How to Find Your Ideal Location

Where’s the ideal location for you and your family to live? When you look at homes for sale, you definitely want a desirable location, but how do you go about choosing? Here are seven tips for finding the ideal neighborhood for your home and family.

  1. Consider what you might save in taxes. State and municipal taxes can be punishingly high, so it’s worth knowing that Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, Alaska, and Delaware have no sales tax. In addition, Alaska, Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Washington, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Nevada, and Wyoming don’t take income tax from their residents. Overall, New Jersey residents pay the most tax and Alaskans the least. Of course, living in a place like Alaska there’s a lot of other things to consider, so don’t make any decision based on taxes alone. Also, know that 40 of the states allow for tax credits and exemptions under specific situations, so it pays to find out all about the taxes before you move.
  2. Check property values carefully. Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, you’ll want to check out the real estate value to find your ideal location. Your house is probably the biggest investment you’ll ever make, so invest wisely. Look at current prices, but don’t forget to evaluate long-term trends, as well. Look at what’s selling at the moment. Really high prices could indicate a bubble, while investment and development by local government could make the area more attractive to buyers in the future.
  3. How close are you to the things you value? If you spend your holidays with family every year, you’ll want to make sure you’re not too far away. If visiting with friends is crucial to your emotional and social life, going too remote could make things unnecessarily difficult.
  4. Check out the education system. If you have kids, you’ll want to know where to position yourself for access to good schools. If you have no kids and know you won’t have any in the near future, you might be able to get a nicer place for a lower price if it isn’t in a good school district.
  5. Take into consideration the things you value most. Is it important to you that you be able to attend the latest concerts? Do you have a sports team you really need to be near? What about musicals, museums, and a thriving nightlife? If these kinds of cultural offerings are important to you, be sure to take them into consideration as you make your plans for where to live. Hobbies and access to recreational activities are also important to consider.
  6. What’s the crime rate in the neighborhood you’re considering? Your ideal location should have a low crime rate, but it’s also important to remember that crime is impossible to avoid altogether. More important than stand-alone crime rates is the rate compared to nearby areas. Neighborhood police can give you some real insight into what things are really like in the area you’re thinking about moving to.
  7. Do you prefer small-town life or big city excitement? Do you want to be able to walk to the post office, or do you prefer the anonymity and excitement of being just one among many? Is low maintenance living what you want, or do you like being busy all the time? There’s something to be said for both sides of this coin, so consider what you life you’d most like to live on a day-to-day basis. Remember that’s it’s also possible to live within driving distance of either one and get a bit of the best of both.

There are a lot of factors that go into choosing your ideal location. Make sure you identify which are most important to you, and then ask around till you find just the right area where both you and your family can thrive and be happy.

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