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3 Best House Locations (and What’s Wrong with Them)

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You know the saying. Location, location, location! That's never more important than when you're searching for a new home. That's why we wanted to explore three of the best locations to buy a home – what's good and bad about them – so you know just what you're getting into.

Living by water 

How important is location? That question is easily answered when you consider waterfront living. If you're looking to buy a house near a river, pond, lake, or even a harbor – it might seem like a great location, but does that make for great living?

The views are worth every penny

The views are spectacular.

Unless you're near a bog, waterfront living generally brings spectacular views and at times, a higher price tag. (This is great when selling, not-so-great when buying.) You also can enjoy water sports, fishing, or even rafting, especially if you have a dock attached to your property.

Depending on where you live, you may have the opportunity to spot some unique wildlife. In the south, you may see cranes and other beautiful birds. In the north by the Great Lakes, you can find moose, lynx, and even gray wolves.

You may also find your air cleaner near water if you're away from busy roads, and there generally is a cooling effect along with the water. (Of course, the negative to that is "lake effect snow," which you'll see near the Great Lakes and other large bodies of water in the north.)

If your home is in a flood plain, you might find your property taxes and housing prices lower than others in your neighborhood. 

Water, water, everywhere… 

Beware of flooding.

Unfortunately, when it comes to living by water, you need to consider what the water can do to your home. This includes flooding, increased humidity or dampness, and erosion or avulsion, the natural tearing away of land by water.

With flooding especially, consider the safety of your property. The constant dampness can lead to an increase in pests, including mosquitos, small critters, snakes, and alligators. (Yikes!)

Mitigating river living issues

There are several ways to lessen the impact of the water upon your home. If your property routinely floods, you'll probably need flood insurance. While that can help repair your home after a flood, you can also help to prevent items from getting wet. Elevate generators, furniture, etc., so they don't get soaked every time a huge storm blows through.

Your home's external walls may also need to be sealed, or you may need to create "flow alleys" to divert the water around your home. French drains or sump pumps can also help to keep the water out.
Keep pests out of your home.

For dampness inside your home, you may want to invest in a whole-house humidifier. This will not only help to regulate the humidity in your home – which can help to prevent wood from warping and paint from chipping – but it can also help to prevent static shocks.

Outside the home, you can grow perennial grasses, which hold soil, and when it comes to pests, try to keep the area around your home clean. Add screens to windows and doors, seal spaces, and drain water from pools around the property. Also, replace white lights with yellow bulbs to lower the number of bugs attracted to your property. 

Contact your insurance agent.

vipTIP: Talk to your insurance agent when buying a home near water. They can help you decide if you need flood insurance as well as other types of insurance, such as umbrella or excess. Also, give your insurance agent a call at least once a year to make sure your policy is up to date.

It's difficult to know what to do and when to do around the home. The vipHomeLink home management app helps by sending you personalized reminders for home maintenance and tailored recommendations for home improvement. We also offer a growing library of expert-backed tips to help you complete projects around the home! 

Living near an airport 

While you live near an airport, you're only one hop, skip, and a jump away from your next vacation! But why is it one of the best locations to buy a home?

A businessperson's dream home

Shorten your commute.

When you live near an airport, most of the pros revolve around convenience. For business professionals or airport personnel, you have a shorter commute to work (or vacations). You can also uber home and avoid paying for parking.

You generally live in metro areas, meaning you're near coffee shops and public transportation. (The latter may lower your overall transportation fees.) Some places also provide tax breaks. Of course, depending upon the airport, you may find yourself with higher or lower costs of living and property values. 

Health concerns around airports

Airports can affect air quality of surrounding areas.

Unfortunately, noise and air pollution can cause a myriad of different issues – from raised blood pressure to lung disease.

However, NASA, the FAA, and plane manufacturers have been working together to make aircraft less noisy and having less adverse health effects. Today's aircraft release 40% less nitrogen oxide than 30 years ago, 50% less carbon monoxide and 90% less smoke. Even on the ground, airports have modernized their equipment and vehicle fleets, which helps to make the air cleaner.

The FAA is also funding research to measure the ultrafine particles of pollution that can harm lungs. Equipment has been placed in neighborhoods around busy airports, including Boston Logan International Airport, to help improve air quality.

Mitigating airport issues 

Invest in HEPA air filters.

Many areas have instituted restrictions to help decrease airport noises, such as restricting flights and operational movements between certain times.

If you know your area has ultrafine particles, then talk to a qualified HVAC technician about using HEPA air filters in your home. These are high-efficiency particulate air filters which can reduce the ultrafine particles coming into your home. They cost a couple hundred dollars, but they can last up to five years.

Add insulation to soundproof your home.

If you have an issue regarding a nearby airport – pollution or otherwise – you can file a complaint individually or as part of the neighborhood with the airport and the FAA. City officials also can help to further your message, especially if you'll be living in the area for long term. The Environmental Protection Agency also can help homeowners to mitigate any issues that affect air quality under the Clean Air Act.

If all else fails, you can add more insulation to your family home to counter the noise, seal any openings, and buy prebuilt soundproof doors and windows. If that still isn't enough, invest in a good white noise sound machine or even noise cancelling earplugs. 

Living on a golf course 

Avid golfer? Then living near a golf course might seem like a good location, but there are some items you should consider before tee-ing off on your next home purchase.

FORE!

Want to squeeze in a round of golf?

You might be able to if you're living near the green. Plus, you generally have a lovely view since the course must be landscaped for the golfers. If you enjoy other sports, golf courses generally offer additional activities, such as tennis, basketball, spas, and gyms. Living near a club? You may be able to score a discounted membership!

If you're looking to learn, living near a golf course also provides you with exposure to the game and lessons, access to any tournaments, and depending on where you live, access to seasonal or year-round play.

Many homes surrounding golf courses are part of homeowners associations, which come with numerous benefits. These communities have playgrounds, pools, and gyms. Plus, the community takes care of the maintenance of the common areas, including parking lots, so give a round of golf claps, everyone!  

DUCK!

Be wary of golf balls in your backyard.

Unfortunately, living near a golf course may be slightly dangerous without proper protective equipment due to intruding golf balls. And while you may have a front-row seat to tournaments, that may also include crowds, noise, and parking issues.

The views may be lush and green, but you may also need to monitor the chemicals used, the watering process, and even the landscaping schedule. Chemicals can seep into your well (if you have one) and pollute your drinking water. (Test your water regularly!) With the golf course in use most of the day, landscaping may occur during times that may not be conducive to your sleep schedule. 

You may become a member of an HOA.

The surrounding areas of the golf course must be appealing for their patrons, so as stated earlier, many communities surrounding courses are part of a HOA. While there are great perks to being part of an HOA, there are also some not-so-great perks. These include maintaining your property to certain requirements, such as where to store trash bins and what colors you can paint your home. If you fail to comply with the HOA rules, you may incur penalties. 

On the plus side – your neighborhood will be well-maintained and picturesque.

Get more homebuying tips in What You Need to Know Before Falling in Love with a House.

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Once you find that home of your dreams, vipHomeLink will help you take care of it! Our home management app sends you personalized reminders for home maintenance and tailored recommendations for home improvement. The app's vipTIPs give you expert advice at your fingertips and help you know what to do and when to do around the home. Plus, our new weather alerts help ready your home for whatever Mother Nature sends your way!

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