7 Essential Tips to Help You Determine Where You Should Live

where should i live?Thinking about living in your dream location can be a lot of fun, but when it comes to actually figuring out the best place for you to live in, it can be a daunting task. After all, you really shouldn’t just choose a location on a whim or only because you think it’s pretty. You really need to consider several different things when it comes to selecting a location or area to live in, especially when it comes to your personality and your lifestyle.

Here are 7 things you need to consider when you’re looking for your dream location!

Brush Up on the Crime Rate – No one wants to live in a high crime area, so crime maps for your current or potential city can be a good way to weed out the areas you’ll want to avoid. Don’t get too wrapped up on the fact that an area you like had a car break-in last month. Crime will happen in even the best of neighborhoods. Just make sure the rate is low enough that you’ll feel safe and confident walking around outside.

Assess the Amenities – An area’s amenities might make or break the neighborhood for you. Some neighborhoods offer free or extremely discounted memberships to pools, gyms, recreational centers, and more. Others have parks that host local bands and artists throughout the summer months. There’s even the occasional neighborhood that pays a special tax to get more police presence that statistically leads to a safer, more secure neighborhood. Be sure to include any amenities that are important to you on your checklist when you’re looking around!

Measure the Commute – How far away is the neighborhood from work? How about from your family and friends? How will rush hour traffic affect your commute? These are all important issues to think about before you select a place to live. If you’re hoping for a short commute, try living somewhere close to your job. If you prefer peace and quiet and don’t mind the commute, a more rural community might be right for you!

Know the Neighborhood – Get to know the culture of the neighborhood to see how your lifestyle will mesh with your neighbors’. You don’t want to move next door to someone having parties until 2:00 in the morning if you have to wake up by 6:00 to get ready for work. Conversely, you might not be thrilled with your neighbors complaining about you being too loud when you have your friends over for a party.

Know Your Future Plans – Don’t just think of the present when you’re choosing the area you want to live in. Think about your future plans. Consider where you’d like to be in 5 years. Do you still want to be in your current neighborhood? Will you want to enroll in college? Do you want a job that will involve a lot of travel? Do you want to be close to family? These are all questions that could have an impact on both the area you choose and whether you go for buying a house or renting an apartment.

Take a Stroll – A picture might say a thousand words, but the experience is worth much more. Instead of just walking through the house you’re interested in, or worse, relying on pictures online, get out in your potential neighborhood and walk around. How do you feel walking around? How close are you to shops and restaurants? Are people spending time outside? Can you find any parks or other recreational facilities nearby? Don’t choose a house or neighborhood before you get your own feel for the area. You’d be surprised how many questions a 30-minute walk can answer!

Talk to the Locals – If you’re able to get in contact with people who already live in the area, they could be one of your best resources for questions about the area. Ask them how they like it, any concerns that have been prevalent in the neighborhood lately, how long they’ve lived there, their favorite aspects of the neighborhood, anything you can think of. They’re likely to give you unbiased answers – plus a sneak peak and how friendly your potential neighbors are.

If you’re not too sure where to live, why not check out Edwardsville, Illinois and the surrounding areas? There are plenty of things to do year-round, and the great city of St. Louis is just 20 miles away! We’ve even compiled a list of reasons why Edwardsville is definitely the place to be. Be sure to check out our many great listings at www.dianamasseyhomes.com to get all the info on your next dream home!

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The 5 Most Commonly Believed Myths About Listing Your Home Debunked!

selling your homeSelling your house can be emotional, exhausting, and nerve wracking, especially if you don’t have much experience with the housing market. With all of the advice from friends, books, and articles you’re bound to receive when you’re thinking about moving, you’re sure to come across some advice that might be rooted in more fiction than fact!

When you’re thinking about listing, make sure you’ve separated the seller’s facts from the myths! Check out these 5 common myths below!

Myth #1: I shouldn’t sell in the winter – Long ago, it was believed that the best time to list was in the spring because families wanted to move during the warmer months while the kids were out of school. Now, however, that’s not really the case. Fewer and fewer people are being restricted by traditional school schedules and are looking to move throughout the year. While spring and summer may be the most common times to buy, the warmer seasons certainly don’t rule the market like they used to.

Myth #2: If I ask for more, I’ll definitely get more – When people first list their house, they might think that they need to ask for more than they really want so there’s room for negotiation. In reality, houses that are priced to sell in 30 days are generally bought for about 97% of the asking price. If you do decide to raise the price to squeeze out more money, you could be hurting yourself. For every month your house stays on the market, you’re likely to lose another 3% of your asking price, so think carefully!

Myth #3: I shouldn’t sell my home until I find my new home – People often worry that they’ll wind up homeless if they put their house on the market before they find their next house. What will they do if the house sells before they choose their new home? While this concern might have held water in the past, it’s not something to worry about as much today. In the current market, selling a house is much more of a challenge than finding a house you want to buy.

Myth #4: I need to make repairs and updates before I list – It’s a common misconception that costly updates and home repairs will add to your house’s value. In fact, an additional bathroom will likely only earn you about 53 cents to each dollar you spend on the bathroom. If you want to do some updates, stick to painting, de-cluttering, and taking care of any serious eyesores or unpleasant odors. Bad marks in these areas are more likely to send potential buyers running than updates are to bring them in!

Myth #5: Whom I choose as my real estate agent doesn’t really matter – Many sellers don’t put enough thought into whom they choose as their real estate agent. Sellers often go with friends or relatives who happen to be real estate agents, or they just don’t do enough research! Make sure you ask any real estate agents you’re considering what percentage of the original asking price they generally get and how long you can expect your house to sit on the market with them. Additionally, make sure you’re certain of your decision when you choose your real estate agents. Sellers who relist their house with a new agent take a serious punch – possibly losing 20-40% of their asking price.

As you start feeling more confident and prepare to list your house, make sure you’ve chosen the best real estate agent you can – the Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties! For your own home or your future home, find everything you need at http://www.dianamasseyhomes.com/ or call us at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298.