When planning to find a new home, an important consideration has been its appearance, price, and location. While appearance can be updated and payment obligations disappear once you settle your financial terms, location is permanent. In many cases, it determines the value of the property and its potential to appreciate or depreciate.
Given such importance of location before making any purchase decision, we’ll try to guide you on things that should be considered before selecting or even considering a property on offer.
Examine the neighborhood and observe if businesses of ill repute — beer houses, videoke bars, cockfight venues — are within a stone’s throw away. Although these might be legitimate businesses, criminal activities or violence have taken place in similar areas. Check also if enough security measures are in place. Is the community within gated premises, well-lighted or littered with surveillance cameras to deter petty crimes like burglary?
How to check: Check the Bantay Krimen website of the Philippine National Police, which maps recent criminal activities within specific locations. Just enter the region and province and zoom in towards your prospect property’s neighborhood. Observe if the type of crimes or accidents taking place are petty or serious.
Traffic situations can be an indication of either or both development and orderliness in the community. Imagine going to work or school and having to deal with such traffic congestion. Whether you are commuting or driving your own car or motorcycle, traffic congestion takes your precious time and reduces productivity.
How to check: Use Google Maps and locate your property address. Select “Traffic” under the menu bar on the left. Visit the location on a typical day, preferably during rush hour in the morning or early evening to gauge the real situation.
Good schools and good neighborhoods come together. Take a look at the type of educational institutions around the property area. Are they reputable or infamous for low passing rates? Schools nearby help save time sending and fetching pre-school children as it also helps save money used to pay for transport from home to school and back.
How to check: Take a look at Google maps and search for the property location and filter school information to display schools. Zoom in if necessary. Estimate how long it takes to walk or commute from home to school.
Market and shopping options
Same as schools, nearby market or grocery shops provide convenience to homeowners and save them time and money commuting to a shopping mall or wet market complete with daily necessities. This may not be much of an issue for those with cars, but whether you have a vehicle or use public transport, time is also a consideration.
How to check: Take a look at Google maps and search for the property location and filter school information to display convenience stores, department stores, or shopping malls. Zoom in if necessary. Estimate how long it takes to walk or commute from home to the market.
Hearing noise for an extended period of time can be very irritating and cause tension. Many forms of noise pollution occur within neighborhoods in the Philippines. Videoke music and barking dogs from homes, machines, and industrial equipment from nearby construction or vehicles blowing horns on the road. People hanging out near your target property such as students at the playground after school or workers taking breaks at the nearby canteen from shifts are among the examples.
How to check: Various types of noise occur at various times of the day so to effectively check this issue, you can visit the area in the morning and evening, during weekdays, and during weekends.
Public infrastructure and services
Do you see potholes on the road while you’re on your way to your target property? Are there piles of uncollected garbage at the corner street? When you leave the place at night, is there sufficient lighting outdoors that helps deter crime? Such state of public infrastructure and services are indicative of the fiscal health of the city or community, and this should be considered as a factor in selecting your property.
On the other hand, does the neighborhood have wide breathing spaces for recreation — hiking trails, bike lanes, picnic areas, and parks that allow a balanced position between work and life that even when you’re home, you can hang out and enjoy the surroundings?
How to check: Observe the community based on the basic infrastructure and services offered by the community.
Health risks and outbreaks
Is the neighborhood at risk of outbreak such as dengue or any diseases influenced by the environmental or sanitary conditions? Is it in close proximity to landfills, bodies of water that may be infested with toxic chemicals, or breeding grounds for mosquitoes?
How to check: Verify recent news of dengue fever, diahrrea or malaria outbreaks in the area. Also observe the topography of the community if there are stagnant creeks, presence of factories that emit toxic chemicals or poultry farms that cause air pollution.
Our earlier statement says that regardless if you can renovate your home, rearrange the interiors and fix what’s broken inside, the location is constant. However, your ownership may not be forever since your purchase of the property might lean towards an investment you can dispose of later. But we do hope that with your due diligence, you’ll get a fair if not favorable value of the property when you acquire it, and even better value at the time you wish to sell it.