You have it all planned out. You know exactly which shopping centers and conveniences you want to live near, you know which amenities you need within a few miles of your community, and you have a general idea of where your workplace, grocery store, and soon-to-be-favorite hangouts are located.
When it comes to searching for the right home, many buyers like you have “the perfect location” at the top of their must-have lists. But what exactly is “the perfect location”? And have you considered all of the conveniences you need near your next home?
Shops and Services That Buyers Take for Granted
You know where the basic conveniences are located near your home search location — shops, restaurants, grocery stores. But how about the services and places that you take for granted? As you’re trying to decide where to live and which home best suits you, use this list to determine which amenities you can and can’t live without. This will help you settle on the perfect location — and your ideal home.
1. Specialty Grocery Stores or Farmers’ Markets
You likely already know how far the closest grocery store is from your home search location. But if you love cooking and trying gourmet recipes, you may also want to live near shops that offer the ingredients that traditional grocery stores don’t.
2. Medical Facilities That Take Your Insurance
While you’re searching for homes and determining your ideal location, call around to the doctors, dentists, optometrists, chiropractors, and other medical professionals that you are considering. Find out which insurance providers these places accept to help you decide whether you need to change your location or your provider.
Even if schools don’t affect you, they can still affect your home search. If there is a school near the location you’re considering, be aware of lower speed limits during school hours, traffic congestion due to carpool lanes, and buses that may make frequent stops along major roads.
4. Veterinarians and Pet Stores
While you can buy basic pet supplies at a grocery store, there are still some things that only a veterinarian or a pet specialty store has in stock. If you know you’ll be visiting these places every month or so, you may want to choose a home search location that is closer to the veterinarian, pet store, or even an animal hospital.
5. Fire Stations, Police Stations, and Hospitals
It’s always a good idea to be aware of the location of emergency services. However, it’s also a good idea to be aware of the noise levels due to fire trucks, police cruisers, and ambulances. Sirens may go off at any time of day, and sometimes multiple times a day. Proximity to these emergency services can help you determine which location may be best for your new home.
6. Communities with Sidewalks
Sidewalks offer a sense of security and accessibility. If you know you are going to be walking your dog, jogging, or spending time exploring your community, you may want to consider living in an area that offers plenty of sidewalks.
7. Easily Accessible Shopping Areas
If you want to live near shopping centers, consider whether it’s easy to get in and out of the area. Do you have to turn left and cut across several lanes of traffic to enter the shopping center? Will you have to deal with congestion on a regular basis? Is parking abundant or hard to find? These questions may help you narrow down your favorite home search location.
8. TV and Internet Providers
If you’re moving to an unfamiliar area, go ahead and take the time to acquaint yourself with the local utility providers. If fiber optic providers are in the area, consider whether you want to live in an area or community that offers fiber internet.
9. Bookstores, Libraries, and Record Shops
Music apps and Kindles are great, but if you’re eager to get your hands on an album or a physical copy of a book, will you live close enough to one of these stores so that it’s worth the trip?
10. Gyms and Fitness Centers
If your ideal community doesn’t offer an on-site fitness area, you may find it helpful to live close to a gym. If you prefer taking group exercise classes, you may want to live close to a place that offers fitness programs taught by certified instructors.
11. Furniture Stores, Home Goods Stores, and Home Improvement Stores
Chances are, you’re not going to keep the same furniture forever. You’ll want to update your home at some point! There may be a vase, an end table, a painting, or a light fixture that you want to purchase. Living close to an interior decorating or home improvement store will certainly come in handy as you’re making your home your own!
12. Auto Repair Shops and Gas Stations
If you own a car, you’ll have to take it to the shop for routine maintenance and inspections from time to time. Spend some time exploring the area you like and determine how close you want to live from mechanics, auto body shops, and gas stations.
13. Restaurants That Offer Your Favorite Cuisine
It’s nice to live near your favorite types of restaurants, especially for the nights when you don’t feel like cooking. Take a look at online reviews to figure out where the best restaurants are and what type of cuisine they offer.
14. Moving Companies and Truck Rentals
You don’t want to do all the heavy lifting when moving furniture, major appliances, or other bulky items out of your home. Check to see whether your ideal home search location is close to movers or truck rental companies.
Have a Question About a Home or Community?
I would be happy to help you narrow your home search location and find the best home. Call me and we can talk about what’s most important to you.