Buying A Home - Where Should I Live
So you've heard all the hype about the 1st Time Home Buyer's Tax Credit - $8000 in your pocket - and you've decided that it IS a good time to buy a home. But WHERE? You may have heard the saying Location, Location, Location. With over a million people in the Greater Birmingham, Alabama area there are so many choices. Do I get a loft downtown, or perhaps move to Hoover, Helena, Alabaster, to the south, or McCalla to the west, or Trussville to the east? How in the world do you decide where to buy a home.
First, where do you work and how far away do you want to be? Traffic is getting worse by the day and 15 miles can mean an hour commute - one way. You might not mind that because it lets you unwind from the day, but some people.....well 2 hours in the car = road rage!!!!!!
Second, what do you do for entertainment. Where do your friends live? Do you go out a lot and if so where? Is your church a big part of your weekly activities? Are you looking for a community that will encourage interaction with neighbors - so you can meet new friends?
Third, do you want to stay near OR far away from family? If it's a 20 minute or more drive to someone's house, you will see them less!
Forth, look at what you want your neighborhood to look like. Do you want sidewalks and activities that encourage you to be with neighbors? Do you want a neighborhood pool? Do you want huge lots and a big backyard or lots of privacy? Perhaps you want as little yard to mow as possible so you can spend the weekend at the golf course.
Fifth, consider schools. If you have children, the school they attend is very important. You may want to stay in the same school district or get a fresh start. Visit schools and see if you like the administration and the feel of the school.
No answer is right or wrong. There is a home for every taste, but deciding what you want and don't want up front will save you a LOT of time and effort when looking for the perfect home.
You can search for homes on the web to get an idea of what is out there. Make a list of what you like and drive around to check out the locations. Then work with a realtor - like me to see the inside of your favorite picks. If you have any questions, or you would like help finding a home, please contact me at Toni@ToniBird.com.