Finding out as much as you can about your potential new neighborhood is a critical part of the home search process. You can change a home’s exterior or exterior but you can’t change its location. Here’s what you need to know about the neighborhood where your next home might be located.
It’s All About Research
Start with your real estate agent. They can be one of your best sources of factual information. Just be aware that there are a lot of things they can’t legally weigh in on, like neighborhood demographics. If you’re looking for a diverse neighborhood,. Spend some time there at different times of day and days of the week and get to know who your neighbors might be.
Check Crime Rates
Crime rates are one way to determine relative safety, but it’s important to look at the type of crime and not just raw stats. Is there a lot of simple theft, or is there a significant amount of violent crime? You can visit local law enforcement websites to find out what the general crime ratio is, and what offenders are living in the area if you have kids and are concerned about abusers.
If you have or are planning on having children, you probably want to know if the schools in your chosen area are highly rated. If the public schools aren’t great, are there private op[tions? If so, can you afford them? Look at statistics regarding how many high school graduates go on to graduate college and narrow down the neighborhoods inside the district you’d prefer your children attend.
Do you want plenty of hiking and biking trails? Maybe you’re a dog person, and want local parks that are dog friendly. Public transportation could be your passion, or you might be older and want good medical facilities close by. If you love fine dining and shopping, living next to a bustling area might be your favorite place to be. If you prefer quiet on a Saturday night, a little further out in the suburbs might be your best bet.
Homeowner Associations are either a perk or a big downer depending on who you ask. If you like the neighborhood vibe and feel the local HOA is an asset, you might fit right in. If you have a creative spirit and don’t care for being told what house paint color you can use, you might want to consider a subdivision without an HOA affiliation.
Now that you know a little bit about the neighborhood, you can dance if it’s a good one for you. Not everyone’s needs are the same, so what might be a bad choice for someone else could be just right for you.
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