The ages of the people in your neighborhood can affect your family’s lifestyle and the amount you will have to pay for a house, as well as the amount you may get if you sell it in the future.
Look for a Neighborhood Where Your Family Will Feel at Home
Knowing the demographics of a neighborhood can help you figure out if it would be a good fit for you and your family. If you are retired and a neighborhood is filled with families who have young kids, you may prefer to live somewhere quieter or somewhere where you’d have more opportunities to socialize with people your own age.
If you have or plan to have kids, look for a neighborhood with young families. That can give your kids easy access to playmates around their ages. Look for an area with activities that your family enjoys, such as parks, restaurants, theaters, performing arts venues and hiking trails. You may be able to spend time socializing with other families with kids around the same age as yours who also share your interests.
When you look at a house you are thinking about buying, try to talk to some of the neighbors. Ask them what they like about the neighborhood and what people do for fun. That can help you gauge whether you and your kids would be able to easily make friends in the area.
Visit the neighborhood at different times of day to see how many people are on the street. Note whether adults are chatting with each other and whether kids are playing together.
Don’t just think about a neighborhood as it currently is. Try to envision it five or ten years in the future. Think about how the demographics of the neighborhood and the economic landscape may change and ask yourself if it’s a place where your family would be comfortable living.
Consider the Relationship Between the Neighborhood and Property Values
People of working age live where jobs are plentiful. That leads to population growth and increased demand for housing, which can drive up home prices in general. If a neighborhood is filled with working families, houses may be expensive. On the other hand, if you buy an inexpensive house now in an area where younger people are beginning to move in to work for a large employer, that may drive up home values and help you get a good price if you sell the house in the future.
Research the quality of the local schools. Living in a good school district is important whether or not you have kids now or in the future. If you sell your house eventually, potential buyers may have children. School quality will be important to them and may impact your home’s resale value.