Many factors come into settling into a new home for renters or buyers.
According to Melissa Harris, real estate agent at Coldwell Banker Schmidt Realty in Beachwood, and Brian Schottenstein, president at Schottenstein Real Estate Group in Columbus, location is one of the most important things to consider.
“It’s important (clients) carefully consider the location because there is a lot about it that factors into the actual purchase,” Harris said. “Like their job, children that need care and other convenient things like that. Really, it’s about narrowing down the location around those types of needs.”
Harris added location has an impact on many other aspects when purchasing a home.
“How far do they want to have to commute to and from work? That part is very important,” she said. “And with children, if they need child care or day care, how fast can you get to that location to pick up your children when at home?
“For a lot of people, a decision on where to live also has to do with whether they have family there. That can factor into the decision, especially if they (have) older family members. Simply, a lot of people don’t want to have to drive an hour back and forth to their frequent destinations.”
Location can also impact price too, Harris said.
“With location, there sometimes comes a price point,” she explained. “Some areas may be more expensive than others. Finances are certainly another thing they need to look at, that affordability.”
Schottenstein said his group focuses on developing, building and managing high-end mixed-use apartment developments, with most of the communities in “high-end suburban locations” and ranging from 200 to 300 units per building. With 1,200 units in construction at the moment, he explained when talking to potential customers, it’s “location, location, location.”
“It is simple, but so important,” Schottenstein noted. “Location is the key factor someone will consider when renting an apartment or buying a home.”
But with apartments, Schottenstein said clients have the opportunity to give locations a test run.
“The beauty of our industry is we give people a flexible option to live in a location for a short period of time without being locked in,” he said. “A home is not easy to sell, but with an apartment you can be out of your terms with just a 30-day notice.”
Schottenstein also said there are factors related to the location one chooses, such as the school system, taxes, employment, nearby retail and family.
“Right now, we’re building in the Dublin area, Powell, Orange Township and Liberty Township in Central Ohio,” he said. “All of those locations are in solid school districts and close to retail.”
Harris said she goes through these kinds of related factors one by one with clients before helping them choose what works best for them.
“When helping clients find their perfect home, first I go through whether they have been qualified,” she said. “It’s kind of like a survey. Starting with whether they are pre-qualified, we then go through their work, children, school and day care. My job is to then take all of that data and go through our database and find what I think would be best for the client.”
Schottenstein and Harris said renters and buyers should be clear about what they really want when settling on a new home.
“I feel that many people, whether young professionals or empty nesters, would rather have their own apartment in a suburban location with attached garages and spacious floor plans rather than live downtown,” Schottenstein said.
Harris added knowing what one can comfortably afford is a good place to start.
“I have noticed with new renters or homebuyers, they tend to already have this idea of how they want their house to look like,” she said. “At the end of the day, you have this enormous bill and wonder why. It’s about starting at the lower end and gradually seeing what you can do – that way there isn’t pressure on the purchase.”