How To Find The Right Neighborhood For You
It's not easy to choose the perfect neighborhood for you or your family. Let's face it, your neighborhood is just as important as your house. If you are not happy with your neighborhood, it will eventually lead to you not being satisfied with your home. Do your research to determine what a neighborhood has to offer you. The greatest areas for families with children is not always the best place for a single person or empty nesters. This article will explain the things that you should be looking at in a neighborhood during the buying process.
Location is everything. Imagine living in an amazing area, but you work over 50 miles away. This will not leave you with much time to enjoy everything that your neighborhood has to offer considering you will be spending most of your time commuting to work. Even though there may be a great neighborhood available 50 miles away from work, that does not mean you need to consider that home unless you are able to work from home. Commuting can be overwhelming and will create a dissatisfaction to the home you purchased.
Location plays a huge factor when it comes to the community and it's amenities. If you live in a rural area, you will most likely not find any gyms, retail stores, or things to do. However, if you enjoy the seclusiveness of a rural area, this may work for you. Drive around the surrounding area to see everything that is in proximity.
PRO TIP: Drive or walk around the areas you are researching. Make sure to take note of distances and time that it takes to get to some of the places you may be going to often.
Interview The Locals
Asking the locals in an area is a great way to see if you would enjoy it there. Locals will know the area best and can make you aware of the perks and issues. Most people love chatting about their neighborhood and where they live.
How can you get involved without physically going to every business or community center?
Join the local Facebook community group to get a vibe of the neighborhood. You can even ask questions to get real feedback. Asking questions like:
1) I am moving to the area and was curious to hear what some of you love about living here?
2) I am curious to hear what some of the changes you are hoping for in the near future?
3) What is something that you would only know if you lived here?
PRO TIP: You can also google: How is living in (Neighborhood). This will reveal many other forums or blogs that give local insight.
If you have kids in your home then schools may be the most important factor to your neighborhood. Some people are looking for a school nearby for their kids to walk to school and some are seeking schools for children with special needs. The best advice we could give is to decide on the schools you enjoy first, then begin looking for the neighborhoods around the school.
PRO TIP: There are many online resources such as GreatSchools.org where you can look up the schools in your area and their rating. Once you have decided on a school that you believe will be best for your family, visit the school.
The value of a property plays a huge role on choosing a neighborhood. If your desired neighborhood has high valued homes, this means higher taxes to provide services in the area. If a market is in decline - like we had in 2008 - it can directly impact the value of the entire neighborhood. An area that once was a great looking place to live can slowly turn into a run down location in need of some tender love and care.
In terms of choosing a home in each respective neighborhood, I recommend to subscribe to the old adage of not choosing the most expensive home in the neighborhood.
PRO TIP: Don't go for the most expensive home in the neighborhood if the home value is above the average. It may appreciate slower or take longer to sell than those closer in value to the average.
Taxes will vary by neighborhoods, so you should definitely consider them when buying a home. Like we stated above with property values, areas that are appreciating in value are also going to have larger tax bases. Many cities have specific times of the year where they reassess home values to ensure the local government is getting the proper amount of tax revenue to provide the city with services. Purchasing at the top of your budget can make the excitement of purchasing a home become a nightmare when all your other expenses roll in.
This is why it is important to make sure you consider all the expenses that come with owning a home. We can always help you with any questions you have, so do not hesitate to give us a call.
PRO TIP: Don't purchase a home at the top of your price range if you are buying in a neighborhood with increasing values; the taxes you pay will go up in cost as well.
While some consider safety to be the most important factor in a neighborhood, not everyone can afford to live in a gated community, nor does everyone want to live in a community like that. However, you can look at the local police reports to see what mischief goes on in a specific area. You can even use online resources like crime maps to get an idea of the crime rate in certain areas.
PRO TIP: Ring has a downloadable app called Neighbors that shows you the local incidents in a given area.
The neighborhood that you live in can have a greater impact on your satisfaction than the home itself. The right house in the wrong area will leave you unhappy in the long-run. Research online, speak with locals, and drive around the surrounding area to determine if the neighborhood is right for you and your family.