Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What's in a Town?

I spend my days helping people find that perfect home.  They give me their vision of the kind of home they see themselves living in, either with their families, by themselves, with a friend; I've basically seen every living situation. Whether they are looking for that home nestled atop a hill in the suburbs, or an eclectic condo in the heart of a bustling city, people start this journey at square one: where they want to live.  So, what's in a town, that is, what is it about a certain city or town that makes it desirable to a certain someone? There are many factors that play into why people choose to live a certain area at any given point in their lives. Family, profession, friends, social expectations, and even the desire to be surrounded by creative influences play a role in making this decision.  I have heard it all when it comes to why a certain town would fit a lifestyle; school systems, politics, taxes, shopping, restaurants, dog restrictions, recycling ; the list never ends.
We all hear certain things about certain towns; this one has the best school system, that one has high property taxes, and so on. Part of my job is to encourage homebuyers not to let one aspect of a town deter you because it has played over in your head.  Look at what fits your lifestyle, budget, and unique needs.  Ask yourself these questions: How long will you live there? What ranks highest on your list of priorities? What are you not willing to give up and also what are you willing to live without?  Wherever you look, trust me, there are always pros and cons.
I recently found a website called Find your Spot where you can actually take a quiz that will then provide you a tailored list of cities and towns that fit your needs. It also offers reports, job listings, and other town info.  It is actually kind of a fun quiz to take and does not bore you with technical questions.
The reality of choosing a new place to live encompasses an incredibly large series of factors, all competing for your attention. In order to be successful in your search, you must determine what is most important to you and your family, do your homework, and then continue to be vigilant in your search until you find the right place to live. It can be intimidating and frustrating at times, but all that effort is worth it in the end once you are settled in your ideal location.
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