Your choice of a new home largely depends on the community where it’s at.
It’s a cliche, but it’s true. “Location, location, location.”
Your home’s location outweighs the many other factors new homeowners must consider — budget and finances, looking for a broker/agent, computing for a bank housing loan, choosing a developer, etc.
This means that your choice of a new home depends not just on the property, lot, condo, or house itself, but also the community where it’s at and how it fits into your lifestyle.
So what makes a great neighborhood? Here are a few things you should check out before you finalize your purchase:
Accessibility. Your house will be the start and end point of your day. That means transportation (or getting to and fro) should not be an issue for you.
If you are a commuter, check if the location is along a jeepney route, or is walking distance from one. See if there are tricycles plying in the area. Bonus points if you are near an MRT/LRT station, or near a bus station. Check also if shuttles, vans, or P2P buses are near your vicinity.
If you have a private vehicle, check out if there are multiple access points to the property, so that you do not have to go through a bottleneck everyday.
Find out as well where the traffic chokepoints are in the neighborhood, and see if there alternate routes available that you can access with a sticker or a small fee (i.e. private roads through subdivisions, etc.).
Convenience. Nothing beats having everything you need within reach. Thus, being located near a mall (regardless if small or big) is always helpful, as they usually have all the services that you will need.
Nonetheless, if a mall is not within the vicinity, make sure that you have a supermarket, grocery, or convenience store nearby. Make sure that your prospective home also has a laundromat nearby, as well as banks with ATMs that you can easily (and safely) access even at night,.
Safety and Security. It’s best if your community is ready for any emergencies. Find out where the nearest barangay outpost, police station, fire station, and medical clinic or hospital is. If all of them are within a 1-2 km radius from your place, that is a major plus.
Check if your barangay has any CCTVs installed in your area. If you’re looking at a condominium or gated community, get to know the security agencies and security guards assigned to your neighborhood, and familiarize yourself with the various entry and exit points of your place.
Also, be wary and observe if your neighborhood is near any informal settlers and other unsavory establishments.
Living the life. Last but not least, part of living an enriched and meaningful life is finding a neighborhood that supports your interests.
Do you like exercising and working out? Look for a gym that’s in the vicinity. Are you into running or jogging? Check to see if your neighborhood has a nearby park or jogging route. Are you more into holistic wellness? See if a yoga studio, pilates center, or spa is near you.
Are you a foodie? Check out if you have a good restaurant row or food strips near your place for casual dining (or for cheap eats). Want an active night life? Scout around for good bars or speakeasies in the neighborhood.
Looking for your first home can be such a daunting task, with so many things to remember and watch out for. It always helps to choose a neighborhood developed by a real estate company with a wealth of experience at what it does, as they would’ve carefully considered the above factors when developing their property. But nonetheless, remember that, as in life, we need to look beyond ourselves and look around our community to make sure we get to live a well-lived and meaningful life.
Happy house hunting!