How to Find the Right Neighborhood for You
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. 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 Area's 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:
- I am moving to the area and was curious to hear what some of you love about living here?
- I am curious to hear what some of the changes you are hoping for in the near future?
- 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.
Finding a good school system to purchase a home in is a smart idea (No Pun Intended) for anyone. The home values in highly rated school districts often see the biggest gain in value and have steadier markets.
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 in choosing a neighborhood. If your desired neighborhood has high-value homes this could mean higher local taxes to provide services in the area. In California, the local taxes are a very small portion of the overall tax bill so don't be too concerned here. If a home has a declining property value, as 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 rundown location in need of some tender, love, and care.
In terms of choosing a home in each respective neighborhood, I recommend subscribing 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.
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.
*Realtors cannot discuss the criminal activity with clients
Pro Tip: Ring has a Downloadable App called Neighbors that shows you the local incidents in any 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 the if the neighborhood is right for you or your family.