Dalton’s Don’ts and Do’s

Don’t select a town merely because it is considered…"prestigious". Do select a place to live that meets your overall stra- tegic criteria…instead of capitulating to the consensus of others who desperately seek becoming part of a "brand" versus a member of a vibrant community.
Don’t select a town based on population alone. Do select a town, instead, based upon your desired density.*
*Remember, the state of Montana has more residents than the city of Detroit but each venue creates a completely different sense of population. And, of course, some people prefer one more than the other!
Don’t assume what public transportation portends for you without careful analysis. Therefore, don’t take anybody’s word for commuting driving time…including "GPS". This is a subject that you need to investigate first hand and make sure you know when traffic is at its worst and its best. Do your own research through personal experience. Since not all trains and buses (or their respective routes) are created equally, do not select a town or home until you experience, first hand, what any form of commuting or travel means to you individually. Of note is how society is trending more towards public transportation…so please include this factor into how you gauge your potential resale value. Since everybody drives at different speeds, times, and to and from slightly different destinations (even within the same town), the only reliable way for you to factor in driving time is to take several "dry runs" before you ultimately decide on any town, city, or neighborhood to live. At the very least, given the relationship between traffic and happiness… or misery…you should incorporate the effects of transportation/traffic into any and all lifestyle-related cost/benefit analysis.
Don’t evaluate town schools based only upon general scores and collective results alone. Do research the school system’s on-going plans pertaining to your children’s all-important dietary related health.
Don’t select a home just because you want
neighbors.
Do select a home because you seek respectful, considerate neighbors. Neighbors, who in addition to being "good citizens", will also manifest pride of ownership for their property which will impact your future resale value. My suggested method is doing the best you can of assessing these factors by conducting "neighborhood reconnaissance". Specifically, walking the neighborhood several times, at different times of the day, week and weekends. Chat with landscapers and mail delivery folks in order to get a sense of the culture of the neighborhood. You might even consider approaching of a few of the neighbors and announce that you are considering moving into the neighborhood and are looking for perspectives from people who live there. I realize that this is out of the comfort zone for many people and most would probably not do this, but, for those that do, I believe there is a greater likelihood that you will determine which neighbors are in a constant state of agitation versus agitating neighbors because you simply want to find out what the neighborhood is like before you moved there.
Don’t select a town just because they have famed athletic teams. Do select a town that provides a suitable range of athletic/recreational opportunities for all children.
Don’t select a town solely because a relative, friend, or your boss presently live there. Do select a town completely based upon a more strategically-related criteria. Often times the relationship to that relative, friend, or boss changes over time…and such acquaintances also frequently move out of the town.
Don’t select a town on emotion alone as in, "We’ve always wanted a beautiful kitchen and even though we’re in the middle of nowhere this kitchen is something out of a magazine!" Do opt for that home with that "amazing kitchen" only if that means not compromising on the quality of schools, neighbors, commutability, parks, culture, etc.
Don’t select a Real Estate Professional whose major question(s) is only, "What are you looking for in a Home?" Also, do not continue working with any Real Estate Professional who does not abide by all laws and ethics designed to protect consumers against steering. Do select a Real Estate Professional who first asks you, "What are you looking for in a Town, City, or Neighborhood?" before asking you, "What are you looking for in a home?"
Don’t select a town based upon you’re presently being healthy and not now in need of caregiving. Do select a town or city based upon the quantity and quality of medical goods, skills, and services pertaining to the needs of the disabled, aging, overall caregiving and health management. Remember, everybody at sometime will find these services either desirable or critical.
Don’t consider this brief list of Don’ts and Do’s as the only issues that need to be resolved as part of an overall more strategic approach to the selection of your next Town, City or Neighborhood. Do select a Real Estate Professional who first asks you, "What are you looking for in a Town, City, or Neighborhood?" before asking you, "What are you looking for in a home?" Do select a town or city based upon the quantity and quality of medical goods, skills, and services pertaining to the needs of the disabled, aging, overall caregiving and health management. Remember, everybody at sometime will find these services either desirable or critical. Do employ the numerous links Town Advisor provides you, as well as consult with our local Members of the Real Estate Town and City Advocates℠ Network, in your ongoing pursuit to make the best decision possible regarding where you, you and your partner, or you and your family decide to live.

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