Big City or Small Town? Deciding Where to Buy Your First Home

Real Estate

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Of the many steps to buy a house, deciding upon the right area to move into is one of the most important.

A home is a long-term commitment, so you don’t want to be stuck in a neighborhood you can’t stand.

real estate agents or broker is a person who represents sellers or buyers of real estate or real property. While a broker may work independently,

Here are some things to consider when looking for the right area to settle into.

Your Living Situation

Have you or are you starting a family? Are you a single young professional buying their first home? Are you heading into retirement and looking for a place to relax?

The stage of life you’re in will be a big indicator of the type of area you want to move to. You may want a city with much to do and great economic opportunity, or a quiet neighborhood with wonderful walkability and a feeling of security.

Make a list of what’s most important to you for happiness in everyday life, and build from there.

Your Commute’s Impact

If you are someone who drives to or needs public transportation for work every day, map out what your commute will look like.

Take your drive to work at the time you typically would in order to to see what traffic patterns are like.

If you are taking public transportation, hop on when you would normally be going to work. Check on rates and route availability to ensure your journey to the office won’t be a hardship.

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Cost of Living

Outside of the cost of your monthly mortgage, you’ll need to look at cost of living for the area. This is the money you need to cover basic living expenses, such as groceries, utilities, entertainment, and things like gym memberships.

Often large cities have a higher cost of living, while small towns can help you save in this area.

Consider the Climate

If you aren’t a cold-weather person, odds are you won’t like living in the northeast. If you’re ok not experiencing all four seasons, you’ll probably be just fine living down south.

Look at typical weather patterns for the area. Consider what seasons you’ll experience, and also if you will be impacted by large weather events like hurricanes, tornadoes, or flooding.

School District Details

If you are planning on having kids, or already do, you’ll want to look into the school districts in the area. Research the quality of the education. Consider an area where kids will gain exposure to other children of different backgrounds to help expand your child’s worldview.

Is the school easy to get to? Does the area it’s in feel safe?

Overall Safety

Speaking of safety, take a look at crime statistics and reports for the area over recent years, and note which direction it’s trending.

Part of making a house feel like home is the security you feel within it and the surrounding areas.

Cities tend to have more rampant crime, while small towns can be quieter. Don’t make assumptions, though – do your research, and do it thoroughly.   

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Take A Trip

When all else fails, spend some time in the area you’re looking to live in to get a first-hand feel for what it’s like.