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How to Choose Where to Live

When buyers are looking for a home, deciding which city or town to live in can be overwhelming. In Massachusetts alone there are over 350 cities and towns, and New Hampshire has over 200 cities and towns. Some buyers may even have a certain town in mind until they see what the home prices are and they don’t know where to go from there.

We’ve Outlined 3 Main Factors in Choosing Where to Live:

  • Where You Work
  • Where Your Family Lives
  • Getting The Most for Your Money

1. Where You Work

If you are spending more time traveling to work it will quickly become tedious. Many people think a long commute “won’t be that bad” but after a year they become so exhausted they want to sell. And in this economy and market that’s not a safe gamble.

Are you realistic about the commute? The town you’ve chosen might be just 20 miles from your job, but if you have to travel heavily congested routes or back roads with lower speed limits the commute may be longer than you realize.  We suggest you do a “test drive” during peak traffic hours to find out exactly what your daily commute time will be.

Make sure your travel time to work is something that is manageable and that you are happy with. Is there a commuter rail nearby? When home shopping in Massachusetts you should consider public transportation as an option for your commute. Many towns outside of urban areas have train stations, making commuting a lot less stressful and saving you time, too.

2. Where Your Family Lives:

When you buy a home you want to be able to show it off to family and celebrate holidays and special occasions with them. If they are too far away it can become a major obstacle.

You may have to spend extra money for air fare and hotels if you travel to see them, and it may not be convenient for everyone in your family to travel to your new home for every holiday or occasion. And if you have children, living close to family and friends is especially important.

Many young couples we work with don’t consider this when they first look for a home. They aren’t thinking about children yet. But when circumstances change and they start a family, they regret not buying a house closer to their families.

3. Best Value – Getting The Most for Your Money:

If you’re a city person but can’t afford to buy a home in the city you should consider researching some of the surrounding towns. You may find a town you never would have considered before that meets your requirements.

A helpful tip is to make a list of what is most important to you when buying a home. When the lists are combined you can easily come up with exactly what you need to focus on.

If you’re looking for a home with a lot of land then searching a little further out from the city is your best option.  For instance, here’s a comparison of a few homes that were for sale in Massachusetts:

Price

Town

Bedrooms

Bathrooms

Square Ft.

Garage

$360,000

Watertown

3

1.5

1000

$350,000

Dunstable

4

3

2600

2 car

$360,000

Milford

4

2.5

2 car

Home in Watertown MA LivingroomHome in Watertown MA KitchenHome in Watertown MA Bedroom

The Watertown ranch shown above sold recently for $360,000. It’s has 3 bedrooms and 1.5 bath with about 1000 square feet.

Home in Dunstable MA, LivingroomHome in Dunstable Kitchen

Home in Dunstable Bedroom

On the New Hampshire line in the town of Dunstable is a property that we sold for $335,000. It’s a 4 bedroom 3 bath Colonial with a 2 car garage, 2600 sq ft and an over 2 acre lot.

Home in Milford MA LivingroomHome in Milford MA KitchenHome in Milford MA, Bedroom

And in Milford we have a house that we just put under contract to sell. It’s is a 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath, with a 2 car garage, listed at $360,000.

As you can see stepping away from the city gives you a little bit more house for your money. You don’t get some of the conveniences of being so close to the city, but you do get other advantages such as quieter surroundings and larger yards.

Though you can’t change the amount you can afford, adjusting your criteria can open up a lot more options for you.

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