When buying a home, most people have an area in mind. Then, they start to think about the kind of home they’d like to buy in that area. Even within the same county, city, or neighborhood, there will be different factors to consider; you might find a large home with the amenities you love, but it’s just a little outside of the neighborhood you prefer.
When you’re torn between a bigger home or a better neighborhood, here are a few things that might factor into your decision.
Sometimes a larger home with more land may be well outside of the city in which you work. While cities and the suburbs around them have spacious homes available, these homes don’t sit on a significant amount of land. Or, perhaps a larger home is more financially feasible when it’s located further away from a city. If having a large home or more land property is important to you, then this might be the best way to go.
Consider your commute. How long will it take for you to get to work? How much will you spend on gas? In Florida, it is important to know the traffic patterns for different times of the year. An area you are looking at might be less congested during the summer months, and allow you to get to work in a reasonable amount of time, but during the winter months, it is a different story. In some areas the population explodes during the winter with the “snowbirds”. This can make your commute up to three times as long as the summer months. Tourist traffic can also affect your time spent driving.
In the end, if your commute to work is what matters most, you might find yourself caring more about distance and time to travel than the size of home or neighborhood it is in.
Activities and Schools
If you have children, the school districts that serve the neighborhoods you search in are probably of considerable interest. If you are searching for a home for your future family, school districts probably won’t be as much of a factor for you.
Unless you want to pay for private schooling or move when your children are school aged, the school district could be another deciding factor between better neighborhood and bigger house.
If you’ve spent a summer in southwest Florida, you know that the heat is oppressive. There’s nothing like a refreshing swim to cool off on a hot summer day. A backyard pool, or even a neighborhood pool, could be a deciding factor for you, especially if you’ve got children. A smaller house in a better neighborhood might include access to a pool. Having a place nearby to cool off and entertain your children during those long summer days can tip the scales in a home’s favor.
If a bigger house on land is further away from the city, it might not be in a neighborhood at all. This appeals to some people, but if you have kids, you need to consider the fact that they won’t have neighborhood pals to play with. A benefit to living in a smaller house in a neighborhood might be the social aspect of neighborhood life.
Perhaps you’ve considered living in a bigger house further out from the city. But what about the bigger house that’s closer to the city, but in a less-than-desirable part of town. Sometimes these homes are available for less money, even if they are significantly larger.
Regardless of whether a realtor tells you an area is “up and coming”, look at local crime reports to be sure. You can also check city plans to see what development is happening in an area, as well as that development’s timeline.
It could be a great investment to buy a larger home in an area currently being developed. Investigate to get proof of development yourself before you take someone else’s word on a purchase of a bigger home in a not-so-great area.
Other Aspects to Consider
Water— In the Fort Myers area, if you don’t have access to city water, you’ll be using a septic tank for sewage and a well for drinking water. If maintaining a septic tank and drinking well water isn’t appealing to you, you might consider living in a neighborhood that’s connected to the city’s water system.
Internet— If you work from home, you probably need to know that there’s dependable, high-speed internet in the area. A big house in the country might not be right for you if you need fast internet. Even in the suburbs and city, sometimes certain areas have not been updated to bring the fastest internet speeds available.
Convenient shopping—Banks, grocery stores, department stores, gas stations, and other amenities are important parts of any community. In the country or in the city, these things might not be as close as you think. Sometimes the suburbs offer the most convenient shopping options.
Garage—In the city you may find yourself looking at homes without a garage. If you’re new to Southwest Florida you might not consider this to be a big deal given there won’t likely be ice to scrape off your windshield. However, temperatures in the summer can reach over 100 degrees and shade is a valuable commodity to keep your vehicle from scorching temperatures when you get inside it.
Emergency response—Families with young children or caring for elderly loved ones should know the kind of response rates there are from emergency services. If you choose to live in the country, it’s unlikely that the response times will be as fast as they would be if you lived in the suburbs or city. The closeness of an emergency room might also be a consideration for families.
Bottom line, there’s no right or wrong answer— it all depends on what suits your family’s particular needs. If you’re not sure what’s best for you and your family, SC Homes in Southwest Florida can help! Contact our expert team today to set up an appointment to get you started!