If you have ever tried to figure out where to buy a home in a new city, you’ve done it.
Step One: Decide on my maximum tolerable commute from work.
Step Two: Draw a radius around my office, the border of which represents my maximum commute.
Step Three: Research which communities have great schools and other assets.
Step Four: Try to decide which community to live in based on home affordability.
However, there is another way to approach the home search process, called “values auditing”. I just came across a thought-provoking article in The New York Times called “43 Questions to Ask Before Picking a New Town.” Rather than pick a new town based on quantifiable traits like commuting distance or school rankings, the thought goes, why not pick a town based on “soft” qualities like the ratio of stay-at-home moms or the types of books on the shelves at the town library?
Here in the Denver area, each community has its own “personality.” Highlands Ranch is a master-planned community with four amazing rec centers, plentiful back country trails, and, it offers one of the best school districts in Colorado. The Highlands area in central Denver is an urban area with quaint Victorian houses and walkable to restaurants and great shopping. So it makes sense that you’ll find a high concentration of families and minivans in Highlands Ranch, in addition to La Leche and hipster moms in the Highlands.
So the next time you are considering a move to a new town, you may want to eavesdrop on conversations at the local Saturday morning soccer game or call one of the local psychologists to see if there are certain issues that are prevalent in the area. Your due diligence could make or break your experience in your new community.
Considering a move to an area of Denver? Click here (http://www.suburbandenverproperties.com/micommunity/zip/80126/) for community information, local school information and real estate market statistics.
Michelle Walters is the Owner of Suburban Denver Properties, a residential real estate brokerage and investment firm. You can find her at www.SuburbanDenverProperties.com
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