Factors to consider when choosing a neighborhood
When shopping for a home, it's easy for buyers to fall in love with a property. A well-maintained home with updated features can be hard to resist, but buyers must consider more than just a home's appearance before submitting an offer.
One variable prospective homebuyers tend to value more highly than others is the neighborhood where they will ultimately choose to live.
Many buyers even value neighborhoods more than homes, feeling they can always fix a home but cannot necessarily fix an undesirable neighborhood.
When considering neighborhoods as part of the home search, buyers should look at a variety of factors.
Crime statistics are public domain, meaning buyers can examine crime figures for any neighborhood where they are considering buying a home. Some real estate websites list neighborhood crime ratings among the information they offer about a given property. In addition, buyers interested in learning about crime in a given neighborhood can visit a site such as CrimeReports.com to access data on crimes committed near a particular address.
Home values are another factor to consider when choosing a neighborhood in which to buy a home. Buyers can work with a local Realtor to find a neighborhood or area where real estate prices are trending upward. While buyers might be able to find a great deal on a home in a neighborhood where home prices are dropping, it's important to remember those home prices are dropping for a reason. Work with your Realtor to find a neighborhood where you can afford a home and where property values are not in decline. Realtors will have access to recent sales figures so you can get an idea of whether a neighborhood is trending upward or in decline.
The proximity of amenities such as shopping, restaurants and parks is attractive to many buyers, and that's something all buyers should consider before buying a home. Even if you prefer a home in a remote location, that could limit your market of buyers when you want to sell the home down the road. While your own comfort and preferences should ultimately prevail over potential resale value, it's important that you at least consider access to amenities before making a decision. You might be able to find a compromise in a home that is a short drive away from a town center, but still remote enough that you are not in the middle of the hustle and bustle.
Quality of life is heavily influenced by commute time. Many men and women feel their quality of life improves dramatically the shorter their daily commute is. When considering a particular neighborhood, do a test run before making an offer on a home. Wake up early and drive to the area where you are thinking of buying, and then commute from there during rush hour. Also, do the reverse commute come quitting time. You might be able to get an estimated commute time online, but a test run can give you a more accurate idea of what your daily trips to and from the office will be like.
Choosing a neighborhood where you will enjoy living requires some forethought and research.