The decision to buy a new house is a complicated one. For most homeowners and renters, this decision is largely predicated upon dissatisfaction with their current home. But, as many real estate professionals remind buyers, the only truly unchangeable thing about nearly all homes is their location.
So, is your home's location telling you it's time to find a new place? Here are a few signs it's time to move.
1. The Neighborhood Is Deteriorating. Your neighborhood might have been decent or even up-and-coming when you moved in, but what's happened since? Some neighborhoods draw in new businesses and new buyers. Others, though, go downhill. If yours shows no signs of getting back on an upward trend, you do well to look for homes in an area that's on the right track.
2. Your Commute Is Maddening. Commuting a long way for work is acceptable in the short term, but doing so over a long period of time has many negative consequences. It adds to your costs, it takes time away from your family or leisure, and it can stress that creates physical illness. If you can't change where you work, you may be able to change your commute distance.
3. You Travel to Do Everything. What do you like to do with your downtime? Where do you shop on a weekly basis? Where do your friends live? If you must travel elsewhere to do just about anything you want or need to do, your home's location no longer fits with your lifestyle. You should instead consider the value of buying a home in an area that better represents who you are.
4. You Can't Expand. What if you want to renovate or spread out, but you simply aren't allowed to expand? This could be a problem with local codes and zoning if you want to add something like a "mother in law suite" but have a physically limited property with nowhere to go. It could be as simple as having a yard that is too small for your kids and pets. There's nothing you can do about most of these factors except head to a new location.
5. The View Isn't Enjoyable. What do you see when you look out your windows or sit on the porch? If you don't enjoy the views around your home, you'll be reminded of this every single day. While there are some possible fixes, such as adding trees, you can't fix anything beyond your property line. Rather than becoming frustrated with your neighbors, consider finding new ones.
Is your home's location giving you signs that it's time to go? If so, now is the time to start learning about your options. A real estate agent can help you search for homes for sale.