If you’re a first-time homebuyer or just looking to relocate, there’s probably several questions you have about your future home. You’re likely wanting to know how many bathrooms the home has. Does it have a garage? Is it a ranch-style home, or multi-floors? Is there a yard? Is it in an area that’s walkable? If you have school-aged children, you’re probably curious about the school district the home is zoned in. The list goes on.

As a Realtor for more than 10 years, there’s another consideration that goes into the homebuying process that I don’t think gets discussed enough. It’s something many of my clients have asked about, and is one of the most important aspects of a potential home. When you purchase a home, you’re not just moving into a home, you’re moving into a community. It’s that community that fosters relationships and creates lasting memories for you to cherish over a lifetime.

I was reminded of this the other day as I was digging through old photos from childhood about what makes growing up in a small tight-knit community so impactful.

I grew up on the dead-end of a dirt road in Burns, Tennessee, a quaint town about 45 minutes west of Nashville. Since then, Burns has grown modestly from my childhood years where the population was 777 to its current 1,761 residents.

On that dead-end dirt road where I spent my childhood were two other families and a total of eight kids that made up our little corner of the town. The parents would hang out together, and us kids would spend summers riding bikes, playing sports and being carefree with all the space in the world to play and of course, getting into mischief.

Looking back on those days, I’m reminded of the importance that community plays in a child’s formative years and how it shaped me into the person I am today. When I look at those old photos, I’m flooded with so many fond memories and gratitude for the lifelong relationships that were created on that stretch of road. I also began to think about when my parents almost bought a house in a different part of town and wondered what my life would look like today had they done that.

Certainly, I would have made other memories and other friends, but there’s something special about growing up in a community that grows with you and influences you as a person. Those seven other kids that I grew up with are still part of my core group of friends to this day. In fact, their parents were a huge inspiration into why I got into the real estate industry.

While every community is different, knowing the impact that my community had, and hearing from buyers over the years, I know community is an important thing to consider in the homebuying process.

As Realtors, we ask buyers all the questions I mentioned in the beginning of this story to get a better understanding of what they are looking for in a home. Our job is serving the buyer’s needs and finding the property that best suits them. Part of that conversation should also include the community aspect of the potential home.

Purchasing a home is a monumental decision that requires lots of preparation and considerations. If you’re thinking about purchasing a home, having a Realtor that is part of the community is an invaluable resource. They know the area and understand it not only on a professional level but a personal one because we’re not just Realtors, we’re members of our communities that we sell in. We shop there, we raise our children there and many of us serve on local school boards, city councils and so much more. Because of this, a Realtor is best suited to help find a home in a community that best fits the buyer’s needs.

Amanda Crist is a life-long resident of Dickson County and graduate of Austin Peay State University. She has been a licensed agent since 2009 and has been with Ragan’s Five Rivers Realty & Auction Co. since 2012. Amanda currently serves as the Dickson Chapter President of Greater Nashville Realtors and is a member of the Greater Nashville Realtors Board of Directors.

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