Location may heavily influence the price of a property. So, get pre approved by a bank. Only then do you know where to shop. Shopping in locations you can’t afford may initially seem fun but in the end is a waste of your valuable time, you could miss out on that short sale gem.
Now you have the ballpark figure from the bank, what neighborhood do you want? Urban? suburban? rural? Artsy? Full fledged modern civilization?
Many people live in and love high-density areas of retail, restaurants, gyms, and grocery stores. All within a few blocks’ walk! It’s nice to be able to walk to everything — but with that comes lots of cars, people and sometimes noisy neighbors.
You may prefer quieter suburban developments that are probably going to require driving for commercial and entertainment needs.
Then there are rural folks who want full quiet and no nearby neighbors.
Schools make a big difference for buyers, and a buyer will certainly pay for the best school district. School quality is one of the top items on a parent’s mind when looking for property. You can search the Internet for school ratings and check with the city or county for more information.
You should also always consider what is next door to the property you buy. Will you be living among lots of single-family houses, or big apartment buildings?
It’s also important to know if there are currently or once were gas stations or chemical plants nearby. Drive around and look, plus check Natural Hazard Reports to see what is or was in the area.
Additionally, be cautious about empty developable lots or empty retail/warehouse properties nearby, as you never know what might end up being built there.
It’s also smart to understand the zoning on your property, as it might let the single family home next door be torn down and developed into a 4-plex rental property.
Considering all these issues — buy a home that is a good fit, will serve you well, and will be a good investment for your future.