Key Considerations When Shopping For A Home

Typically, many buyers have a broad idea of what they want when they are shopping for their dream home. For some, it’s a specific location. For others, they absolutely need a certain number of bedrooms. While some of the relevant considerations are based on personal preferences, there are a number of other factors you’ll want to consider when you’re deciding where to find your home.

Cost of Living 

Though this may seem obvious, some buyers often forget to factor this into their planning. Areas with high costs-of-living will also mean higher buyer costs relating to taxes, insurance rates, and, of course, overall home prices. 

A buyer will want to make sure that they can afford everything that comes with homeownership in areas with a high cost-of-living. The price of the home is just one variable to consider.

Additionally, buyers should remember that purchasing a single family home will also mean you need to factor in long term ownership costs. This can include everything from mechanical replacement, roofing repairs, lawn maintenance and more.

Condo ownership generally takes some of the planning out of upkeep and repairs. But you’ll almost certainly be paying monthly fees for this added ease. 

Understanding these variables and costs are important to consider for your long term return on your home investment (ROI).


Buyers will want to consider their lifestyles and make sure the neighborhoods they look at both match this vision and meet their needs.

Those looking to enjoy things within a close proximity to their home might find themselves looking at condos. This will mean a higher price per square foot than someone looking for something more suburban. It can also mean less square footage overall than somewhere less central to town.

For those of you that love Downtown Boston because of their high “walk scores,” remember that this comes at a premium – both on your budget and your overall square footage. 

School Districts/Zones 

If a buyer has children, the school zone in which a home is located will be an important factor to consider. 

A great agent can direct buyers to all of the resources necessary for them to learn more about area schools.

Keep in mind though that competition for certain school districts often drives hyperlocal pricing. In fact, we studied this circular impact last year. This can be both good and bad in that it might increase the housing costs, but it’s also an opportunity for an increased ROI.

Proximity To Work And School 

Buying a home usually means committing to an area for at least five years, if not more. Commuting can be both a hassle as well as costly, so be sure to consider the proximity of your work and/or school when you’re looking at neighborhoods. 

Time spent on public transit or in a car is time you are not spending doing the things you love with the people you love!

Boston for example is habitually referred to as one of if not the worst cities in America to commute to and from. 

This sparks fierce debate about overall infrastructure and forces buyers to consider what level of personal sacrifice can they stand verse what they can afford.

Return on Investment (ROI)

As we’ve mentioned above – your return on investment is an important piece to deciding where to buy. As important as it is, it’s also an element that not every buyer thinks about. 

Even though it may be the case that you’re looking for a home for your family to grow into, you still shouldn’t ignore the overall return on investment either. 

A buyer will want to consider the value of the neighborhood, the property itself, and look at any factors that might make it difficult or very easy to turn a profit when he or she decides to sell. 


These six factors – cost of living, neighborhood/town/city, school districts and zones, proximity to work and school, and return on investment – are all crucial elements that should be a part of your home search and ultimate decision making. Though you might not have considered these items previously, moving forward they can help eliminate a lot of potential stress down the road.

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