Many variables exist when it comes to choosing the best place to call home. The decision can be overwhelming; carefully examining the options can help you make a wise decision. Here are 10 factors to consider before choosing a home destination:

1) Small town or big city: Do you like to know the people you interact with daily? Do you prefer to be anonymous in a big city? Do you love getting to know neighbors and living life with people in close proximity or does that not appeal to you?

2) Education system: If you have children, the importance of the education system cannot be overlooked. Great Schools is a wonderful resource if you are evaluating a location based on education for your children.

3) Climate: Climate impacts our behaviors, hobbies, mental health and sometimes our work. Do you love cold weather and snow-related activities? Do you get depressed when you don’t see sun or feel warmth for extended periods of time? Do you hate hot weather or humidity?

4) Job Outlook: Different states and cities differ in employment opportunities. Income levels can also differ. Analyze quality employment opportunities within your industry in the regions you are considering.

5) Affordability: Affordability includes more than just the home you may purchase. Prices for food, gas, insurance, utilities and more can vary greatly in different areas of the country.

6) Taxes: Income tax, property tax, sales tax, tax exemptions and tax credits are all factors to consider. Some states have no income tax or sales tax meaning more cash in your pocket year-to-year.

7) Culture: Everyone differs in their need and desire for rich cultural opportunities. Do you love concerts, plays, music, theaters, recreational activities and extensive entertainment options? Or do you prefer to spend down time at home or in nature? Deciding your cultural priorities can help you decide what environment you will thrive in.

8) Food: Do you love various dining options? Do you need access to grocery stores that have healthy or organic food? Do you prefer to grow your own food? Is fresh produce from farmers markets important to you or a wide variety of ethnic cuisines available? Food is an important factor to consider.

9) Rent or buy: Housing is the biggest budget expense. In some places, renting is better than buying. In others, buying is better.

10) Family or friends: Do you have a large extended family? Close friends? There may be wonderful city options to consider based on the factors we have discussed; many experts believe one of the biggest factors in levels of happiness is the quality and quantity of close relationships. Weigh this factor carefully.

Dash Realty believes Austin, TX and the surrounding communities offer a great quality of life for many of these ten factors. If you are looking to purchase a home in the area, we’d love to help you find the perfect fit!