When looking for a home, the appearance isn't everything. A great house's appeal can wear out after a few years--or for people who buy multiple homes, a few months--but wants and needs can be serviced by a community with the right mix of services and events. Here are a few amenities to keep in mind as you consider everything that goes into a new home, not just a new house.
Multiple Routes To Work, School, And Safety
When checking the distance between your possible new homes and your future jobs, be sure to check multiple paths. Do you have to rely on a major highway, and is there an alternate route if that highway is shut down?
These are important pieces of information to consider if you work in an emergency services job, or if you need to evacuate the are in case of a natural disaster or other event. Look for areas with high ground, and keep in mind that you may need alternative high ground in case that's the best safe area for locals.
For normal traffic issues, multiple side roads and country routes are vital. Whether you need to get around holiday gridlock traffic or simply want to keep moving instead of sitting in car fume-filled traffic, alternate routes can make you feel a lot better about where you live.
Do you work from home? Do you have to upload files on a regular basis, or collaborate over webcam? Do you just want Netflix to load properly without going to war with your Internet Service Provider (ISP)? Getting great internet service isn't a;ways as easy as choosing the right company; a good location plays a big part in getting great service.
If internet matters for you, make sure that your real estate agent knows about available services in the area. Your best bet is to get a home in an area that is serviced by multiple ISPs, which gives you a lot of leverage when demanding better service.
A company that has a monopoly in a particular area will know about their advantage, and you may not get fast repairs. It's all on their terms, and as long as the service doesn't fall below contractually-obligated levels, they can take their time with fixing connection issues. Service failure can mean a lot of disconnects and slow speed, and it can get fairly annoying before reaching lawsuit levels.
If you need computer repairs, or if you're a tech tinkerer yourself, look for areas that have technology-focused colleges and/or product shipment areas. Cities that value technology and education may have workshops and hobby centers, which gives you a nice selection of businesses and individuals who can help you with your computers and electronics faster than mailing your belongings in for a warranty.
Contact a real estate agent to discuss the many features that make a home more than just a nice-looking building.