November 23, 2007, 7:00 am

Buying A Better House : The Location

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Properties
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While I am refinancing my property, I had this flash in the bus yesterday: Why do I love my house so much? There must be a tons of reasons, right? I have lived in fifteen houses so far, maybe I could determine what are the things to consider when buying a property in order to not only make the right choice but also to benefit from a great appreciation in value. I think it could be particularly interesting as the housing market is going down in USA and is stabilizing (except for Alberta and British Columbia) in Canada. house
Why the location is so important?

The location of your property is really important as you have little control over it once you have moved in. If there is a commercial center in your backyard, chances are that you will hear trucks loading and unloading goods all day long. No matter what you do and how many petition you have signed, the commercial center will stick in your neighbourhood and you will have to live with it. Therefore, you must establish in what kind of environment you wish to live before looking for properties. If you do not determine this factor upfront, you may fall in love with a property in a wrong location.

Think about the others too

Most people will live in the same property over a long period of time. I rarely sleep in the same bedroom more than three years. My parents used to buy, renovate and sell properties as a living. I guess it is now stuck in my blood as I lived at three different places in the last five years. When you buy a property, its location is not only important for your needs but also for the time that you will sell your property. Others’ perception is really important when you want to sell your house.

I bought my first house at the end of a street. I really liked it because I did not have neighbours behind my house. My backyard was ending on an empty field. I liked the fact that it was more peaceful and quiet. However, when I put this house for sale, I noticed that many people were reluctant to buy a property without neighbours around. They were asking about possibility of having rats or were asking how was it during winter time with the wind and the snow.

The worst part is that I thought it would be more peaceful based on the fact that I had only two neighbours. I was shocked to realize that it was a quite busy area. In fact, every single person with a dog in my town was going there to take walks. They were leaving their puppies running free in the field. Almost everyday, they used to end-up in my backyard or my front yard doing what they do best (just think about Paris 😉 ). The other things that bugged me is that many teenagers were going back in forth at the of the street to trade w..e..e…d…. or hockey cards maybe?

My latest purchase

I bought the house live into about a year ago. It is in a new area with neighbours surrounding my house. Believe it or not, this neighbourhood is much quieter than the field. All this because people mind their own business. I must admit that I had to pay a higher price to live in this area but it worth every penny! My street is about 40 houses and I am less than 10 minutes walk from the bus stop. I definitely might stay longer in this one!

Some key points to look at:

– Transport proximity (bus, metro, train)

– School proximity (5-10 minutes would be perfect, you do not want to have a tons of kids right beside your house either!)

– Neighbourhood quality (just by looking at their yard, you will have an idea of what is going on within their walls;-))

– Electric lines (we don’t know yet if it dangerous or not, but one thing is sure is that it’s ugly!)

– Be close to a boulevard or a highway (then again 5-10 minutes would be perfect. You can easily get out of town but you are not in the middle for the street noises)

– Look at newer development (in general, properties in those areas will gain in value over the next ten years after their creation)

– The city itself (a young city will gather all the newest and coolest stores and the infrastructure will be in a much better shape)

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