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THINKING ABOUT BUYING

Often quoted in the real estate world is ‘Location, Location, Location’ and it is so true.

Some home buyers are willing to compromise on location, and for others location is everything. To determine how important it is to you, answer these questions:

  • Do I want to be close to family, friends or work?
  • Are there parks nearby, or am I close to the River Valley and walking trails?
  • Is it a ‘walkable’ neighborhood?
  • Explore the neighborhood, keeping an eye out for signs of neglect, such as houses with overgrown lawns, vandalism and litter in yards and alleys. No matter how diligent you might be at keeping your property in top shape, a run-down neighborhood will drive your property value down.
  • If you have children, education is one of the most important considerations in finding a new house. Are there schools within walking distance, or will your children have to take the bus? How do the local schools compare to other schools in the area? If your children need them, are religious or special-training educational facilities nearby your desired housing?
  • Convenient public transportation, good access roads, and major highways nearby can mean the difference between a pleasurable and not-so-pleasurable commute from your new house to work.
  • Take a look around for all the amenities you will need: shops, grocery stores, dry cleaners, restaurants, medical and dental offices, parks, and recreational facilities. Having a vibrant community with all the modern conveniences can make life a lot easier. You can save some gas by simply looking at community business listings online or in the Yellow Pages directory
  • Property values are a good indicator of how well a community is perceived. Your Royal LePage real estate agent can tell you the state of the local housing market, how property values have changed over the past few years, and how they compare to equivalent communities in nearby areas. You can also get a general idea of average house prices by perusing real estate listings for the area.
  • First impressions are not necessarily the most accurate impressions. It is a good idea to come back to the neighborhood at different times of the day and different days of the week. Listen for traffic noise, barking dogs, low-flying airplanes and any other noises that could indicate problems.
  • Check with the local police department to find out if the house you are considering is in a safe neighborhood. Police may be able to provide statistics regarding break-ins and other crimes.
  • Ask your real estate agent about any known environmental issues in the area. Check with neighbors and the local media about air, water and soil quality. Environmental issues can be detrimental to your health and property values in that housing market. There are a lot of questions to ponder, but getting an idea of the area that you are interested in will help speed up the house hunting process.