Guidelines for Finding the
Ideal Home Location

Be Observant. Do Basic Research.
Make the Right Home Choice.

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While there is no such thing as the perfect home, you can still benefit from being observant and doing some basic research. Remember, it's not only the home you are moving to, but also the immediate local town that you are moving to.

The following guidelines may help you in determining where it is you buy your next home.

Do you have kids?
Find out about the school situation. Is there sufficient class rooms and teachers for the amount of school students. What's the ratio of teachers to students. Generally the lower the ratio the better. What's the grade point average of the students? Is there frequent drug problems on premises? What kind of extra curricular activities does the school promote? Is the school up-to-date with computers and teaching methods? These are some of the questions you could ask. Take a tour of the school your kid(s) would be going to.

Do you want seclusion and/or quietness?
It may be a good idea to locate a home with more land surrounding your home or choose a house that has it's back towards an empty field. If there is empty land or forestation beyond the back yard, you will want to talk with the local village hall to see who can help you find out what the plans are for the land behind your home that you won't own. See if the land may be rezoned in the next few years and what those zones may be. You might not want to move in if it will be turned into a commercial zone. If the home is next to or located on a busy street, it won't be that quiet. Homes next to the downtown area will be noisier.

Sometimes you find an ideal home, but it is not real quiet. Remember there are things you can do to quiet down your immediate surroundings. If you can put up with the noise for a while, planting trees and bushes on the perimeter of the lawn can dampen the stray sounds in a few years. Putting up a nicely crafted wooden fence around your back yard can lower the noise level. Check your local ordinances and/or associations about specifications. Many places may not allow for front yard fencing. Nicely manicured bushes and trees can generally be put up anywhere in the yard as long as they do not obstruct telephone poles, meters, traffic signs or cause other significant problems.

Neighbors.
This aspect will likely impact your immediate surroundings the most. While it may be a bit difficult to get a good read on your immediate neighbors first hand, take a look at how they keep up their own home. Make a few visits on different days especially on a Friday early evening. If the neighbors are partying loudly, you can expect more of that. If you spot lots of kids' bikes in neighboring yards, that may spell having balls tossed into your yard or having your garden trampled from time to time. Of course there are ways to discourage that, but just be forewarned.

Talk to your future neighbors if you can. See how they react. Tell them you are thinking about buying the home and that you want to know a little about the neighbors. Then visit their neighbors and see what they say about those other neighbors. That may help you to get the neighbor temperature.

Environmental Factors.
“It was a nice home before the flood.” That's what someone would say if they were a flood victim. Again visit the local village hall to see how you can find out how the land is around the area you plan to move to. If water runoff is frequent near the home and the road gets washed over from time to time with a foot of water nearby, that's not a welcome sign. It can spell trouble. Find out if there are plans in the near future to address these problems. More than likely these residential problems won't be addressed any time soon.

Flood damage to homes is costly and nobody wants to have to replace their valuables every few years and fragile family heirlooms are irreplaceable. If the home you are looking at is at the bottom of a land slope, that may spell water runoff problems and flooding. Look for standing water nearby. Homes near a lake or river are also prone to flooding. If the home is lower than some of the river banks, that's not comforting even if the home is a half a mile away from the river.

One thing that most people don't even think about is how often tornadoes touch down in the area near their new prospective home. Some areas are more prone to such violent windstorms. There's no way to guard against them, but you can pick a location that has a lower record of them touching down. It's best to minimize the probability if you can.

Public Services.
How often do police patrol cars visit each section of town. Does there seem to be adequate police protection? Do they respond quickly? What about nearby hospitals and/or ambutals with ambulance services? Are police and emergency systems responsive in a timely manner? Check the quality of the city water by taking a drink. Usually the tap water tastes well enough that it doesn't nauseate you, but you may be interested in the hardness of it. Be sure to not get water that has been treated by a filter on premises to ensure that you are getting the water as it is delivered. Ask about the electric power reliability. Does the town experience frequent brown-outs? That will cause inconveniences and possible food damage if the power should go out altogether.

These are some thoughtful questions that you could ask your future neighbors. Come up with some other questions that may be of importance to you. When approaching the neighbors, be sure to be courteous and ask if they have 15 minutes. Spread out the questions to 2 or 3 neighbors. Usually they are happy to inform you of how great or not so great it is in that immediate area.

 

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v How About Your Mortgage Investment?
v Tips for Buying Your Next Home
v Selling Your Existing Home (part 1) and...
v Selling Your Existing Home (part 2)
v House Insurance Coverage
v Guidelines for Finding the Ideal Home Location
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