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Choice of Location

Library: Home Buying and Relocation: Home Buyer's Guide: Choice of Location

It has often been said that the most important thing to consider when you buy a home is location. The two following tips will help you to make the right choice of your future location:

1) Take detailed maps of the area where you are planning to live in. They should tell you where to find the schools, parks, shopping areas, public buildings etc.

If you don't have suitable maps you can get them on State Web Sites.
Another good source is State Departments of Transportation.
These government sites generally offer for your convenience state, county and some city maps. In addition you might find many useful information about the area you are planning to live in.

Tiger Mapping Service of the U.S. Census Bureau provides street-level and regional maps for places in the United States to users of the World Wide Web.

MapQuest Interactive maps.

2) Get as much information as you can about the area in which you are planning to buy a house.

Many useful information can be found in cities guides and on counties and cities web pages. Most counties and cities now have a web-site or home page. The following links help you find them.

USA CityLink's Search for a City
Counties and Cities homepages

City Guides

Click City Online Nationwide Chamber of Commerce Guide. Enter in just about any town in any state and find the local Chamber of Commerce site, where you can view documents such as population, cost of living, employment, schools, cultural life, neighborhoods, housing values, weather and more. You can also order Newcomer Packages with all this information.
County and City Data Book Data on places, cities, counties, and states.
Best Places Data Files 1,000 City Profiles. Choose any two cities and see them displayed side-by-side.
The World Book Encyclopedia General statistics, economy, land and climate.

Demographic and Economic Information

State & County QuickFacts U.S. Census Bureau.

The Neighborhood Demographic Report This online report, available on our site, provides demographic information for an immediate neighborhood and the county in which it lies - total population, number of households, average household size, per capita income, median household income, education levels, marital status, types of families, employment information, shopping centers within the area, and more.

Environmental Information

Environmental Protection Agency Air pollution, water quality and releases of toxic chemicals from manufacturing facilities into the environment for any given location in the United States.

Information on Schools

Search For Schools, Colleges and Libraries - National Center for Education Statistics.
School Reports

Crime Rate

The Local Crime Report This valuable online report, available on our site, provides the FBI's crime stats, which include violent crimes such as murder, rape, robbery, and assault and property crimes such as burglary and auto theft. Find out how safe the neighborhood is by viewing federal crime stats for the district surrounding your subject property.

Crime and Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Compare crime rates in 2,500 U.S. cities The latest FBI crime statistics for 2,500 cities and Metro Areas. 

Labor Statistics

Regional Information Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unemployment rates, consumer price index and productivity indexes.

Tax Rates

State Departments of Revenue

State and Federal Tax Rate Comparison:

Individual Income Tax Rates
Sales Tax Rates

Cost of living calculators will tell you how your current earnings and expenses translate in other regions:

Cost of living comparison calculator
Use this calculator to compare the cost of living between U.S. cities. 

Home Buyer's Guide Next Step: The features you would want to have in your home

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