How To Find The Perfect Neighborhood
Location, location, location. Half of buying a home is finding where you want to live. You may have found your dream house, but it might not be in your dream location. When you think about your dream home, are you seeing the house, or the neighborhood it's in?
It's easy to get caught up in bedroom and bathroom counts when you're shopping for a new home, but the biggest choice you're going to make in the process is of course the ‘where’ question. So how do you find the home that's going to be the perfect fit for your whole lifestyle?
Here's how you can find the perfect neighborhood:
Check It Out Online and look at the basic stats.
What is the median sale price of homes in a given neighborhood? How do the local and nearby schools perform? What amenities are nearby? How popular is the neighborhood in today's market?
Look up what people are saying about the neighborhood you're interested in. Do people actually enjoy living there? What do they like and dislike about it?
Google the crime statistics for the area; safety should be top of mind. If you have kids, look up schools in the area. How are they rated? Social media platforms like Facebook and Nextdoor also offer a great window into the ins and outs of your potential neighborhood.
Scout It Out
See what the neighbors are doing. Get a sense of local activities, and see if it looks like a place with frequent block-parties or if people may keep more to themselves. Literally. Do drive-bys, and do them at different times of the day to get a feel for the neighborhood. Is there a soccer field or baseball diamond close by? You'll want to know before it's too late whether cars will be lined up on your street every weekend. What's that nearby intersection like during rush hour? Is there a grocery store close by? The more questions you can answer before moving in, the more confident you’ll feel when it’s time to put down an offer.
How Far Is Your Potential Home From Your Job And What Are The Traffic Patterns?
A long commute has the potential to become an everyday stressor. If you take the bus, look up the route and times. Knowing that you're close to the highway or a public transportation center can be important. If you drive, check out the route during your normal commute times on Google Maps. You should find out if there are frequent jams at key commuting times, or if a nearby farmers' market limits road access during weekends. You may also want to consider how much parking is available, both for yourself and for when you want to entertain.
Do Your Research on Property Taxes
Property taxes greatly differ from one region to the next and could majorly impact your cost of living. Do your due diligence and make sure you can afford the area you want to live in. Check out other costs of living while your at it—think utilities and food prices.
Give me a call anytime you'd like to discuss which neighborhoods you're considering. I love to talk about local real estate issues and market conditions you should consider as you're building your home buying plan.
PATTY BALLARD CSP, IMSD, REALTOR Broker in Charge/Owner
Saltwater Real Estate Group, Inc.
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