5 Questions To Ask When Buying a House

5 Transportation Questions to Ask Before Buying a House

You've probably heard that the three most important aspects of finding a great home are "location, location, location." But have you really thought about what this means?

Before you make your final decision on a home purchase, ask yourself these five location-related questions:

1. How far is the drive to work
Some people don't mind a long commute. Others hate it. Be sure you know which category you fall into before you commit to an hour-long drive to work every morning.

According to Zillow, as home values climb in areas closer to city centers, more people are finding homes farther away from their offices.The key is to balance your needs - find a home within your price range but isn't too far from work. Or, as some people have found, a simple schedule change, like going into work an hour later, and leaving an hour later, could clear up the highway for your drive.

2. How far away is your child's school?
Along the same theme as proximity to your workplace, it's important that your child's school is nearby as well. What's even better is if your child's school is on the way home from your office. This will make morning drop-offs and afternoon pick-ups much simpler.

If your child rides the bus to school more often than getting a ride, your home location will have a big impact on this as well. Check with the school to make sure your new home is near the bus route. If it's not, you'll have to make additional accommodations.

3. Where's the nearest commuter rail?
Living near public transportation can be very helpful when you want to get into town without dealing with the rush hour traffic, or when your car is in the shop but you still need to get around. But proximity to a transit line is ideal for more than just convenience. Buying a home near a commuter rail has shown to preserve home values.

4. Is the neighborhood walkable?
People are valuing walkable neighborhoods more than ever, according to the National Association of Realtors.

This trend is most common among younger homebuyers, but the theme rings true for baby boomers as well. Whether you want to walk to work, the store or just clear your head at the end of the day, it's important that your new home is located in an area that allows you to do so. Look around for trails and well-kept sidewalks. Also, check the neighborhood's Walk Score to get a comprehensive picture of how pedestrian-friendly the area is.

5. How close are the nearest amenities?
Proximity to amenities like grocery stores, gyms, restaurants and parks is another important feature to be on the lookout for. If you need to go to the grocery store for only a handful of things, a long commute will turn a simple trip into a tedious one, and you're less likely to go to an inconveniently located gym.

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