First a little note about my online documentation of our home building process. In an effort to keep our our family safe I’m going to try and not mention the name of our new neighborhood or builder. I want to keep some things private and also respect the builder. Beyond that I do plan on sharing as much of this process online as possible.
For the past few years I’ve been keeping up with the real estate market in our town. I knew that we’d be ready to buy sometime soon and wanted to have a realistic expectation of what we might find once we started looking. So when we decided we were really ready to take the plunge I had already done a ton of research on the surrounding neighborhoods and current real estate market. We decided on a planned community that has a variety of amenities and a good location.
Here are few reason we selected the community in which we are building:
Location – Our new neighborhood is only 5 miles from our current home so we are already familiar with the area and like the ease of access to all of the things we already know and use. (church, stores, friends, family, etc…) Also, there are a lot of new neighborhoods being built in our town, most of which are surrounded by undeveloped land. Our new neighborhood is already in a fairly established part of town so we don’t have to worry about large complexes being built across the street or next door.
Amenities – For our family we wanted a neighborhood that had street lights, side walks, a pool and a other family friendly amenities. Yes, choosing a planned community means you typically get less yard space (especially in our city) but we’d rather have community than more land.
School District – Our kids are in public school this year and we had to consider their needs as well. If we moved out of our school zone they would have to most likely have to switch to a different school next year. We chose to stay in the same school district.
House Plan – I’ve looked at a lot of nice neighborhoods that had great amenities and a good location but ultimately wasn’t able to find a floor plan that worked for our family. I am a firm believer that bigger isn’t always better. Most people would probably assume we are building a huge house for our large-ish family but it’s really not that big. I’ve seen 3,000+ square feet houses that were poorly designed and didn’t make good use of the space. Our new home will be a little less than 2,500 (which some people think is too small) however, the space is all used very well. Plus, you have to take into consideration the utilities and cleaning of a bigger house.
Cost – Finally, cost does play a huge roll into where we were able to buy. Luckily, we were able to meet all of our previous requirements and still stay within our price-range. Even with the current real estate market surge in our area.
These 5 things combined helped us choose the neighborhood where we will be building. We also looked at online reviews of our builder and did plenty of other research.