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Why Location Matters: How to Choose an Apartment

“Location, location, location,” you’ve surely heard this mantra before whether on an episode of House Hunters or from your real estate agent, but what does it mean? It means that when choosing a place to buy or rent a property, location is a key factor, if not the key factor.

Why is location so important when renting a property?

Of course, factors like your budget, the washer and dryer situation, and the square footage of a property are all things to consider before you sign a lease, but nothing has as much impact on whether or not an apartment is right for you or whether there’s a higher demand for a property than its location. Here are a few factors to consider regarding a property’s location:

  • Proximity to the necessities: supermarkets, transportation, health care, etc.
  • Commute
  • County and school district
  • Views and amenities
  • Entertainment and recreation
  • Personal priorities

Choosing the right location.

Proximity to the necessities

How close is to your job and/or school? Will you have easy access to a supermarket? What about health care? It might be a comfort to be close to the hospital, but keep in mind that this might also mean hearing sirens and traffic more often. Speaking of health care, consider how close a property is to your healthcare providers like any specialists you see and your General Practitioner. Essentially, you want to make sure you aren’t saving on rent just to end up spending what you’ve saved on transportation.

Commute

If you have a car, map out your typical day and get an idea of how long you’ll be on the road and how much gas money you’ll typically spend each month. For most people, a place relatively central to places like friends’ homes, work, school, and preferred entertainment will be ideal. If you rely on public transportation or prefer walking, you’ll want to make sure you’re closer to town and close to a bus stop or train station.

County and school district

If you have children or are planning to have children in your next rental, research which schools are nearby and which district each property is in.

Views and amenities

Sure, a sky-high view of the downtown skyline and a rooftop pool sound lovely, but are they worth the astronomical rent check? Make a list of which amenities are “must-haves” for you and which ones are just “nice-to-haves.” Consider factors like in-unit laundry hookups, on-site fitness centers, pet areas, and outdoor living areas.  

Entertainment and recreation

Are you a runner or bicyclist? How close is the property to your favorite trails and parks? What about shopping, movie theatres, concert venues, and other attractions?

Personal priorities

Now, some factors universally affect the value of a property, such as its proximity to town, local landmarks, and/or local universities or prominent businesses. However, you’ll also need to consider your personal priorities. How close is it to your family? Friends? Favorite places? Just because a place is in high demand downtown and near all the hottest new attractions doesn’t mean it’s the best fit for you. Keep this in mind when searching for the right property.

Location matters, but at the end of the day, it’s you’re home, and you’re the one who will be making a security deposit and paying rent. So, while a shoebox apartment with a front row view of the Eiffel Tower is going to be far more expensive than a sprawling mansion in the countryside–you have to prioritize what you want out of your home. A huge living room? Or a view of the trendiest street in town? Would you rather be within walking distance of your office? Or closer to your family? Sure, the price tag will vary according to size and location, but it’s up to you to decide what’s valuable in a home.

Parr Investments has properties across Winston-Salem, meaning you’re sure to find an apartment that checks off your “must-haves” without sacrificing a convenient location. View all of our Winston-Salem properties.

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