The last few years have seen a flurry of homebuying activity. In 2021 alone, people purchased more than 6 million homes.
Of course, finding homes takes a combination of good luck and finding a desirable location. After all, not every neighborhood or even every city is going to suit all buyers.
For some, a home out in the country fits the bill, while others require a home in a major urban center. Some of this is a matter of preference, while some of it is often a byproduct of your profession.
If you’re trying to find a house in a desirable location, keep reading for some key tips.
Understand Your Personal Needs
Too many people think about the idea of a desirable location purely in terms of neighborhoods. This neighborhood is hot and that one is not.
Yet, thinking in those terms is a great way to end up living somewhere you come to loathe. Neighborhoods have characters or a mindset that you must consider before you go there.
You need a clear sense of your personal needs going into the house hunting process. For example, do you want your kids to play outside on your lawn? If so, you need a neighborhood where bigger lawns are a thing and families with kids are welcome.
Do you need a house that minimizes your commute? That will restrict your options to a particular radius from your place of work.
Are you a person who likes spending time outside in nature but don’t want a two-hour drive to find it? You need a home within a reasonable distance of things like parks or located away from city cores.
Understanding these needs can help you pinpoint what makes a location desirable for you.
Consider Local Development
Something else you should weigh is what kind of local development is ongoing. While existing neighborhoods have a character, a new development gives people a chance to develop the character of an area. If you keep an eye out for new construction neighborhoods, you can play a part in making a place a desirable location.
Beyond that, though, new development typically takes place in areas that are adjacent to desirable areas or in areas where the developer expects growth. It’s one of the telltale ways you can pick out a desirable area a little ahead of the curve.
Again, though, you must balance that against your needs. New construction in an area adjacent to an already desirable area often means the new neighborhood will take on characteristics similar to the existing neighborhood. If you wouldn’t want to live in that existing neighborhood for one or more reasons, the same reasons will likely apply in the new development area.
Proximity matters on a lot of fronts, which means you must prioritize what matters in terms of proximity. For parents, proximity to good schools is often the primary driver for their decisions about where to live. Parents will often pick neighborhoods that require longer commutes if it will put their kids in a better school district.
For someone who is young and single, proximity to their workplace is often a key consideration. Proximity to their job reduces the odds that they’ll accidentally show up late, which eliminates a potential black mark. Although, the trend toward remote work on a part-time or even full-time basis may make that consideration a moot point.
Others may value proximity to particular kinds of experiences over proximity to anything else. For example, someone who likes nature but must work in the city might find a neighborhood near a big park far more desirable than a house near their job.
Fitness enthusiasts might prioritize proximity to high-quality fitness centers.
Mind the Cost
While it’s not the only or even primary consideration for many people, cost is a legitimate factor. Houses in areas traditionally considered desirable often come with hefty price tags.
The desirability of the neighborhood itself drives up the competition. That competition drives up prices. The higher prices encourage wealthier individuals to move in, which prompts more investment in the properties themselves.
None of that is good or bad, but simply a cycle that buyers should keep in mind. The people in the neighborhood will expect other homeowners to more or less keep pace with the trends.
If your finances are borderline in terms of affording a home in one of those areas, you may find yourself outbid over and over again.
On the other hand, if a home in that area needs a lot of rehab work, that can create an opportunity to grab it for a much better price. The catch is that you’ll be in for a lot of renovation to get it up to the standards of the neighborhood.
Work with an Agent
Finding a home in a desirable area is often a struggle for people for the simple reason that America falls about 3 million homes short of its current needs. That makes competition fiercer for homes in all areas and neighborhoods.
One way you can find a home in a desirable area is by working with an agent. Agents often specialize in particular types of homes or particular areas of a city. That means they’re much more likely to know about homes that will come up for sale soon but aren’t technically on the market yet.
An agent with that kind of information may help you find that home you want with fewer hassles.
Find a House Somewhere Desirable
The quest to find a house somewhere desirable can take a lot of forms, but it should always start with some reflection on your own needs. Understanding what things you value and what kind of lifestyle you want will make some locations more or less desirable.
In general terms, you should consider factors like local development trends, proximity, and the cost of buying in a given neighborhood. You may also find a real estate agent helpful in locating not-quite-on-the-market options.
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