Choosing the Right Community for You

Consider the home's surrounding neighborhood and more

If you've decided to purchase property, one of the first things your real estate professional will want to know, is the type of home you're looking for.

But, just as important as the type of property is your community preference. Knowing your preferences will help you narrow down your search area(s) so you don't waste time viewing homes that are of no interest to you. Remember, in every commuting area there may be four or five different towns, each with their own characteristics.

The key factors you'll use to identify your "ideal communities" are generally price and location, but there are many other factors to consider as well. In order to help expedite the home-hunting process, consider making a list of your wants and needs that are most important to you and your family's lifestyle.

Ask yourself critical questions like these:

  • Do you dream of a quaint and charming older home, or do you prefer something new?
  • Are you willing to sacrifice room size and space for architectural detailing?
  • How far are you willing to commute from your home to the office or schools?
  • Are you willing to exchange the number of bedrooms and a big yard for proximity to a lake or other recreational areas?
  • Do you like city living, where you can be close to the action and easily walk to places? Or, do you prefer a more quiet, private setting with lots of open space?

Other Considerations

  • School systems: Whether you have children or not, buying a home in a community with good schools is important. This not only adds value to your property, but is also an appealing feature that substantially expands your pool of potentail buyers if you decide to sell. Simply click on schools to access complete information or click on one of the school buttons located on any listing page you open. The websites on the school page provide a multitude of valuable information. You can also learn about special programs the schools have to offer. Keep in mind, most schools today have their own websites you can easily access as well. And of course, you can always talk to people who live in the area or take a tour of any of the local schools.
  • Distance to amenities: Distance to recreational activities, shopping, restaurants, and other specific family needs is also important to consider.
  • Safety: Research local crime rates and city services such as police and fire.
  • Age-restricted housing: If you are like many midlife folks who are over the age of 55 and still lead an active life, you may want to consider an age-restricted community where you are surrounded by people in your own age group with many likely having interests similar to that of yours.
  • Properties geared toward your specific interests: Dream of being able to ski right onto the slopes or take a stroll directly onto a golf course? Maybe you'd like to step out the door and feel sand between your toes or walk accross your yard to a mountain hiking trail. With all the natural beauty that New England has to offer, having a beach home, ski house, mountain Chalet or other type of home that specifically meets your needs is likely obtainable.

When you've narrowed down your must-haves, it's time to discuss your options with your agent. This will provide him/her with the information needed to assist you with your property search. Remember, a targeted approach to house-hunting is the most efficient way to locate the home that meets your requirements. The most important step in this process is to have your agent set you up to recieve automatic listing updates via email so you don't run the risk of missing a property of interest.