Have you decided it’s time to search for a new home for you and your family? Whether you are looking for a new home because of a job change or relocation, upsizing, downsizing, or just wanting to move to someplace new, there are a few things you should consider as you begin your search. I’ve compiled a list of five key items people sometimes overlook when considering a move.
1. School Districts.
If you have children this can be one of the most important considerations. Children of school age who are already in school are not likely to want to move away from friends, proximity to extra-curricular events, or maybe even a favorite teacher. Even if you live in an area where you have school choice, think about the time you might spend driving children to soccer practice or play dates with their school friends.
2. Access to Local Services & Amenities.
As with school districts, location and drive time is also something to think about near a new home location. Do you need to make use of public transportation? Do you frequent the gym or local parks? Do you have a favorite gas station, bank office, or grocery store? If you choose a new home that is far away from your old favorites you’ll probably want to check out the new area to see if you can find new ones.
This is a personal preference, but though often overlooked, it can be an important one. Look at how close the house is to its neighbors. If you prefer privacy, imagine your family sitting on the backyard patio on a summer day. Will you be in full view of the entire neighborhood? On the other hand, if you prefer to be “close to the action” so to speak, a house situated on 5 acres of wooded land might not be for you.
Safety can mean different things to different people. Not the least of which is a neighborhood where the crime rates are high. This may not be obvious when you look at the home especially during the daytime. Check police reports, neighborhood apps or blogs, community ratings. These will tell you more about the area. Even the most beautiful house, when located in a high-crime area is not worth the risk to you or your family.
Let’s face it, we all have a lot of stuff. You’ll want to be sure your choice in a new home has a place for all the stuff you and your family have to store. This comes into play particularly for those who may be downsizing. Empty-nesters with 30 years worth of holiday decorations, family heirlooms, clothes, and more need to either downsize their stuff or find a new home with lots of storage. Even young families should concentrate on homes that have not only basements, attics, and garages to store items not often used, but also everyday items. If your family is into sports with lots of gear, is there a place to stash these items when they come back from the big game? Not enough closets, bins, shelves, or cabinetry can quickly be a source of frustration to new homeowners.