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     Determining where you want to move is a big step in the home buying process. When choosing a location, make sure to factor in your family's commitments, i.e. school, work, church, etc. as well as lifestyle and the proximity of amenities.

     As was previously discussed, suburban areas, though distanced from the city, may offer more affordability. However, if you are not willing to commute and there is little or no access to public transportation, you may choose to live in the city; eliminating traveling time, cost, and of course, frustration. Just because you choose to live outside of the city limits doesn't mean that you won't have access to everything you need. Home building companies are springing up all over the place and as such, commercial growth follows; for you, the home buyer, this means that you will have access to grocery stores, recreation facilities, schools, and retail outlets. Though you may have to wait a while; this of course depends on how far outside of the city you intend on moving because, the farther you go, the farther away you will be from amenities.

     Besides the obvious benefits of suburban life, that is, quietness, there are many practical benefits as well. Lots outside city limits tend to be larger, and you are almost guaranteed to get more for your dollar. For example a 1400sq. ft. single family, detached home located directly inside the city may sell for $200,000; now, if you were to look at that exact same house outside the city limits, you could potentially save 1/3 of the cost, and maybe even get a larger lot.

     When considering moving to a suburban area, it would be a wise choice to drive from you workplace to the location and back again at the times you would normally be leaving for, and coming home from work. This will give you a good indication of how long your daily commute will be; if you drop off your children or spouse and make a stop for coffee, make sure to factor this in, as it will have an impact on the actual time the trip will take.

     As was said in the understanding the market section, present and future housing development projects can increase you home's value, also effecting taxes and zoning bylaws. You can obtain information regarding current or prospective housing developments by contacting you local housing authority. Don't forget to inquire about any future plans to build new roads, schools, stores and office space; all of this could potentially affect the price of your home.

     You have to like your neighborhood. Take a drive through potential locations and take a look at the homes, gardens, driveways, and general upkeep of the current establishments. Also consider the conditions of the roads and side walks; they are an indication of city maintenance in that area. The number of street lights, traffic frequency and presence of street signs will also give an indication to what kind of neighborhood you're looking at; road safety should always be a concern when purchasing a home. The above-mentioned characteristics of a neighborhood are labeled as sustainable features, that is, they are reasons one may want to purchase and stay in a home. Other sustainable features include the presence of trees and natural run off systems, the proximity to natural resources, such as open water and forests, as well as the presence of a variety of different homes in one neighborhood; so that, as your needs change there will be options that will support you. The neighborhood you choose to live in will play a major role in the resale value of your home. It has been said that you will receive a greater return on your home if you buy an average home in an above average neighborhood, than if you buy a lavish home in a mediocre neighborhood. Take your time when looking around and you may be able to purchase a nice home in a nice neighborhood, though again, this depends on your budget and your needs; be practical.

     Aside from sustainable features there are practical neighborhood features to consider when buying a home as well: your proximity to work, schools, shopping centers, recreation facilities, churches, hospitals, police and fire departments as well as bus stations and public transportation.

     Regardless of budget, there is no reason you shouldn't be able to get a home in a fairly nice neighborhood. The decision lies in what you consider to be more important; the type of home you buy, or the neighborhood you would live in. What a potential buyer such as your self can do is, firstly, decided what features you would like your neighborhood to have, secondly, determine what you can afford, and thirdly, look at all the styles of homes you can purchase within your price range.