Whether this is your first or tenth home purchase, shopping for a new home is…
They say that buying a home is all about location, location, location. But what if you do not know what location is right for you? Maybe you know you would love to be near Athens, but aren’t sure if you should expand your search to Oconee and Barrow too? Here are a few factors to consider when deciding on just the right place to put down your roots.
- Budget: While not the most glamorous or exciting part about home buying, deciding on a realistic budget is one of the most important. High cost-of-living areas like Five Points in Athens, may be prohibitively expensive for you to buy a home. If becoming a homeowner is a top priority, look at all of the nearby cities (Watkinsville, Winder, etc.) and neighborhoods that have plenty of choices in your budget.
- Your Home Needs: If you have a large family or pets, maybe a good yard and great schools are on the top of your list. If you prefer not the own a car, proximity to public transportation will be a must-have for you. Make a list of these needs and look for neighborhoods that have the right style of home and community for you.
- Outdoor conditions: If you are an outdoor enthusiast and want to be able to spend time year-round enjoying nature, that will probably impact the locations that you should consider living. Think about what kind of hobbies you want to pursue and if there are any conditions that would prohibit them.
Once you have an idea where you may want to look, consider taking a vacation there to try it out. If you can rent a home in a neighborhood, that can give you the best insight into how it would be to live there. Even going for a weekend, afternoon, or long walk can give you a good idea if you want to look for a home in that location or keep looking for a new neighborhood altogether. You may even meet a few potential neighbors to help give you insight as well!
Working with a real estate agent in Athens, especially if you are new to the city, can save you a lot of time during your home search. They know the community better than almost anyone else and can tell you where the best schools are, what neighborhoods have easy access to commuter routes, and places to avoid because of high crime or other negative factors.
Finally, consider the future developments and resale value of your home. Unless this is your forever home and you never plan to leave, thinking about the eventual sale of your new home is always a good idea. Even if you do not have children, homes in good school districts tend to be more desirable and sell for higher prices. If your area is being built-up with new schools, shops, and restaurants, you may be able to get a much higher price when it comes time to sell. A real estate agent can help you decide just the right place to look for your new home.