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Any purchase requires some research and background information to make sure you are making the right decision.  Buying a home is no different.  It is important to check out the neighborhood and the surrounding areas before you purchase a home.  You want to make sure that the location meets most of your needs and wants.  There are so many different things to consider, like school districts, entertainment, neighborhood safety, and commute times.  You don’t want to find your dream home in the wrong location.  Researching the area before you get too excited will help you make a choice that you will be happy with for the long haul.  Here are some details you may want to consider as you search for the right neighborhood.

Commute Time – The most obvious commute time that you need to worry about when purchasing a home is your commute to work.  You want to account for rush hour as well as what different routes and modes of transportation are available for different circumstances.  Other commute times you may want to consider are how far you will be from the friends and family that you visit the most frequently.
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Entertainment and Shopping – You want to be within a reasonable distance from all of your weekly needs and wants.  These locations may include restaurants, movie theatres, grocery stores, dry cleaners, auto shops, etc.  It is important to weigh out what is most important to you and what you are willing to sacrifice in time to get the house you want.
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Cost of Living – One item to consider that is not so obvious is cost of living.  The cost of living can change drastically from city to city.  You have to think about property taxes, HOA fees, and planned commercial development.  All of these elements will factor into your cost of living now, and in the future.
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Neighborhood Reputation – Ask your real estate agent about the neighborhood you are moving in to.  They are experts and will have the knowledge required to help you get into the neighborhood that fits you and your lifestyle.
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Long-Term Goals – Lastly, it is important to have the future in mind when you are looking for a home.  If you have kids or plan to have kids, you have to find out if there are good schools, parks, and recreational sports.  If you are looking at this home as a financial investment, you have to be aware of the value growth rate in the area. 
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All of these factors will play a role in determining your quality of life and your overall happiness wherever you decide to live.  Take the time to discuss each of these items with your real estate agent.  The more they know, the easier it will be for them to find exactly what you want.  If you have questions about financing, or are wondering what it might take for you to get into your dream home, call one of our mortgage professionals today!

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