When it comes to calculating a home’s value, location is often the number one factor cited by realtors and homebuyers alike. It also happens to be essential for your future happiness.
According to Katherine Loflin, author of “Place Match: The City Doctor’s Guide to Finding Where You Belong,” loving where you live will make you happy – which can lead to even more positive effects.
“People want a place they find beautiful, with opportunities that they enjoy, in an environment that feels welcoming,” says Loflin in an interview with Realtor.com. “And places where residents were happy with those qualities experienced higher local economic growth.” This is why living in the right place is so important.
Loflin also noted that finding the right place can be easily compared to finding the right romantic partner: you can date your place, commit to it, or leave it. By putting the idea in a relationship context, people have a familiar “framework for making decisions about where to live.”
Know what you’re looking for
According to Loflin, it helps to first “create a wish list for the place you want.” The type of community you’re looking for – is it kid-friendly, walkable, a retiree destination? Does it have cultural offerings or the particular experiences that you crave? Most people know what kind of person they would want as a partner and so it should be with the place one will be calling home.
Don’t skip the getting-to-know-you phase
Once you’ve found the place that seems to fit the bill, it’s time to “date” it. Spend some time there. Find out what challenges it’s dealing with – Loflin compares this to seeing your potential life partner at their worst before going through with the wedding.
Whatever issues or problems the place is facing, the question will be do you love it enough to want to help better it, or to at least accept it as is?
“It’s a great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there”
When you do decide to move to a new place, don’t make the mistake of doing so based only on whatever vacation experiences you’ve had there. We tend to be different people when we’re on holiday, with different needs and priorities.
It’s not about “good” or “bad”
Just like dating, this is all about compatibility – different places can be welcoming in different ways; in some places, people will give you a hug seconds after meeting you, and some people may love that but others not so much, so keep this in mind.
Understanding your sense of being in the right place has come a long way since the time of our parents, where everything was dictated by their jobs.
Today, buyers are more interested in the place than the number of bedrooms in a house for sale. Loflin recounts that there are quite a few people “just ‘showing up’ in a city or town they want to live in and figuring out the job and place to live once they get there.”
And with the right mix of creativity and resourcefulness, you can capitalize on a community’s assets, inspiration, and potential, resulting in the creation of an ideal neighborhood that will effectively promote your own health, happiness, and well being.
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