When you're shopping for a new home, you may browse real estate listings eagerly, looking for the perfect house to raise your family in. While it's important to ensure that the house itself meets your needs and preferences, you shouldn't overlook other features like the surrounding neighborhood, nearby amenities, and your daily commute. Ask your real estate agent to help you narrow down properties by looking at the following features.
Evaluate the Neighborhood
You may fall in love with the perfect house, but it's important to envision yourself living in the neighborhood around it. You may want to look for single family homes that are within walking distance to schools for your current or future kids. How far apart would the homes next door be? Would you share walls or fences with them? What is the general feel of the neighborhood?
After you meet your real estate agent for a walk-through of the home, take time to walk or drive around the neighborhood. You may also want to talk to some of your prospective neighbors and ask questions to ensure that the whole neighborhood is a good fit for you, not just the home.
Ensure There Are Nearby Amenities
Do you prefer to have close access to restaurants, theaters, and other leisure activities near your new home? Is it important to you to have a public library, nature trail, or grocery store within a short distance to your new home? That last one is important: if your new home will be in a "food desert," it's critical to know how far you will have to travel to buy groceries. Other nearby amenities like public transportation or parks may make you reconsider the homes that you look at with your real estate agent.
Measure Your Daily Commute
If you have to travel to work each day, it's vital to take this into consideration when shopping for a single-family home with your real estate agent. How much time are you willing to spend sitting in your car or on a bus or train? Remember that you could be making this commute twice a day for years, so you want to be certain that it's acceptable before you commit. You might even want to practice making the commute if you're serious about placing an offer on a home.
By looking at your whole lifestyle, not just the number of bedrooms or the size of kitchen you want in a home, you can help your real estate agent narrow down properties that might be the right fit for you.