Wednesday, September 30, 2015 / by Bill Berning*
As a potential home buyer, you want to make sure that you are not only getting the best value for your money. You also want to ensure that you will be satisfied with your location as the resident of a new community.
When you decide to purchase a home, you have to make a decision as to where you want to live. Several factors may play into your decision, including both practical and emotional reasons. Selecting the right neighborhood for you and your family should be done with care. Here are tips to help to pick the right neighborhood for your next home.
As you explore various locations to buy a home, you may have a lot of ideas in mind. Maybe you want to pick your dream location for your home. You may actually prefer just to find a safe neighborhood that has great schools and a decent commute time to work. Whatever your reasons for deciding on a particular location, you must sort out your priorities as you search for a neighborhood to live in.
As you ponder your situation, ask yourself these questions:
Do you have teens or young children living in your home?
Do you have preferences as to the noise level of the area?
Do you want a lot of land or parks and other green spaces to enjoy?
Are you concerned about having a short commute to work?
Will the neighborhood have your preferred amenities (shopping, daycare, groceries, dining, etc)?
What style of home do you want?
What is your budget?
As you write down the answers to these questions, a clearer picture will emerge of your must-have elements for your new neighborhood. Some of the items may end up on your list only as features that you would like to have but are not deal-breakers.
If you have teens or young children living at home, a primary concern when selecting the right neighborhood for your family should be the quality of the local school system. If you are planning to enroll your children in a private institution, you must also consider the distance between the new neighborhood and the school in order to shuttle back and forth between after-school activities and other events.
Make sure that you research local public and private schools. You should also research daycare programs in the area. Crime statistics are also important to look at for the safety of your family. The majority of real estate websites will be able to break down crime statistics by zip code in order to give you an idea as to how safe the area is in comparison to national statistics. If you would like more in-depth details on a particular area, you can ask your Realtor for assistance.
As you select a neighborhood for your home, you should envision what it would be like to live in that neighborhood. You may wish to select a neighborhood based on the style of homes offered. You should also consider whether you prefer an urban or more rural setting for your home. The proximity of the neighborhood to an urban area may have a large impact on the average square footage of a home. Also some areas may have mostly single family homes available, as compared to other neighborhoods that may have a larger percentage of multi-family homes.
You must also consider whether or not you want to live in a historic neighborhood or housing development. Both types of communities often come along with regulations that are put in place by local community associations that must be adhered to. In addition, this may also mean that you are required to do repair work on your home, as homes in historic neighborhoods may be of older stock.
As you select your new neighborhood, you also want to think about your daily routine. Do you want to be able to walk places? Do you want a short commute to work? Ask your real estate agent about the public transportation options that will be available in your neighborhood, as well as, access to major roads and highways.
"Diversity, population and neighborhood characteristics are all important aspects that make a big difference on a neighborhood." says AJ Smith of Credit.com. "Investigate how the neighborhood has grown in recent years, who lives there, and how many people to do determine if it is somewhere you would fit in or stand out."
By talking to people that have lived in the area, you can get a more accurate idea of what it will be like to live there as a resident. This is vital insight that cannot be obtained simply by looking at neighborhood descriptions online. You can also use these experiences to determine if the neighborhood meets your expectations in terms of taste. Some homebuyers may require more luxurious accommodations in order to be satisfied. Others may find the restrictions of planned communities not to be their preferences.
Budget will likely play a huge role in determining your final decision on the right neighborhood for your new home. However, working with a real estate agent can really help to illuminate the differences between two neighborhoods of relativity equal value. There is always a risk that when you select a neighborhood, you won’t get everything on your wishlist. But when it comes to making sure that you stay within your budget, compromise is important.
Opt for the features of the neighborhood that will guarantee a safe and enjoyable stay in your community while skipping out on those neighborhoods that are so pricy you will spend more time worrying about your finances than enjoying your new lifestyle. Plus, as you get to know the neighborhood, you may find that there are hidden amenities that you may have not been aware of.
Buying a property in the right neighborhood is a process that must be done with care. Talk with your real estate for more tips on how to select the right neighborhood so that you can be happy with your decision.