Location is one of the most important considerations when shopping for a new home. Weigh the pros and cons of living in the city, the suburbs or the country. Compare locations as carefully as you compare houses.
Consider practical aspects such as time and distance to work, schools and shopping, and the availability of public transportation. Make personal observations, but also consult with your builder, local government, friends, and if possible, people in the neighborhood.
As you explore each home, use the following checklist to help determine whether the location suits your needs.
Shopping. Are adequate shopping facilities nearby?
Police and fire protection. Are police and fire protection adequate?
Medical facilities. Is there a hospital or medical center nearby?
Schools and day-care. Are schools in a convenient location? Are convenient day-care facilities available?
Traffic. Are the streets quiet enough? Does the speed limit on the streets suit you? If you have children, will they be safe from traffic hazards?
Parking. Are parking and garage facilities adequate?
Transportation. Is public transportation frequent and convenient?
Trash and garbage collection. Are trash and garbage collection adequate?
Recreation. Are there suitable parks and recreational facilities nearby?
Places of worship. Are places of worship available and convenient?
Privacy. Do the lot and house offer adequate privacy?
Water. Does the community have a reliable source of drinking water with adequate capacity to meet present and future needs?
Sanitation facilities. Is the sewer system or septic tank adequate and reliable? Does it meet present and anticipated future needs?
Landscaping. Is the land well-drained? Has proper landscaping been done to prevent erosion? Is the landscaping attractive and likely to enhance the value of the home?
Taxes. Are the property tax rates reasonable? Is either the tax rate or the value of the house likely to change enough to cause a substantial increase in your tax payment?
Assessments. Are there special assessments that will force you to pay added monthly charges for a specified number of years?
Nuisances. Are there nearby sources of noise, smoke, soot, dust, odors or other hazards that will affect the housing environment?
Are any development plans under consideration that could substantially change the nature of the community?
Flooding. Is flooding a potential problem?