Clearly there are more than five factors to consider when buying a home. However, there are certain factors which weigh more heavily than others - and if you're looking to establish yourself in a strong community that is likely to give you a return on your investment, you'll want to think carefully about your criteria.
The Boston Globe recently reported that some Massachusetts areas are experiencing a rise in home values. Despite the subprime crisis and the economic downturn, there are areas that appear resistant to real estate fluctuation.
Included in its list of strong and growing real estate communities is Arlington. Time and again, Arlington has remained stable in the face of real estate challenges. But what makes a town desirable? What keeps it from getting dragged down in tough economic times? Whether it's Arlington, Brookline, Manchester, or Winchester, these factors have consistently resulted in strong community reputations:
· Good school systems. Whether you have children or not, a good school system is often an accurate reflection of a town's investment and commitment to its community. If the schools are suffering, other services and amenities may start to slide as well.
· Proximity to Boston or other large cities. Proximity to a city means access to arts, jobs, activities, entertainment and public transportation.
· Proximity to universities. Not all growing areas are near Boston. Granby in Western Mass. enjoys similar benefits because of the influence of multiple universities nearby.
· Proximity to a strong employment market. It's hard to pay your mortgage if you can't work. It's hard to work if there are few employment opportunities. Cities and universities offer a multitude of job opportunities, as opposed towns that are dependent on one or two major employers.
Prioritizing the must-have features of a town is a good place to start when considering a new home. Once you decide on where you want to reside, you can begin chipping away at the qualities that are most important to you in a home.