Home Buying Wish List Part 1: Location, Location, Location!

Homes are like people: while there are certain characteristics common to everyone (e.g., two eyes, a nose and a mouth), each of us is unique in our appearance and preferences, and so are most Columbus condos and homes. Home buying starts with figuring out your preferences.

Here’s the first of a series of three related home buying articles to help you select your preferences from the many different Columbus OH homes for sale.

What type of setting do you want to live in?

  • Rural. Living in the country offers the benefits of wide-open spaces, larger yards and a closer connection with nature. On the other hand, you’ll be further away from shopping and entertainment. You’ll have to commute to work, there is no home owner’s association, and your closest neighbor may be quarter of a mile or more away.
  • Urban. Living in a city is convenient for work, restaurants and entertainment, and you can walk to many places. Cities, though, tend to be noisier and more expensive. While they offer a more vibrant pace, you won’t have as much yard space, and there will be many more zoning laws to follow if you want to make improvements on your home. Finding street parking is often difficult. Many cities also have a higher crime rate than do rural areas.
  • Suburban. Living in suburbia offers a compromise between the country and a city. Commutes are shorter than in the country and the pace is slower than in the city There’s shopping and entertainment close by, and you can develop a sense of community with your neighbors. Crime rates are lower, yards are bigger and costs are generally more moderate. You will still need a car to go anywhere, though.

What type of location do you prefer?

  • Village or Neighborhood. Rural living can be remote (farmsteads, wooded property, etc.) or within a village. In a village, there’s generally a post office, bank and a grocery store. There might be a gas station and a restaurant, too. But you would have to go to a city or shopping mall for most other purchases and for entertainment. You tend to know everyone in a village. A neighborhood is similar, except it’s a small area of a city that has basic services within walking distance. Sub-divisions are also thought of as a neighborhood, albeit much newer. Neighborhoods are often named for their architectural style or ethnicity: “Victorian Village,” “Little Italy” or “German Village.”
  • Busy Streets, Corner Lots or Cul de sacs. Urban living is always busier than rural, but some homes, like those on thoroughfares or corner lots, are particularly busy and therefore noisier. These homes will tend to be less expensive. But make sure to visit such a home at various times throughout the day to check noise levels. Also check to see if the bedrooms are in the back of the house, facing away from the street, or if noise canceling windows have been installed. Remember, too, that corner lots have two sidewalks to shovel in the winter!
    Homebuyers with children love cul de sacs because of the safety they offer. They tend to be quiet streets, even in cities. On the downside, though, you’re “living in a fishbowl,” since you live so much in view of your neighbors!

What type of services do you need?

  • School districts. If you have school-age children, you’ll want access to good public schools. Urban schools run the gamut from strong to poor, as do rural school systems. The suburbs often have some of the best public schools.
  • Recreation. Proximity to parks, bike paths, golf courses and recreation centers is becoming increasingly important. Think about how far you wish to drive to go hiking or swimming, or to take your dog to a dog park.
  • Police & Fire. Many rural areas have shared police squads and volunteer fire departments. Some areas are still without 911 access. Consider how important these types of services are to you.

Thinking about location is the first step to finding your dream home.

 Call Susanne at 614-975-9650 to learn more about what’s available in the area you’re looking!