Houses Stand Alone; Homes Exist in Communities

Community. Does it matter?

After all, if you don’t have kids, why should you care about good schools, youth sports leagues, scouting opportunities, summer day camps and preschools?

If you’re not a senior, what does it matter to you whether there are age-in-place villages, senior centers, Meals on Wheels, or transportation services in your area?

Perhaps you don’t go to church, so you figure it doesn’t matter whether there are houses of worship nearby.

Chances are your home-buying dollar will go further in a new bedroom community without much business development or in a county with poorly performing schools.

But there is so much more to where you live than the four walls you sleep inside of.  Here are three reasons to care about the community where your house is located.

  1. It Affects Your Net Worth. On a purely economic level, your property value will be determined in part by how vibrant the community around you is. Homes in good school districts and close to commerce are generally worth more than those located far from established business and good educational choices. Remember, you may be happy about the affordability of that home when you are in the market to buy, but once it becomes part of your balance sheet, you’ll wish it was worth more.
  1. It Affects the Richness of Your Life. You may not be a member of the church on the corner, but their meeting hall might host a community theater troupe or a concert series you’d enjoy. You may be willing to send your kids to private school if your neighborhood institutions aren’t any good, but they likely won’t have other kids in the neighborhood to play with, or youth activities like sports leagues, because other families choose not to live in your area. In brand new bedroom communities, there won’t be any seniors your teens can mow lawns for, or retired math teachers to provide tutoring services.
  1. Convenience Matters. Don’t underestimate the hassle factor of having to drive miles to shop for groceries, get a haircut, do your banking, buy a can of paint, check out a library book, or visit a gym. Established communities with established businesses are just more convenient for day-to-day living.

So, when choosing a “house”, be wise about the community it is set in to ensure that you end up with a “home”.



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