Many of us find that when it comes to house hunting, we can get lost in the amount of options on offer, or rather, we may find it hard to make any final decisions. This is because no home is perfect, and there are pros and cons to everything. It might be hard to choose one home over another when their merits are equally balanced, or if we must accept a certain sacrifice to enjoy another benefit.
For instance, it might be that the one home you’ve viewed has everything you need, except it’s situated on a main road (and therefore noisy) and on top of that, it’s 20,000 above your budgeting price. That said, perhaps it doesn’t require repairs or upgrades, and has a newly renovated kitchen. As you can see, it’s hard to come across these decisions and make a snap decision, and if you can, well, you should count yourself lucky.
In this post, we’ll discuss seven metrics you can use to finally choose your new home as appropriate. This may enable you to move forward and better format your decisions, so that from now into the future, you can move with confidence.
Of course, the location of your household is the first and foremost consideration. This can dictate and be dictated by many considerations, as your location will influence everything else on this list. What your home is distant from or in proximity to can really define what kind of life you lead. Someone living in an idyllic coastal town may find a little slice of heaven on Earth, for instance, until they’re informed that coastal degradation due to encroaching tides will leave the village to be totally gone within fifty years. This might sound over dramatic – but it happens.
For this reason, it’s worth considering what location means to you. How far are you happy to drive for your morning commute, or for your child’s trip to school each day? As your children get older, will there be opportunities for them to secure a part time job? What might the crime rate be, and has the area been invested in? In some cases, it might be that gentrification could be skyrocketing house prices in the area – this can be good or bad for you depending on when you invested or when the move will be completed by. Always consider the location and balance it against any other ideals or norms you have. It can truly affect the value of the home you’re willing to accept, or if you can make adjustments such as extending the property.
Everyone is interested in providing their children with the best schooling possible, but it’s not easy to do that unless you’re in a catchment area (or commutable distance to) a good school. For this reason, many parents or would-be parents find it instructive to research the local schools in an area when buying a house – even if they have no plans to have children here and now.
This can determine what specialisms your child may be able to make use of, or how competently they can make use of additional services in the area.
It may also determine just how many schools your child has to attend, as not all areas are defined in the same way. Your child may have to attend a primary, middle school, high school and college separately in some areas, but in others the first three may be fused into a larger institution. This can influence their schooling experience and it’s best to understand what you’d like for them as far as this is concerned. Provided you take a keen interest in and even visit a school in a local area, you’re sure to feel as though you have somewhere positive to go.
Hobbies & Passions
Of course, when we think about constructing our dream life, it’s easy to think in terms of clear and basic imagery instead of how your lived reality might actually be each day. For instance, let’s use the example of how your hobbies and passions might develop. Some people may love to live at the seafront, even perhaps willingly living in a remote village for this to be so.
You may adore fishing and everything to do with the oceanfaring lifestyle, and no one could blame you for that. But might it be that six months out of the year, fishing is prohibited to give way to local commercial fishermen? How many restaurants are open in the area, and could there be a gap in the market for an investment of your own? Do you have the chance to help your children find a range of wonderful clubs and sporting opportunities? For instance, if living in a town with a main river, you may find a wonderful rowing club is situated there, helping you relive an activity you loved as a teen as well as giving your children the chance to experience that. Hobbies and passions should not be discounted as a tertiary priority, they can really give our life substance, and they matter.
Securing your home is tremendously important, but how secure it actually is does depend on a few more variables than just how many locks you’re willing to put on the front door. To begin with, are there local property markers in your area? Putting a sign up on a private lane can help you showcase that those who move past its markers are trespassing, for instance.
Perhaps an area has a neighborhood watch scheme you can utilize, or maybe the community is careful about how they run certain events and what they do about certain problems, such as addressing the crime rate or keeping school children safe when walking home in the dark. If you ask the local council or resident’s authority, you can often get answers to these questions. If not, ask the local residents directly. It can’t hurt.
Noise levels are worth keeping in mind. It may be that you’ve been used to living in a city for some time, and so some suburban road noise isn’t going to keep you up at night. If moving from a rural environment to an area with three bars, a main road and a stadium nearby, you may find yourself struggling to adapt for a time.
This might not serve as a dealbreaker, but it can be something to keep in mind. How much noise are you willing to put up with? Might it be that when trying to cool your home in the midst of summer, opening your window lets in a deep and growling soundscape from the local highway? Thinking of these issues in advance, and of course, visiting the house at different times of day before purchasing can all serve as worthwhile and tremendously useful techniques.
Community life can also serve as a fantastic measure to see how happy or fulfilled you’ll be, long-term, when living in a certain area. You may not be looking to bond with your neighbors overly, but it can be nice to simply know who they are, or contribute to yearly events, or feel as though your local community puts some effort into local celebrations.
This might involve dressing the town up at Christmas time, or having a yearly Halloween celebration, or it may simply mean having a range of local shops that are still open despite all odds. Community life may seem redundant in the ever-online and disconnected norm of 2021 and beyond, especially in the midst of lockdown, but we often notice when it’s not there. Consider just what this means to you and what you’re looking for in this space.
It can be tremendously helpful to know just what you’re working with when moving into a household. The last thing you need to fret about is countering difficult subsidence, or having to repair an entire roof, or struggling to get your plumbing fixed.
For this reason, buying new construction homes can be a tremendous idea if you’re tired of having to renew a home you’ve just moved into, while making sure houses are even compatible for extensions or renovations (this can be restricted depending on the area classification you live in) is worth thinking about. The construction quality of your home can often define its value and the standards that are put in place, from how the water heater treats water to how effective and safe the electrical circuit is.
In some respect, construction quality can lend itself to and be defined by what unique, idiosyncratic features a household needs to have. For instance, it might be that purchasing a house that has well-installed flood defence features can help you keep peace of mind when purchasing next to a large river or on the waterfront. Construction quality can be defined in many ways, and a deep inspection will help you understand your options.
With this advice, we hope you can finally choose your new home using a range of well-thought-out metrics to guide you. If nothing else, we just hope you have fun browsing!