You have your first job, and you’re about to leave home, or maybe you’ve just arrived in a new country or city. You need a place to live, somewhere you expect to stay for some time. You’re settling down, putting down roots, and you want them to be a solid foundation to grow on. When you look about, however, there are a bewildering number of choices; downtown, suburbs, apartment towers, small country towns, and rural retreats that are miles from anywhere. How do you choose?
First you need a plan that addresses your practical realities, your constraints if you like, and it also needs to include your aspirations, your dreams for the future.
I’ll start with the dull stuff, practicalities:
What is your budget now and what do you realistically expect it to be in the near future? How long time to spend commuting every day, two hours in traffic or on a bus or train can seem exciting at first, but that quickly wears off – pick a time that is sensible. Is there public transport nearby or do you need a car?
Have you a family now or do you expect one soon? If so, where are the nearest doctors, dentists, hospitals, schools, daycare centers? Is there space for children to play safely and for you, their parents, to stretch your legs on such facilities as jogging, walking, and cycling paths? Are there family-oriented amenities nearby, like sports fields and stadiums, arenas, or aquatic centers?
Everyone must eat and clothe themselves, is there shopping nearby? Is it full-service shopping, such as malls and supermarkets, or smaller family stores? Are there entertainment facilities nearby, such as movie theaters or live theater?
Now let’s look at the good stuff, your plans for a prosperous future:
Is this an area you can grow with? Does it include detached homes that you can afford to buy now or when the family is growing? Is it a safe neighborhood? Is it a well-maintained area? Do people here look after their properties?
Does it have amenities you may want to join now or later, such as sports clubs, gyms, golf clubs, or other recreation centers where you can meet and mingle?
Is the neighborhood in a country setting, even if it’s in the city, or does it have the downtown but upmarket vibe you want to be part of, like live local theater, nightclubs, and high end shopping? Also, does it fit with the lifestyle you wish to have?
Maybe the lifestyle you want to have is in the country, if so how much property can you afford now and can you add to it in the future? Do you want to get away from it all? If you do, maybe a small town now and a country property without neighbors but still in the same neighborhood is the way to go for the future.
When you’ve clearly identified your priorities (and written them down so you can check them off as you inspect locations)and if you’re searching in the Atlanta, Georgia, area maybe you’ll find one of the many apartments in Austell GA is the best place to start.