Like any house hunting wish list, certain items take precedence over others. A lot depends on your lifestyle, the age of your family members, and even your health. If, for example, you need to visit your doctor regularly or pick up prescriptions every other week, living a short distance from a pharmacy and medical offices will make your life a lot easier.
Since grocery shopping is something everyone does at least once a week, finding a home within ten to 15 minutes of a supermarket will save you time and gas money. Your real estate agent or listing agent should be able to give you a good rundown of nearby amenities -- but you'll be better able to evaluate those conveniences if you have a clear idea of what's important to you and your family.
- Transportation: Short commutes to work are high on most people's house-hunting "wish lists." City dwellers often need to be a short walk from bus stops, subway stations, and other modes of public transportation. Frequent travelers prefer a short drive to local airports, train stations, and major highways.
- School district: Whether your children walk to school or take a bus, proximity to schools can be a very desirable feature. That's especially true if they're running late in the morning or participating in after-school programs.
- Daycare: Working couples with babies and preschool children are often dependent on friends, relatives, or commercial daycare facilities to keep a watchful eye on their kids while they're at work. With busy schedules and hectic lifestyles, having a caregiver who's just a short distance away can make your daily routine much less stressful.
- Fitness and recreation: It's all-too-easy to ignore our need for regular exercise when the nearest public park, golf course, or tennis court is 45 minutes away. However, when your home is located just a stone's throw away from walking paths, biking trails, and fitness facilities, you'll have much more of a tendency to stay healthier and more active.
- Houses of Worship: While everyone is different when it comes to religion, proximity to the church, synagogue, or mosque of your choice can be a major convenience factor.
- Banking: Although more and more banking tasks can be done online, having access to a nearby ATM is sometimes a necessity!