Shopping for a home is just one part of the home-buying process. Finding the right neighborhood can be just as extensive as a home search, and can be more important, in some ways.
Some characteristics of a neighborhood can make a home a much better place to live in. Here are some to look for:
Follow Your Demographics
A single professional might enjoy a downtown condo with a busy nightlife than a family with small children would. Start your home search by looking for a neighborhood that fits your lifestyle and where you are in life.
Do you want a mix of ages in an older neighborhood, or are you nearing retirement and want to live in an area around more people your age?
Are homeowners busy on the weekend taking care of their yards? Do the homes look properly maintained from the outside, with no trash or weeds blocking entrances? Do the homes look like they’re in good shape (at least from the outside) on first inspection?
The more people in a neighborhood who take pride in their homes, the more likely they are to keep things looking good.
Does the area have sidewalks for walking and bike paths? Are you near parks or other recreation areas, such as swim clubs and golf courses, so you can easily get outside?
The closer outdoor activities are, the more likely you are to use them.
Shopping and Restaurants
If good restaurants and at least one grocery store and other types of stores are within walking distance of your neighborhood, you’ll probably enjoy living there more.
The same goes for movie theaters, bars and a post office. They’re conveniences you’ll enjoy, but be aware that they could attract visitors and more traffic.
Check with the police department for the crime rate in a neighborhood you’re considering. If crime rates are dropping, it can be a sign that an area’s moving up and that police and residents are doing something about it.
If you have children, or might in the next few years, then a great school that’s nearby is a top selling point.
Even if you don’t plan on having children, a home in an excellent school district can be a strong value-add if you ever sell your home. Good schools often help property values rise.
Whatever your needs are in a home, start your home search by looking for neighborhoods that suit your lifestyle. From there, finding a home should be a lot easier.
I hope you found this helpful. Contact me for more home and real estate insights and info.