You’re ready to become a homeowner.

Congratulations!

Even though renting has its fair share of benefits, nothing beats owning a home. You get to join a club of about 65 percent of Americans who are homeowners. And what better way to live the American Dream?

However, it’s one thing to be ready for homeownership and it’s quite another to actually find a home that will make you proud. For the latter to happen, one of the most important things you must consider is location.

Yes, location, location, location isn’t a fad.

In this article, we’re telling you how to find a good location to buy or build a home.

Your Love for the Location

Experts will tell you that you should never buy a home with the heart; that you need to buy with your brain.

Well, that might work for some people, but the hard truth is you need your heart and your brain to be on the same page when you’re finding a location to buy a home. You won’t be at peace if you snap up a perfectly-built and priced house that’s in a city or neighborhood you don’t fancy.

As such, when finding a good location, take time to listen to your heart. If you’ve spent most of your life disliking neighborhood X, don’t force yourself to buy a house there. It’s not like it’s the only location you can get a good house.

List down the locations you’d love to own a home, and then proceed from there. The following factors will help your zero in on the perfect location that your heart loves.

Cost of a Home and Homeownership

The median price of a home in the United States is about $220,000, but prices can vary widely.

By now, you already know how much house you can afford. If you’re going in for a mortgage, you’ve probably already been pre-approved. And if you’re buying in cash, you certainly have the money stashed in your account.

You need to find a location where the price of homes is within your financial range. If you’re budgeting for a $500K house and you’re hunting for a house in a location with million-dollar homes, you’ll only be wasting your time.

In addition to the abstract cost of a home, consider the cost of homeownership. For example, are there any periodic fees or charges that homeowners are required to pay? What about the average cost of homeowners and flood insurance in the area?

If the cost of homeownership is above your budget, that’s not an ideal location to buy or build a home.

Cost of Living

The cost of living varies from state to state, county to county.

In some states, the average cost of utilities is $3,000 a month. In other states, the cost is much lower or much higher.

You want to live in a place where your budget will fit.

It’s easy to assess the cost of living in various locations because there are economic reports that are readily available. However, don’t solely rely on those reports.

Go there and make friends. From how consumers in the location behave, you can easily tell whether you will fit in without stretching your budget.

While at it, don’t just consider the present-day cost of living. Look at how this cost will change in the future. If you want to buy a home in a location that has seen a rapid rise in the cost of living in the recent past, there’s a good chance that cost will keep rising. Will you be able to keep up?

Real Estate Market Trends

At the end of the day, your home is a massive financial investment. You want it to keep gaining value, not losing.

Especially if you’re taking out a mortgage, an increase in value will quickly result in a rise in your equity in the home. You can take out a home line of credit when you’ve substantial positive equity in your home.

It’s essential to study trends in the local market where you want to buy a home. If home values have been stagnant for a long-time, there’s no telling when they’ll start moving. Avoid such locations.

An ideal location to buy a home has a thriving local real estate market. These real estate marketing trends, for instance, point to a thriving market in Oak Island, North Carolina.

Location of the Lot

The home you want to buy stands on a lot. Consider the location of this lot in the neighborhood.

For instance, homes that are closer to a commercial establishment such as grocery stores or gas stations will be a bit cheaper to buy, but they might be hard to sell when you’ll want to offload yours. People want to stay away from commercial establishments.

Also, if the lot is near the main road or highway, it will be harder to sell and might not gain as much value as those that are away from the road.

Security and Infrastructure

Obviously, you want to live in a secure neighborhood. No homeowner wants to worry about burglars. Look at crime rates in the area.

You also want to consider the state of infrastructure. The roads should be good, as well as communication networks.

Social amenities, such as hospitals, schools, public parks, and shopping centers, should be close by.

Find a Good Location for Your Home

You might have a picture-perfect house, but if it’s located in a place that isn’t ideal, you won’t want to live there. With this guide, you now know how to find a good location for your future home.

Keep reading our blog for more tips and advice.

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