Buying the perfect house, your dream home, is as much about choosing the right neighborhood as it is about selecting the right house. For you are, after all, not just buying a home, but also buying into a neighborhood because it’s the area where you’ll live for many years to come. But you do need to know what to look for in a neighborhood. So check out these 5 things to pay attention to when choosing your new neighborhood.
1. Crime Rates
Of course, you’ll want to check out the crime rates in any neighborhood you’re considering. This is a top concern for almost all home buyers because we all want our families to be safe and property values to stay in good shape.
Sometimes, though, getting the real skinny on crime rates can be a bit of a challenge. Here’s what you can do:
- Talk to local law enforcement agencies.
- Talk to neighborhood residents (the people who really know what goes on in the neighborhood).
- Check websites such as CrimeReports and SpotCrime.
- Check the National Sex Offender Registry.
Also, be sure to talk to a real estate agent. A local agent will have the lowdown on various neighborhoods in the area. Just call 866-593-7012.
2. Quality of Schools
The quality of a neighborhood is closely tied to the quality of the schools. Even if you don’t have school-aged children (or any kids), it still matters.
The school quality has a bearing on the resale value of your home, as well as how much it will appreciate. Generally, better schools mean better property values, which means that a home in that neighborhood will be a good investment.
3. Lifestyle Suitability
You should also pay close attention to whether a particular neighborhood will fit well with your lifestyle.
For example, are you an empty-nester looking for a quiet, slow-paced neighborhood? Or is yours a family with small children? In that case, you’ll want a neighborhood with plenty of parks and open spaces and family eateries nearby.
Of course, your agent will be your best resource for finding out about a neighborhood’s suitability. But you can also peruse neighborhood Facebook groups and websites like Nextdoor and WalkScore.
4. Pride of Ownership
For most buyers, a good neighborhood is one in which the residents are deeply invested and where pride of ownership shows. So be sure to pay attention to whether you see signs that residents truly care about the appearance of their homes and the quality of the neighborhood.
Is there an HOA? If so, check out their guidelines. Also, take the time to walk around the neighborhood, observing the homes and chatting with people. And, as we’ve mentioned before, talk to your agent – she’ll have a good handle on this.
5. Proximity of Emergency Services
We hope you never have any medical or other emergencies, but they do happen. So you also need to make sure that a prospective neighborhood has all the necessary emergency services nearby.
Far-flung suburbs are often quite a distance from these services, so keep an eye out for, say, firehouses, police stations, urgent care centers, and so on. You want to be aware of these and know they are close enough before an emergency strikes.
Your Agent Knows . . .
You may find, though, that you just don’t have the time to thoroughly investigate a neighborhood, especially if you live in another town, county, or state. But that’s what your agent is for. Your agent knows the local markets and the personality of specific neighborhoods. If you really want to know what a neighborhood is like, contact us today at 866-593-7012.