When you’re shopping for a home, there are lots of important things to consider. How good are the schools? Will the neighborhood accommodate the lifestyle you hope to have? Is it close to extended family? These things are often in the forefront of shoppers’ minds, but there are some factors that are just as important that could be easily overlooked. Before you put an offer on a house, you may want to take these three things into consideration:
Traffic: Most Americans spend about 50 minutes each day commuting to and from work. Some big cities have notoriously bad traffic situations, small suburban intersections can get just as jammed as major interstates. It’s important to remember that even if your place of employment is close in terms of miles, the commute times could creep up during peak travel hours.
To plan, type in the address of your new prospective home into the map app on your phone during your typical commute times for a clear picture of just how long it will take you to get to and from work each day.
Neighbors: No home exists in a vacuum, and your neighbors have a direct impact on your home’s value. How they live could affect how you enjoy your home. Take a look at the homes surrounding the one you’re interested in. Consider how the homes are being cared for and maintained. The Appraisal Institute determined that a home's proximity to a bad neighbor can reduce a property's value by up to 10%, so this is an important consideration!
Layout: When you’re choosing a home, its layout is an important consideration. Even if you’re shopping alone, imagine your whole family filling the space to help you envision what daily life could look like. You may also want to imagine hosting larger events, especially if entertaining is important to you. Visualize your current furniture filing the space too and see if your current furnishings will be suitable for the new space. Otherwise, you could have an unexpected expense on your hands once you move in as you buy new home furnishings for your new home! Changing a home's layout can be pricey, so finding one that's suitable from the start can be helpful!