Looking for a new house? Congratulations! What an exciting time in life to begin again in a new house with new surroundings and a new community. As you begin to view houses and look at options, don’t forget to consider the neighborhood and location. No matter how beautiful your new house may be, your new community will play a huge role in how you feel about your new home. As you continue the search for your perfect place, consider the following tips:

Knowing Where to Buy a House

Location has a tremendous impact on your overall living experience and, with time, can alter how you feel about the place you call home. Take some extra time to consider your neighborhood, community, and location. These tips will give you a great start.

  1. Your neighborhood and neighbors are an extension of your house and family. It will be worth the time to thoroughly research the neighborhoods of your top house picks. Look at the history, crime rate, and flood info. Make sure you will feel safe. Keep in mind the activities you enjoy and what’s nearby. Introduce yourself to the closest neighbors and ask questions.
  2. Taxes, taxes, taxes. Taxes can have a significant impact on your cost of living. Consider local sales tax, state income tax, and property taxes along with credits and exemptions that may be available to you. There are five states that have no sales tax and nine states, including Texas, with no state income tax. The Tax Foundation provides some helpful tools you can use to analyze the tax burden in your state.
  3. HOA Dues. Another location-related expense that you will need to consider is your annual HOA dues. This amount can vary significantly from community to community and you will want to be sure it is something that you can budget for each year. Some HOA’s will allow you to pay it out over the year and some will require it paid in full by January 1st. Either way, you will be responsible for paying your dues. You may also want to look into what is covered by HOA dues before moving into a community and if any other expenses could pop up unexpectedly.
  4. Your culture determines much of your lifestyle. Do you enjoy the hustle and bustle of life in the city, or prefer the slower pace of a small town or a rural neighborhood? Maybe you opt for something between and will join the masses in suburban America. Are malls, theaters, concerts and sporting events important to you? What hobbies and recreation do you enjoy? Make sure the local culture is a good fit for you.
  5. Good food makes life more fun. Take a trip through the surrounding area and take note of all the restaurants you see. Research online and make sure you will have the options you want when it’s time to eat out. You may also visit the local grocery stores and make sure they are sufficient for your needs. You will spend a lot of time eating, so you might as well make sure you will enjoy it.
  6. The local school system will determine the quality of education and experience your kids have 8 hours a day. Research the local school district’s reputation. Talk to parents, read online, and make sure your kids will have the best educational experience. Whether their interests are in sports, music, theater arts, academics, or animals, choose a school district with strong programs that will fit their needs and interests.
  7. Transportation offerings can make life a lot easier or much more frustrating. How easy is it to get to the places you will visit often? If you will use public transportation, take a bus ride or ride the tram around and make sure they will suit your needs and preferences. If you will drive your own vehicles, get a feel for the ease of getting where you’re going. Are you near a major highway? How much time will you need to spend in transit each day?
  8. Location is everything. Where your house and neighborhood is located within the community can play a huge role in your daily and weekly life. Is there a train nearby that you will hear often or get stuck behind? How close is the grocery store you will use? How long will it take you to arrive at work each day? Do you prefer miles between you and the nearest neighbor or the convenience of a planned community? Get a feel for where the house is in relation to all the places you will be spending your time.

Choose the Location Best for You

Buying a house is much more than colors, floor plans, and landscaping. When considering where to buy a house, your neighborhood, community, and location are just as important.  

Houston boasts some of the most popular residential communities in the country. At Substantia Realty, we know the community well and can help you find the perfect location for you and your family to call home. Contact Us today and let one of our Houston Realtors® guide you through the process of finding the right home in the right location for you.