Things to Consider for Choosing Your Neighborhood
Finding a good neighborhood to live in is probably more important as choosing the actual physical home. The neighborhood needs to be secure, fit your budget and your ideal lifestyle. Many people make the mistake of focusing primarily on the house and secondarily on the neighborhood while it should probably be the reverse. You can always remodel a home, you can almost always add-on or modify your home, but you can’t change a neighborhood, its characteristics, or the neighbors.
When purchasing a home you need to know that you are not only buying a place for you and your family to live in but you are investing in the neighborhood. So before getting started, ask yourself the following questions
- Do I prefer a quiet street or an active one?
- Do I need a view, or a certain orientation?
- What do I like or dislike about my old neighborhood?
- What is important to my family and me?
After you create a clear picture of the kind of neighborhood you want consider these tips and important factors to consider to help you find the right neighborhood:
Crime and safety– You need to ensure the neighborhood you choose is safe. Contact the local police and inquire about the area’s crime and safety information. Drive around and look for any tell tales signs of crime such as graffiti, abandoned homes or homes in disrepair. You can also research online about the neighborhood’s crime statistics. Another important step is to walk around the neighborhood and talk to all the neighbors you can find.
Location– The ideal neighborhood should have amenities such as the grocery store, restaurants, cafes, hospitals, and recreational parks nearby. Many people prefer walking to the mall or their favorite restaurant in the neighborhood. Also, consider your individual needs; do you want a quite family oriented neighborhood or a hip urban area? If you have kids, you may want them to have potential playmates and so choosing a family friendly neighborhood might be right for you.
Transportation – Accessibility to highways is important, as well as a neighborhood that can be accessed using public transportation. It’s important to consider how easy it is to get to international access such as airports and how far you have to drive to get there. You should learn the traffic patterns as well, so that you know what to expect when traveling to and from work.
School district – Schools are among the best selling points of a neighborhood. Quite simply, the better the schools, the better the investment in a property with good resale value. Even if you don’t have school going kids, the quality of schools matters when looking at your home as an investment. This is especially true when you go to re-sell the home.
Taxes and property values – Different counties and cities have varying property and local taxes. Research how much tax you will be required to pay within the coming years.
Ask your agent to tell you about the areas you are considering. They should be able to share added flavor about the neighborhoods for which you are interested.
If you do a little research, you should be able to find the ideal neighborhood to fit your needs, your lifestyle and your budget.