10 Buyer Tips to Avoid when Choosing the Location of your New Home

Published On October 20, 2023


Korin Binder


It would be an excellent idea to take the drive from the house you are considering purchasing during your commute to check sun view and traffic levels.  It is worth the time to ensure you don’t have a vast daily inconvenience on your hands.  The sun will move to other areas at different times of the year.  You also may want to narrow to areas east of your place of employment, so the sun is behind you during all commuting hours.


A T-Junction is a location where two streets meet in a T shape.  If your house faces the T in the road, constant lights shining in your windows at night could impact you.  When contemplating a home located in the “T” some things to consider are the amount of traffic in that location.  Observe if there are more houses to reach through the intersection or if there are few houses.  For example, is the T located in the back of the subdivision where few homes are accessed through the intersection?  In this case, the flow would be lighter.  Is the road heading to the house sloped?  If it is sloped there may be little problem with headlights going into your home.  Check the windows and doors that would be affected by the headlights.  Perhaps the garage door is in the front, and all other doors and windows do not face the front.  In this case, it would create a situation where the lights do not impact your living environment.  And last, would this location be a situation where a car could crash into the house?  That would be a speed issue.  What is the speed limit on the road that hits the intersection?  These are all issues to ponder when choosing the lot your new house is on.


Most buyers know to avoid these adverse situations.  However, if it is something you can live with, make sure that you know the financial impact of the value.  Employ an appraiser or financially strong Realtor to study the effect of value in the location. Then, when you make an offer, make it with that in mind.  For example, let’s say you get the house for $15,000 less than the going rate in the neighborhood when you purchase it.  Keep in mind when you sell the house later, you will need to adjust the sales price to the setting because of the adverse location.


The positive impact of having a view of the lake or a pond can be very inviting!  But the proximity to those bodies of water can create an environment for mosquitos, gnats, and flies.  At some times of the year, the flying bugs can be pretty thick, especially with high humidity.  Sometimes you won’t discover until you move in and find yourself fighting off the heavy bug presence. 


A superfund site is a site designated by the Environmental Protection Agency as potentially hazardous to the health of humans and animals.  The Superfund program is a government program to clean up the land that is contaminated by hazardous waste.  It could be called a Superfund Site, EPA Cleanup, or Toxic Site.  These can be bodies of water or land sites that are contaminated.  Depending on what they are, the contaminants can leach into the soil and remain for years.   These contaminants can cause health symptoms or cancer in some people.   You can have the soil tested during your due diligence period to ensure no toxic substances are in the ground.  You can also research Superfund Sites where you are contemplating a home purchase on the EPA website.


A lot of buyers consider a nice yard for their pets to run around and play.  A fence is a significant part of housing your pets safely.  Fences are often a vital subject to a buyer when deciding to purchase.  According to the National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Product Association, about 85 million families own pets.  With 68% of all households owning pets, it means there is a good chance you will have a pet next door.  In this case, it is crucial to determine if your pet will be an outside pet or if there are pets next door that bark or always stay outside.  The continual noise can be very annoying. To avoid double exposure to pets on each side of your house, it may be an excellent idea to set your sights on a corner lot where there is only one house with potential pets to deal with.  Another issue can be fleas.  During heavy rainy seasons, fleas can quickly multiply. If your neighbor with outdoor pets is not treating with flea prevention, no amount of flea prevention you are doing will help. The fleas can find their way into your house.  A flea infestation is mighty challenging to handle.  While touring places, make sure you take a few visits a different times of the day and see if you hear barking or see pets in the adjacent yards.


In Texas it is not required to disclose a crime, suicide, natural or accidental death in a house.  A seller must disclose a murder in the place.  However, it may be quite upsetting to realize you are moving into a home where some bad vibes may be present.  It is an excellent idea to google the address of the house you are thinking of purchasing to see what comes up in the search.  I remember one place I listed for lease.  The owner never disclosed there was a suicide on the back porch of the house.  When I found a tenant, they called me and told me they did not want to live in the house after all.  I didn’t understand why until later I found out there was a suicide in the house, and the neighbors swiftly stopped by to tell the new occupants what had happened.  The house was a foreclosure purchased by the owner, and the bank did not know about the death in the house.  Needless to say, there were some “bad vibes” in that house.  Find the police precinct where your potential house is located to get a crime report on the area.


Engineers are often employed to help engineer drainage for newly constructed houses.  Most houses located within City limits have plans for drainage that the City must approve.  However, over time the soil may erode, and areas can have drainage issues later.  If you see areas sloping toward your house either from the front street, side yard, or backyard, you could be facing future drainage issues.  Sometimes, to help alleviate these issues, a French Drain is installed and can solve the problem.  Ask where the french drains are if you see sloping around the property.  Sometimes water seeps into the house due to poor drainage.  It can be a big issue later, especially in a location where you might have foundation issues.


Some neighborhoods have a heavy number of rental properties which can impact the way others see your house.  Research shows that tenants tend to let yardwork fall along the wayside.  Tenant tendencies are to avoid fertilizing the grass, cutting back trees and bushes, and not paying much attention to the drive-up appeal.  In addition to this, you may find tenants not caring about taking care of their house overall. When you purchase your new house, you want to have pride.  In heavily rented areas, tenants tend to frustrate owner-occupants who are keeping up their properties only to be next door to someone who is not. Your Realtor can find the percentage of renters to total occupants for you in a given neighborhood.  Have this analysis done before making an offer.


Being in the path of an airport, small or large, adjacent to a train track or a busy thoroughfare can adversely affect your quality of life.  Some people get used to the noise and no longer hear it after living in the house and getting accustomed to the sounds.  My personal experience when the train came by in the morning was a feeling of comfort just knowing what time it was (no whistles).  There are areas of town that can be in the flight path of an International Airport where you don’t see any failure of house sales because of it.  People accept this circumstance who live there.  The values in these neighborhoods should be in line because they are all in the same proximity or within the same noise path.

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