When looking for a new home, you must remember that the neighborhood is one of the most important things. We have all heard that saying; location, location, location. Well when buying a home it should be; neighborhood, neighborhood, neighborhood. Every homebuyer has different tastes. You will want to buy in the neighborhood that best suits you, so here are 10 questions to ask yourself.
1. How is the commute? First and foremost, you will want to have a short commute, if possible. Do you want to sit in traffic for hours a day, wasting valuable time and money? If the traffic is bad, are there public transportation options available that fit your work schedule? If not, make sure you select a neighborhood that you can easily commute to and from.
2. How are the schools? If you have kids, you know how important it is for them to attend great schools. At the same time, if you don’t have kids, you know how important good schools are for resell value. So, check out the schools and make sure they are nice.
3. What do the houses look like? Do the property owners take care of their homes and keep well landscaped yards? Now, if you are buying in an older or less expensive area, you may notice that the houses don’t look as nice. This isn’t a problem if people take pride in their home and keep them clean and well maintained. But, if the area is run down, and nobody seems to care, you should probably move on.
4. How is the crime rate? If you are concerned about the area, you can call the local police department for statistics. Even if the area looks safe, you should still check on the crime rate. There are plenty of sources for crime rates online.
5. How are the neighbors? Before buying, you should make every effort to meet the surrounding neighbors to the property. If they are friendly and seem to like the area, you can make an easier decision to purchase. Simply put, if you move to the area, you may have to deal with them, perhaps daily, and you want to make sure you like them.
6. Who are my neighbors? Do the neighbors appear similar to you and do they have the same hobbies and/or interest as you? Sometimes you can get a feel for this just by looking at the neighbor’s yard or driveway. Maybe the garage door is open and you see bicycles and surfboards. Maybe there is a full size drum set with amplifiers. Visit the property multiple times and at different times of the day.
7. Is there potential? Without a doubt, if you are buying, you want to see potential for increased value. This could be through making some minor or major changes to the property or the landscaping. Maybe there is a new school or park or shopping center being built nearby. If so, you can rest easy knowing that people will like the area.
8. Are there Parks and/or Walking Trails nearby? If you have children or plan on having children, parks and open space are essential. If you like walking, running or hiking check to find out what the neighborhood has to offer for your type of exercise.
9. Are there any nuisances? One thing to consider is possible nuisances. If the next door neighbor has a trampoline next to your child’s bedroom window, this could be a problem. Is the house located on a busy street? Is the home located near a signal light that will be shining on your new home every night?
10. Are there stores and restaurants nearby? While you will want a short commute, you probably want to live near services and stores that you will need on frequent basis. It’s nice to have a grocery store, gas station, drycleaners and few restaurants nearby.
Choosing the right home in the right neighborhood is very important. If you ask yourself these 10 simple questions, you can avoid a lot of problems, and you can find the right place for your lifestyle and needs.
If you need any help researching a particular neighborhood, please feel free to contact us. Our Mortgage Advisors are available at (800) 927-6560 to answer your questions or click here to contact us online.