One of the things you cannot often tell from looking at homes on the internet sites is how long it takes to get from that house to where you work. Does it matter? Depends. If you are single, or if you have children but your spouse is close by, maybe not. But if you are a parent who is expected to pick up a sick child or attend the school play, you will care A LOT. Or, if you are concerned about your “green footprint”, you might want to live near public transportation or within bicycling distance.
Many on-line sites now have the “walkability” index listed for each home. That is a measure of how many places someone usually needs to visit (grocery stores, theaters, restaurants, post offices, doctors’ offices) are within a distance reasonable to walk. And if there are sidewalks to walk on. This factor can not only make a homeowner’s life much more pleasant, but can affect the value of the home for the long term.
Newer sites, like the Sage Realty site, have the option of calculating your commute time at different times of the day, based on the GPS data that is now out there. This is a great tool, and often unused. Of course, you need to factor in how likely it is that you will continue to work where you are now. Some people know they will be moving. A good agent asks those types of questions at the first meeting so as to better serve you.
A recent study has found that homes near public transportation weather downturns significantly better than other homes. This is especially true here on the Main Line where many folks commute into Philadelphia every day. So how do you factor that in when looking for the perfect home? It needs to be near the top of your list. In my opinion, location, location, location means:
• on a non-busy road well within an established neighborhood
• in a good school district
• near the train
This Main Line real estate agent knows that curb appeal is a topic most people feel they have a good grasp on. It is good, right? How much should a home buyer value curb appeal?Read More
Many people plan to build their net worth by buying CDs or stocks, or just having a savings account. Recently, however, Economist Jonathan Eggleston and Survey Statistician Donald Hays, both of the U.S. Census Bureau, shared the biggest determinants of wealth,“The biggest determinants of household wealth [are] owning a home and having a retirement account.”Read More