If you’re on the hunt for your forever home then chances are you have a good idea about the kind of property you’re after:
3.7 bedrooms, solid marble kitchen benches, an 18th century German barn vibe, and a pool in the shape of a swan… you know, the basics. Most people have fantasised about their forever home, but what about the location in which your forever home resides?
When searching for that perfect place to settle, there are a number of things you need to keep in mind. You might be surprised to hear this, but there’s a little more to finding the ideal location than simply moving across the road from your favourite pizza shop. I know, I know, what more could you need though, right? Well for one, what about ice cream?
In all seriousness though, when choosing the perfect location for your forever home, there are a number of important things to consider that might involve elements of daily life outside of pizza and ice cream. I realise this might be difficult to envision for some, so I thought I’d put together a list of questions to ask yourself when searching for the perfect location for your forever home.
Where are you at your happiest?
Where in the world do you love being most? In which place do you feel your best? Are you a beach person who can’t get enough of the sea and the sand? Do you love the hustle and bustle of a busy city street scape with the convenience of everything on your doorstep? Or do you prefer the peace and quiet of a remote countryside town? There’s no wrong answer, whatever feels right to you is the place you belong. So if need be, go for some mini road trips and lock down your soul locale, then you can start researching suburbs within those areas that float your proverbial boat.
Who are your people?
Community is key. We wouldn’t get far in life without other people, and when it comes to finding your ideal location, a friendly, active and dependable community can make a world of difference. Being able to trust those you live around is paramount if you have a family and especially if you have small children. You don’t have to be a gregarious raffle ticket collecting, market stall selling, community fair organising character to benefit from living in an area that upholds community values. Knowing that you reside in a suburb with trustworthy individuals who are willing to help out in times of need can be invaluable to your overall well being. So if you find your dream home in a neighbourhood of suspicious individuals who won’t return a friendly wave, maybe think twice about moving in right away.
What services are available?
If you live alone and are willing to travel then this may not be as dire, but if you have yourself a little family unit then this question may be the most crucial. Are there schools nearby? Is there a hospital in the local vicinity? Where will you do your grocery shopping? These might sound like painfully obvious questions, but depending on where you want to live, you may end up having to sacrifice one optimal amenity for another. For instance, if you want to live within the inner city, you’ll likely have all the schools, hospitals and supermarkets you could hope for, but you might find it hard to access fresh produce or parks and natural spaces. If you’re wanting to dwell in the mountains, then you’ll likely have those in spades, but will find it’s going to be a longer commute to access emergency services or do a daily shop. At the end of the day it’s all going to depend on your values and priorities.
Is the location manageable?
This feeds back into the previous point. You may have thought you found the perfect house in the perfect location, but is it? How long will it take you to get to work every day? Will the kids have to travel long distances to get to school or see friends on the weekend? Moreover, you’ll want to consider the sustainability of the property itself. Does it require a great deal of upkeep? Will you be spending your spare time mowing acres of lawn or cleaning 15 spare bedrooms that no one is using? You just want to make sure that you don’t take on more than you can handle or add more stress to your daily life. We have enough stress to deal with as it is.
Are you content with the home?
So you’ve nailed down your dream location and now you’re on the lookout for your matching dream home. At this point you might want to take a step back and try no to get caught up in your own fantasy. You might have found the perfect place to live, but don’t let that get in the way of you finding your ideal home. If the only property you can find for sale is overrun with rats or next to a derelict farm house that looks like it just came out of a Stephen King novel then for goodness sake don’t settle. If your only option in a pristine valley of open skies and rolling hills is a house overlooking a giant cesspit or power grid, then it’s not the perfect location after all. Don’t put up with a home you’ll regret living in for a suburb you love. You’ll regret it in the end.
So there you have it. If you can keep these questions in the front of your mind when you’re out on the look out for that Shangri-La of all locations, I have no doubt you’ll end up exactly where you ought to be. Happy hunting.