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REAL ESTATE TIPS: Think about level of socialization when buying

I have learned two things over the past two months. The first is how quickly time flies or perhaps how much I procrastinate. It felt like we were home forever yet I still have two projects staring me in the face that I didn’t get done – and it isn’t because I didn’t have time to do it.

The second thing is that my kids need other kids. Trust me, I have given them the speech about a million times that they should be happy they aren’t an only child during this time. They love their brothers but in the words of my oldest two sons “we’ve had enough family time.”

I was sitting here cuddling with my dog trying to decide what to write about this week. I am going to be showing property in the country today and it made me think about this exact thing my boys are experiencing.
Are people important to you when you are buying a house? I don’t mean do you like people. I mean, do you need to have people close by to socialize with. That is important to know when buying a house – whether in the country or in town.
Even in town, socialization can look different in different areas or even different phases of a neighborhood.

Years ago before we moved into Woodridge, they used to have a neighborhood hayride. I only know this because someone who built one of the first homes in the neighborhood was fondly telling me the memory.
If you are social, having neighbors might not be enough. You might want a neighborhood with a club house or community center so that you have plenty of organized opportunities to visit people.
My mom knows her neighbors well and cares deeply for them. The community center where she lives has been one way that she has been able to make friends with so many of her neighbors. They are able to hang out together and play games and get to know each other.

Perhaps you want to buy in the country. You want to smell the fresh country air or have room to ride your four-wheeler. But do you want to have a neighbor close enough that you can sit on your back porch smelling the fresh country air together? Or do you want absolute peace and quiet from the world where if you didn’t see a neighbor or car for a few weeks at a time, you would be happy?

I’m in the middle. I love living in a neighborhood. Even if I am taking my morning walk at 6 a.m., I will still run into someone outside and I love to say hi. But if I sit on my back porch and nobody comes to visit, I am fine with that too. I just read a book and enjoy being outside.

Personally I have no desire to live in the country. Truth be told, I like to take my walks on sidewalks where critters are not likely to come out of a ditch and attack me. Bravery is not one of my strong points. While I do enjoy spending time at my in-laws’ house with their beautiful ponds and country view, I am happy to come home to my city lot.

Knowing what level of community you need is important when purchasing your home. If you need people and you buy 10 acres in the country, you might regret your home purchase. You might be better off with two acres surrounded by other homes on two acres. You have space and neighbors at the same time. Just knowing what you want can make your search more successful.

One of my easiest clients to help was a guy who is now a dear friend. He and his wife were looking to buy in town or at least less acreage than they currently had. They were open to any area in an entire county so we saw lots of homes in almost every area of this particular county. He only had two criteria that were non-negotiable: he did not want to see a swing set and he wanted to be able to privately pee outside.  These clients love people and are super nice so they were absolutely fine with being around people! In fact, they wanted neighbors. But they wanted quiet and to him a swing set represented potential noise. So every house we looked at was immediately crossed off if the yard wasn’t private enough for the occasional times one can’t get inside to take care of business or we saw a swing set. Period. Their criteria and level of community they wanted made their search so easy – even though the areas they were open to covered an entire county. They ended up buying a home in the middle of one of the largest populated areas in their particular county. With no swing sets and a place to pee. And to this day, they love it.

With my own family, I didn’t realize how much my kids needed other kids until this pandemic. Maybe you realized the same thing in your house. Or maybe you were glad to have some acreage in the country where you could roam around and fish all day or keep busy taking care of your property to occupy the time.

Whatever you discovered about yourself and your family, use it as guide in finding your next home. If you know what level of community you need and you use that as a criteria for your home search, you won’t be disappointed in your choice. Have a blessed week!

Esta Ryder, Realtor
President’s Club
Ryder Realty, LLC

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