Does Your Dream Home’s Location Pass the Lifestyle Test?

“It was a gorgeous home and you could say it was love at first sight,” recalled one of my clients. “Problem is, after living there for about six months, we realized how long of a drive it was to just about everything that mattered to us – our jobs, our friends, our country club, our favorite stores and restaurants. We didn’t think it would be a big deal, but it was. We felt so isolated. That’s when we realized how truly important location is – we obviously didn’t have a clue.” 

As a realtor, I’ve heard this story from many clients over the years. Fortunately for this particular couple, they were able to sell within the first year of living in the house. Having made their initial investment back, the couple bought a home located in a place that was better suited for their lifestyle – just a walk or short drive from most of their favorite pursuits. Their good fortune continued as they watched the value of their newest home increase due to the growing appeal of its location.

While these homeowners managed to resolve their predicament, not everyone’s as lucky. For some, the infatuation for their seemingly perfect home fades and by the time they realize that they’ve made a mistake, it’s too late. They’re unable to move promptly and have to learn to work around the inconveniences that come with a home that resides in a less-than-ideal locale.

Don’t make this costly oversight. Before you commit to an offer for your dream home, be sure to consider these questions about the home’s location to see if it passes the Lifestyle Test:

  • How Far is My Commute to Work?

Be prepared to drive this commute…a lot. If you have the luxury of knowing how far your work is from the home you’re potentially buying, try to gauge the commute. Could you do it twice a day? Is rush hour traffic going to be too much of an issue? To really understand what the commute would be like, you can take the liberty to make the trek yourself – call it a test run. If you’re unsure of where you’ll be working as you look for a new home, try to get a feel for the local roads. Do the streets seem constantly crowded? Is it easy to access main thoroughfares? Is the noise from traffic and road work overwhelming? If the daily commute appears to be too much of a commitment, then the home you’re looking at probably isn’t right for your lifestyle.

  • What is the Quality of the School System(s)?

For a family with kids, one of the most important features a home can offer is the opportunity for your children to gain an education in an exceptional school system. Whether private or public, it’s crucial to do research on potential schools. This means checking on the proximity, searching online for reviews and ratings, finding out if there’s a waitlist and so forth. If the local school system doesn’t meet expectations, neither will the home.

  • Will I Easily Be Able to Enjoy My Favorite Activities?

Before answering this question, you must first ask yourself, “What are my favorite activities?” From there, you’ll be able to survey the area more in-depth. Like to hike? Explore nature? See if the location has any nature preserves, lakes, parks or walking trails nearby. Like to dine out? Catch a movie? Check for restaurants and theaters in the area. Like to go swimming? Play golf? Make sure the facilities that offer these experiences are reasonably close. While your home can be a hub for fun activities, it’s crucial to have other places to go to and enjoy yourself.

  • Am I Close to Enough Services Like the Bank, Grocery Store, and Post Office?

Your time is valuable. That’s why its imperative to double check if your dream home’s location is in close proximity to these services. Each of them is an intrinsic part of the day-to-day. Therefore, if even one of them is far away from home, your daily regiment could be drastically affected for the worse.

  • Am I Happy With What I’m Seeing Out My Windows Every Day?

One factor that could affect this answer is the weather. Does it rain a lot? Is it too hot outside? Know your preferences to ensure you’re living in a climate that agrees with you. Another element is the scenery. Is it pleasing to look at? Is the location’s balance between natural and man-made features about what you expected? While everyone has unique preferences regarding this question, all that matters is if you’re able to confidently answer “Yes!” regarding your home’s location.


In all cases, pick a day, evening or weekend to explore the community. Do you feel like you belong there? This is the smartest investment of time you could make to avoid costly mistakes. Remember, you’re doing far more than merely buying a home, you’re joining a community and you want to be certain it fits you perfectly.

This Post Has 29 Comments

        1. Toll Brothers

          Hello Donna, thank you for your comment. Toll Brothers offers several communities that are in close proximity to the beach in California, Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. Once you select a state that you are interested in we will be able to help you further. Please visit our website to see a complete listing of our communities –

  1. Suzanne

    So true. You can always paint, remodel, and upgrade the finishes. But location is permanent. And a big part of your lifestyle.

    Another thing which can be hard to change is the natural sunlight your home gets, so consider that when buying.

  2. Jacquelyn

    Great article! We recently purchased at Baker Ranch, and with the toll roads located just two street lights away from the community, it makes commuting anywhere a breeze!

    1. Toll Brothers

      Hello Judie, thank you for your comment. Toll Brothers currently has four communities in Palm Springs, California. We have Estilo at Rancho Mirage, Escala, Escena, and Alta! Please visit the Toll Brothers website for more information on these beautiful communities –

    1. Toll Brothers

      Hello Susan, thank you for your comment! Toll Brothers offers several gated communities with active lifestyles in the Las Vegas area. Toll Brothers at Inspirada is a master-planned community with a recreation center, two pools, and miles of trails. Franklin Park at Providence is a master-planned community that features three parks and trail systems. Santaluz and Montecito are both gated communities with access to the Summerlin trail system, and Visa Dulce is a gated Active Living community. To learn more about our Las Vegas communities, please visit our website –

  3. Judy Faraldo

    My husband and I are interested in Enclave at Shackamaxon in Scotch Plains, NJ. When will the community be built? Do you have a price range in mind? Does the price of the home include the property? Will it have any amenities? What will the maintenance costs be? Do you have a ball park figure for taxes? These are important questions we’d like answered before we proceed.

    1. Toll Brothers

      Hello Judy, thank you for your interest in Enclave at Shackamaxon! We will have more information available online in the next few weeks. In the meantime, we will pass your contact information along to the sales representative for the community, Karen Ford, and she will be reaching out to you shortly. If you would like to call her, she can be reached at 908-654-3888, and if you haven’t already, please register as a VIP on our website to receive the latest updates on the community. We hope to welcome you as a homeowner to Enclave at Shackamaxon when the community opens!

  4. Ruth

    I couldn’t agree more that location is critical. My husband and I fell in love with your Ashmore model in Las Vegas, but we want to live in Summerlin. When will you have that model or something comparable in Summerlin?

    1. Toll Brothers

      Hello Ruth, thank you for your comment and interest in Toll Brothers! We do have single-story floor plans available in Summerlin at Montecito, however, we don’t have anything as large as the Ashmore home design available in Summerlin at this time. Toll Brothers is always looking for opportunities for larger single-story product and expect to have something available in the future, so please continue to check our website for updates –

    1. Toll Brothers

      Hello Dee, thank you for your comment and interest in Toll Brothers! At this time, we are not building any new home communities in Pasco County, Florida. However, we do have many communities in Florida, the closest being those in the Orlando and Bonita Springs areas. To learn more about our Florida communities, please visit our website –, or call our Online Concierge Team at 844-871-7466.

    1. Toll Brothers

      Hello Leah, thank you for your comment and interest in Toll Brothers! Toll Brothers at Robertson Ranch in Carlsbad, California will be opening in Fall 2015. To learn more about this community please visit our website- We also have a community in Irvine, California (approx. 7.5 miles from Laguna Beach) called Toll Brothers at Hidden Canyon. To learn more about this community please visit our website-, or call our community sales team at 949-727-9922.

  5. Deborah

    We are looking to relocate in the Colorado area as we like the lifestyle out there.
    Do you have a community in Denver area?
    Or what are some other active communities with mountains for hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, etc

  6. Judith Faraldo

    I agree. Location is paramount in choosing a home. That’s why we prefer to live at Shackamaxon. It’s in a community where we raised our children so we’re familiar with the neighborhood, our grand kids live nearby, and we have great access to New York City and all it has to offer.

    1. Toll Brothers

      Hello William, thank you for your comment and interest in Toll Brothers! We are happy to hear that you’re looking to buy a new Toll Brothers home in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey. Our New Jersey Online Concierge team will be able to add you to the VIP list, which will allow you to receive updates about the future of this community. We have passed along your contact information to the team, but you can also reach out to them at 844-834-5263, or

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *