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Choosing Where to Live

While you may already know where you want to live, here are some things to consider as you visit various neighborhoods:
  • Look at the surrounding houses in the neighborhood. Are the homes and yards well kept? The condition of these homes will affect the value of your home.
  • Is it visually appealling? Explore the lot thoroughly. Does it offer adequate privacy? Will you maintain the ground or hire someone? Do you like the landscaping or would you design your own? What do you see in the back? Transformer? Radio broadcasting tower? Bus stop or ball field where night games are played?
  • What kind of area is it in? How close are shopping facilities, banks, churches, hospitals, schools, parks and movie theatres? And, of course you'll want to know what crime rate is associated with the neighborhood. Go to the local police station and ask for records of robberies, break-ins, vandalism, assaults and drug-related problems in the neighborhood. Is crime increasing or decreasing?
  • How heavy is the traffic and how will it affect your commute to and from work?
  • Is the home in an area that floods when it rains. How fast does the water drain from the streets and yard? Find out if the house is in a flood plain.
Your REALTOR will be able to provide you with much information. Ask questions until you are satisfied with the answers.

Here are a few other things you will want to consider in the selection of your dream home:
  • There is good precedent for not falling in love with the first house you see. The best deal may still be "just around the corner'". The more homes you see, the more you'll learn about what you want and what each house has to offer.
  • Don't choose a house because you like the interior decorating - a well furnished home isn't necessarily the most structurally sound. Check out the actual structure of the home. Keep in mind, the furnishings will be leaving with the current owner.
  • Go through the house with a fine-tooth comb. Open cabinets, turn on every switch, notice details, move furniture away from the walls, look in the attic, turn on faucets and flush the toilets. Look for water spots on walls and ceilings - you don't want to find out after you've bought the house that the roof is leaking.
  • Don't be pushed into making a selection. Make your decision only when you've seen enough to pick the best of the acceptable.

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