How to Choose the Right Location

There are many considerations that go into buying a new house, but before you can even start the process of choosing a home, you must first choose your location. You can spend hours researching data on crime rates, demographics, and resale values, but until you identify what qualities you’re looking for in your ideal neighborhood, you’ll just be spinning your wheels. How can you make a decision if you don’t know what you’re looking for?

This questionnaire will help you narrow in on a profile of your ideal location—and then you can use your responses to identity the Minneapolis neighborhood that best matches your profile.

Neighborhood Profile Questionnaire

  1. What type of home do you want? Condo, townhouse, or single-family home?
  2. Where do you work and how far are you willing to commute?
  3. Do you prefer city living, suburban, or rural?
  4. How close do you want to live to friends and family?
  5. Do you have any children, or do you plan to have any in the near future?
  6. What style of architecture do you prefer, modern or historic?
  7. Would you like to be able to walk to certain locations, such as restaurants or a grocery store?
  8. What do you like about your current community?
  9. What does your current neighborhood lack that you would like to find in your new location?
  10. What would be a deal-breaker in a neighborhood?
  11. How important is the proximity of public parks?
  12. Do you want to live in a place with strong community ties and frequent neighborhood events?

Once you’ve formulated your ideal community profile, it’s time to start visiting neighborhoods in person. Sometimes an area sounds good on paper, but isn’t quite what you’re looking for in person.

Some things to think about during your visits: 

  • What’s your first impression?
  • Can you see yourself living there?
  • Do homes appear well-kept, or do they seem worse for the wear?
  • Likewise, are lawns landscaped and well-maintained?
  • Are there any signs that the neighborhood is in trouble, such as vandalism or abandoned lots?
  • Is there a large quantity of For Sale signs?
  • Do you see people out and about?
  • Are there any local parks or playgrounds, and do they appear to be used frequently?
  • Can you hear any sounds of traffic or construction that might grate on your nerves?

Make sure to visit at several different times of day. A neighborhood can have a very different feel in the evening as opposed to the morning. Perhaps traffic is awful during rush hour, or everyone seems to stay inside and keep to themselves rather than spend time socializing outside.

If you’ve done your research and paid a few visits and you still like the area, then congratulations! You’ve found your new neighborhood. Now time to start the house-hunting process.

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