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Visiting a new place can be a very different experience depending on your motivation for being there. If you’re seeing family or attending a conference, you may not see many of the sights or get to make your own plans. If you are on vacation, you can usually choose what and how you want to eat, drink and spend your time. If you are a potential homebuyer, you often care about yet a different set of factors. Consider the distinct priorities for life as a tourist or life as a future resident.

Common Concerns

There are some concerns that both a tourist and a potential homeowner will likely share when considering a location. Generally, both tourists and homeowners are attracted to areas with low crime. Most people don’t want to live in or even visit a place where they are likely to get robbed (or worse). Similarly, healthcare facilities would ideally be good, whether you are going for a week or the rest of your life. Public transportation can be important to both tourists and inhabitants, but probably more so for those who will live in the place and drive or commute to work.

Temporary Tourist

Tourists are visiting, just passing through a location. They are interested in things that make a place fun to spend a day, weekend or week. If they are looking for a quiet getaway or an excitement-filled spot, they want to meet those specific needs. So for a bachelorette party loud and bright streets work just fine, but may get tiresome for long-term living.

The location can be especially important so a large portion of the vacation isn’t spent just getting where you’re going. This can be proximity to an airport or other options for getting there (of course frequent travelers may want easy airport access from where they live as well).

Nosy Neighbor

If you’re looking to buy a new home, there are some things that will matter more to you than if you were just visiting. For instance, home and apartment prices are important only for those that are looking to live in the location. Similarly, property taxes are not important for tourists but very important for a homeowner. Affordability is likely the first factor to consider when searching for your new neighborhood. The potential for growth or home appreciation in an area is important for potential homeowners too.

Year-round weather only matters for people that live somewhere because tourists care only about conditions during their visit. Inhabitants must also consider the school systems near a potential new home in case they have or plan to have children. Home values are also often higher where the schools have a good reputation, so you should know how much home you can afford to make sure the neighborhoods you like are ones you can actually afford to live in.

Even as a potential homeowner, don’t forget to be a tourist in your own city so you get the most out of your new life. And hey, you never know, maybe somewhere you went as a tourist can become your home in the future.

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