When my daughter was first trying to find the right house to buy, all her focus was on doing just that; find the right house. This is a common mistake that most first time homebuyers tend to make. It is understandable; after all, money is often tight during these initial stages. So it is only natural that you would want to make the most of what you can afford by finding the best house your money can buy.
However, finding the right house isn’t nearly as important as finding the right place. The right house might just be a hundred miles from your office. Needless to say, this commute would leave a sour taste in your mouth in the end. Before you go putting money down on that ‘perfect home’ you need to make sure that it is in the right location. Here are some top tips for finding the best area to purchase your first home.
Study the crime rates and statistics
Let’s be honest, not many people want to live in a neighbourhood where their children cannot safely play out in the streets or parks. Before you choose a place in which to live, take the time to find out the crime rates. You can either check out Crime Reports or you can simply narrow down the neighbourhoods you are interested in and walk into the local police station for a little chat. The police will be more than happy to answer any questions or concerns that you may have.
How good and fluid is the transport system?
Even if you have a home office or fully work online, you are going to need to go out at some point. Either to make a grocery run or to simply go for an evening drive. The location you choose needs to be accessible. You need to find somewhere with a good roads network or access to the subway or cabs and if you are into cycling, somewhere with good cycling areas. Mobility is key when choosing a place to live.
Local culture and traditions
Before you fully commit to a location, visit for a bit, stay in the hotels, mingle with the locals and see whether or not you can imagine your life as part of the locals. If you are a young family or intend to start one, then the education system will also be a major factor when trying to find the right place. Other things that come into play include the kind of local property taxes levied, healthcare facilities available, the climate, socio-economical activities and proximity to friends and family. Apart from the financial implications, it really boils down to what you deem important in your day-to-day life.
Another tip – going to property investors’ network events like the PIN meetings of Simon Zutshi and the We Buy Houses Community Meetups of Rick Otton is a great way to learn about particular neighbourhoods. Moreover, these events are also great places to learn about average prices in certain areas; great to know before you meet with your agent!Tags: buy your first home, how to find the best neighbourhoods, how to find the right place