10. City, Town or Rural
If you love visiting with the neighbors, spending less time mowing, or don’t want a long commute to work, city or suburban life might be for you. You might even feel lonely and secluded in the country. If you need to see for miles out your windows and you treasure the serenity of birds chirping when you walk out your front door, you might feel a bit claustrophobic in the city and prefer being in the country.
A neighborhood can consist of different characteristics that greatly impact the people and lifestyle of a specific area. You will want to find a neighborhood in which you feel comfortable. Some questions to consider include, can you choose the color of your home, are their kids playing outside in the summer, can you put a fence around the backyard? Some people prefer more restrictions in their neighborhood in order to raise the property values, while others prefer fewer covenants or restrictions.
8. Natural Disasters
You’ll want to also consider the risk of natural disasters in a specific location. Some areas are known for frequent flooding, and it can be expensive to insure against fires and floods. In Bismarck/Mandan we don’t have to worry about forest fires, but there are areas more prone to flooding from the Missouri River.
Whether you have children or not, you should still be aware of the school district in which a home is located, because it may eventually affect the salability of the home. Private schools are always another option if someone loves the home but not the school district, but then take into consideration the extra cost, and maybe the value of the area is lower if the schools are inferior and private schools are deemed necessary.
6. Travel Time
Consider how far you are from the grocery store, schools, shopping and work. Do you mind the drive? Will the drive hurt the value of your home when you are ready to sell? You don’t necessarily need to live close to places of work or shopping, but having quick access to streets that will easily take you directly to those places may increase the value of the property.
5. Lot Location
Is the home on a busy street? Is the lot next to a commercial property that has a lot of traffic or parked cars? Are there hotels or apartments nearby? Some people look for larger corner lots that have access on two sides. Others enjoy living in a cul-de-sac where their kids can ride bike without the traffic of a normal through-street. The location of the lot is an important factor to consider, because while you can change the value of the home, the lot can’t be changed.
4. Noise Level
Another thing you usually can’t change about a location is the noise level. Whether it’s traffic noise, barking dogs or a railroad, there may be little you can do about the noise volume in a location. Some people that live along a busy street put up a fence and plant trees to help block some of the sound. Be sure to visit the home a few times at different times of day. You may even talk to the neighbors and ask them what they think about the noise, or see how they like living there in general. These are important factors to consider at the moment you are touring your potential future home.
3. Other Homes on the Block
It’s a good idea to glance down the street at the homes directly around the one you are interested in and compare the curb appeal. Ask yourself, are you thinking about buying the best home on the block? If so, while you might have a beautiful home, if it’s surrounded by homes that have a lower value than yours it would likely decrease the value of the home you’re thinking about purchasing. On the other hand, if you are looking at buying the worst home on the street – for example, a “fixer upper” that looks like a wreck but is surrounded by beautiful homes – it probably has a lot of potential. You may need to put some work in, but the value of the property will be higher if the surrounding homes are well cared for and of a higher value.
Depending on the area, it can be hard to find a lot with a view. Since Bismarck-Mandan has many beautiful rolling hills, there are a number of homes situated on a hilltop with a nice view. There may also be a nice view of a wooded area with wildlife, a water feature such as a bay or river, or the home may be on a golf course. What you see out the windows can certainly affect the value and salability of a home.
In any area, the biggest factor to consider is your safety. After all, you don’t need a home on earth if you aren’t here! I’d recommend checking the crime rate and looking at the sex offender registry online. When you are new to a town or city, it can be hard to know which areas are more dangerous than others. Your realtor can help you get to know the different parts of town if you are unsure.
Will and Laura Gardner have been lived in North Dakota their entire lives. They’ve been living in Bismarck-Mandan for 10 years and are very active in the community. For help locating the PERFECT place to live, call 701.595.0688.