You may have an idea of your dream home, but what about your dream neighborhood? The right neighborhood can make or break a home purchase. Any realtor can inform you about a home’s previous occupants and it’s maintenance costs. Gauging the quality of your potential neighborhood requires more than an on-the-spot explanation. It requires hours of investigation.
How To Assess A Neighborhood While House Hunting
Choosing a good neighborhood to live in means more to your well-being than your house monetary value. The last thing you want is to move in while everyone else is moving out. Here are some helpful pointers to help you assess prospective neighborhoods while searching for your new house.
A community that offers plenty of amenities is a major selling point. Getting to those attractions from your home is another concern. Some areas require you to own a car to get from point A to point B, while others are within walking distance.
Take some time to walk around the neighborhood and measure the steps you’ve taken between destinations. While you’re doing this, count how many bus stops you find. Use the Walk Score app to decide whether to add points on your Fitbit or how much to budget for gas money.
If you find a property that’s cheaper than the market price, make sure it isn’t at the expense of personal safety. One hazard you don’t want is to buy a home built in an unstable environment.
Safety hazards can come in many forms. Some are natural flaws and others are man made. If you want a riverfront home, then be sure you’re not living in a flood plain. Are the neighbors giving you a bad vibe? Check local crime statistics to know for sure. Gauge the distance of the nearest fire department and police stations for extra peace of mind.
Schools & Churches
Strong communities are built by positive institutions. The number of schools and places of worship are ideal community organizations that you should take note of when selecting a neighborhood.
Your location may have dozens of schools and churches (regardless of faith), but these places must serve a better purpose to the community at large. Before enrolling your child at the nearest school, go on the Great Schools website to know how it ranks by test scores. Scan local bulletin boards at libraries and post offices for various charities and interfaith events. These will tell you how invested the residents are in their community.
From a marketing perspective, multiple houses going up for sale isn’t the end all indicator of a prosperous area. How fast those signs are replaced with happy occupants matters more.
Asking your real estate agent for a comparable market analysis will give you an idea of the area’s turnaround rate. Historical sales trends will provide stronger insight into the county’s property taxes. Physical red flags to be aware of include properties that are not well maintained, multiple “foreclosure” and “for rent” signs, and an overabundance of apartment complexes and housing developments.