get a feel for the community, but you should really try and integrate before you move there just to see. There can be nothing worse than moving to a new town to find the residents are stand-offish and keep themselves to themselves (unless of course you are like that and are looking for peace…)
This is one that a lot of people overlook and I suppose it’s not the most important aspect because it can change later on down the line, but I still feel you should get a sense of how politically minded the residents are and see if your own views are likely to gel with the locals.
The Money Questions
Finally, you need to think long and hard about the financial implications, and not just how much will the house cost. The cost of living differs geographically depending on where you live, of course. Living in New York is going to drain your savings more than living in Omaha, so make sure you do your research on cost of living in the area you choose. Related to this is the job market. Maybe you already have a job and will be commuting, or working from home, but what if you lose that job and need to find another; you should plan for the future and make sure the area you’re moving too can support you if the worst should happen.