The Importance of Location in Your New Home Search
You know the mantra: location, location, location. It can affect the quality of your schools, the resale value (and current cost) of your home, as well as your family’s overall satisfaction with your lifestyle.
Not sure how that all comes together? That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to choosing the right location and neighborhood for you.
Let’s get right to the point: you probably want to live in a safe location. No one willingly relocates to an unsafe area, right? The less crime in an area, the better.
Not only that, but a safer area typically means you’ll have more neighbor-to-neighbor interaction. You’ll feel comfortable taking long walks in your area, and the trust you feel when leaving your home for the day will be higher. You won’t worry about letting your children play outside.
A home is a long-term investment, so your kids are likely to go through quite a few (if not all) of the levels available in your area. With that said, you want to make sure they have a good school district. The reasons for that seem pretty obvious: you want your children to get a better education so they’ll be well-prepared for the future.
This doesn’t necessarily mean the district has to be rated number one – there are plenty of other items in play when choosing a district. Here’s some key factors to consider:
- Standardized tests aren’t going to give you the full details. Many children don’t perform well on standardized tests, but are still plenty successful later in life.
- Talk to the teachers. These are the people who will be educating your child – high rankings mean nothing if your child isn’t going to retain the knowledge.
But what if you don’t have kids, and never plan on having any? The school district still matters! Here’s a few quick reasons why:
- The better ratings a school district has, the higher the prices of homes in that neighborhood. That means your home will have great resale value in the future.
- They provide stability even when the market tumbles. A home in a good school district will still fetch a higher price than one that isn’t.
- On the other hand, this also means that a home will be more expensive initially. This is usually a good investmentment in the long run but will take more planning when setting your budget.
All of this combines to affect your overall satisfaction with the home. If you don’t feel safe, you won’t enjoy being home – even if your kitchen island is perfectly on point. And if your kids aren’t happy at school, well, we’re sure they’ll make that known!
Live Near What You Love to Do
Schools and neighborhood safety aren’t the only things that affect the attractiveness of a location. You’ll also want to consider what sort of amenities the community offers, the entertainment and other options in the city nearby, as well as your ease of access to major transportation routes.
At this point, things are going to get pretty subjective. Some homebuyers might want a home with a lot of land, far from the nearest superstore, whereas other homebuyers want to be right in the middle of it all.
And if you’re working from home, access to a highway isn’t a big deal. If you have a commute, though, you’re going to want to get on the road quickly and easily in the morning. Access to a major transportation route could be just what you need.
Here are just a few things to keep in mind when looking at amenities and nearby entertainment options:
- Pool access, playgrounds, and sporting fields can often be part of a planned community
- Proximity to major roadways or public transportation – it can help shorten your commute, but can also mean more traffic in your immediate area
- Hospitals, fire stations, and other emergency centers – good for if you have an emergency, but you’ll also constantly hear their sirens
- Future development projects in the works – your dream location may be quiet now, but if a major hospital or office building is going up nearby, it could quickly become crowded
Putting it Together
You’ve probably noticed by now that much of this is subjective, and that’s going to happen with a lot of your choices at this point in the home research process. After all, you’re the one who is going to live in this home – not us.
We recommend creating a list of what you’re looking for in a location in order to get a visual representation of it all. Do you want to be close to bars? Or do you need to be in walking distance of great parks? Whatever it is you’re looking for, creating a list will help narrow that down.
Once you have that list, you can start looking up areas that fit your descriptions. If you want an area with great walkability, you’re likely going to look for a community or a location closer to downtown instead of a more rural location. And on the flip side, if you’re desiring an abundance of parks and recreation, a rural area might be your best bet.
Of course, you’re always welcome to bring those lists into a builder’s sales office and ask them to help narrow down your options. Builders will be knowledgeable about the areas they build in, and can help you find the best spot for you and your family.
At McGuinn, we take pride in building in beautiful, inviting neighborhoods as well as on your own lot.
In Lexington, for example, features a large variety of parks, museums, and other entertainment perfect for families and couples alike. Just under a thirty minute drive from Columbia, it offers access to the best the metro area has to offer.
Lexington is served by the Lexington 1 School District – which does have pretty solid rankings, but by this point we know that rankings don’t always tell the whole story. The good news here is that this school district has some pretty fantastic reviews left by both parents and former students – giving you the full story.
If Lexington sounds like the place for you, we have several fabulous locations ready. Choose from Summerlake, a master planned community perfect for those who want an active lifestyle. Featuring a sparkling pool, nearby pocket park, and nature trails, you’ll never run out of things to do.
Or, explore Pleasant Springs, also served by the Lexington 1 district. A sidewalk community, Pleasant Springs is nearby to a large variety of amenities (remember our note about living near what you love?) and even offers certain plans with downstairs master suites.
So what are you waiting for? Start narrowing down the location of your dreams – and if you have any questions on how we can help make that dream a reality, just give us a shout.