The Importance of Location and Happiness
By Andrew Hill @ www.newhomesource.com
So you’ve heard the saying, “Location, location, location.” Often times this is tied into the monetary aspect of your home- what it will cost you and how much you can plan to sell it for. But location is also very much related to your happiness, because if you like where you live it will go a long way.
First thing’s first: given enough time, effort, and capital, nearly everything else about your home can be changed. The paint, the fixtures, the tile, everything. The one thing that you cannot change is the neighborhood you live in. Be sure you enjoy your surroundings. If you’re married with children, don’t move into a neighborhood with 20-somethings if you can’t see yourself being friends with them. If you need peace and quiet, please don’t look at homes in the city.
Location also applies to proximity. Are you the type who needs a grocery store within walking distance? Or do you prefer to only go into town a few times a month? Be sure to also consider your proximity to work. Traffic makes us miserable. As the Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert says, “Driving in traffic is a different kind of hell every day.” If you hate commuting an hour and a half, then you need to buy a home that’s closer to work. Cut that commute down from a three hour round trip to only one hour a day, and in just one week you’ll save ten hours- in a year you’ll gain more than 20 days!
Another key location factor are your streets and sidewalks. “Sidewalks?” you ask. Absolutely! Are you an active jogger? Do you want to live in a neighborhood where kids play in the street? Do you want to be able to take a walk with you family or pet? Sidewalks are a good indicator of location quality. They’ll tell you plenty about what goes on and how safe your neighborhood is.
Which brings mean to my final point: crime rate. Not to be overlooked is the influence of location and crime rate. If you are the type of person who fears rough city dwellers, get a home in the suburbs. If a small amount of crime doesn’t bother you so long as you have a downtown loft, go for the loft. You need to be conscious of what you want to surround yourself and your family with, as well as what you can afford. Everyone wants to feel safe, but some are more comfortable in certain communities than others. Make sure you are in tune with your comfort zone.
As you can see, the importance of location goes well beyond your house value. Where ever you choose to rest your head, eat your meals, and spend time with your family should make you happy. Now go forth and be location conscious when finding your perfect home!