Location, Location, Location!
Location is an important factor when purchasing a home. There is a lot to consider and just because you LOVE the home, doesn’t necessarily mean that the neighborhood or area is a right fit for you, your needs or your future needs. We have put together a list of things to consider when choosing the right neighborhood.
You want a neighborhood that is going to be accommodating to your lifestyle or the life that you are aspiring to create. Ask yourself if you want something more suburban, or urban. Do you want more space and privacy or would you rather be right in the middle of all the action?
Start by assessing your needs and daily routine. For example, If you have a dog, then perhaps you will need a home with a fenced backyard or a dog park close by. Perhaps your family enjoys fishing or camping and you’ll need a spot to store your boat or RV, then a condo downtown or a strict HOA is not up your alley.
Next to price-point, lifestyle will be the biggest fact you’ll need to consider when finding the perfect neighborhood.
2. Amenities & Convenience
Make sure you spend time exploring the neighborhood and finding out about any future development plans. For example, if you are wanting to live somewhere a little more secluded and private, how far are you willing to drive for everyday conveniences like grocery stores, gas stations, drug stores or even doctors offices. If you plan to live in the heart of the city, make sure you’ve explored parking and transportation options as well as the walkability score.
3. Commute Times
For most, the commute time to school or work can be a serious deal-breaker.
Unless you work virtually from home, you’ll want to understand how much time you will be spending for your daily commute to work. Will you be walking, driving yourself, carpooling or even using public transportation? Whatever your daily commute requires, make sure you have evaluated how your commute time will affect your quality of life.
If you have kids or are planning to have kids, this could be a major factor in determining where you live. Take time exploring the nearby school districts, boundaries as well as school options for elementary, middle school and high schools.
5. Market Conditions & Affordability
Purchasing a home is not only a big decision, it’s an investment – one of the biggest investments you can make. Make sure you take the time to research the neighborhood’s market trends and value.
The best way to make sure you aren’t overlooking important details of your potential neighborhood is to work with a realtor that knows the area. Your realtor will help you understand the property value – whether increasing, declining or remaining steady. Take into consideration the development of the neighborhood or surrounding area – things like new businesses moving in or any other external factors that contribute to the value of the area such as new city regulations, neighborhood upgrades, or public transportation systems.
6. Crime Rates
No one wants to live in a high-crime area (unless you enjoy living on the edge and pushing your luck), but living in an area where there is no crime at all and filled with rainbows and unicorns is can be hard to come by. It’s always a good idea to research the area on CrimeReports and even call the local police station to see if there is any dangerous activity in the area that you should be aware of prior to purchasing the home.
Keep in mind that just because the area or neighborhood is safe now or has been safe in the past, does not always mean it will remain that way. Take into consideration businesses moving close by and/or any developments that could bring a new variety of people to the area.
Searching for the perfect neighborhood can be a daunting task. Figure out what is truly important to you and share these concerns, goals, and needs with your realtor. They will be your advocate and make the search much easier and even an enjoyable and exciting time.