If you’re looking for a new home then you not only need to consider if the new house meets your needs but what is the neighborhood like? It’s no good falling in love with a house if you hate the area. Here are some points you need to take into account when checking out a neighborhood:
#1 Local Amenities
One of the biggest questions has got to be if the area provides what you need as a family. Whether you’re a family with young children, a single professional or a retired couple, you’ll have different needs and wants. Families with children will want swimming and sports facilities, schools, parks and youth clubs. A young, single might prefer areas with nightlife, restaurants or gyms. Research what’s available or you could end up miserable if there’s nothing for you to do.
Is there a shopping center close to the house where you can complete all those essential errands in one place? Convenience is crucial to be happy in a new home as having to drive for miles just to pick up some milk will only add to your stress levels. It will also save you money on gas. Ideally you need a grocery store, pharmacy, doctor’s surgery and gas station within easy reach.
Another big consideration will be the distance of the neighborhood from your place of work. Is the area notorious for rush-hour traffic? All this will have an impact on your wallet, stress levels and family time. The perfect home in an idyllic neighborhood might need to be passed over if it doubles your commute time.
The neighborhood looks great but will it always be? If you’re not familiar with the area, it might be worth checking with the local planning office to find out if there any future development plans close to a property you like. They’ll be able to tell you if there are any future construction or road plans in close proximity to the house. You might fall in love with a plot only to find out that developers have further houses planned which will completely change the views and may well change your mind too.
#5 Visit At Different Times
It’s really important to visit the neighborhood at different times of the day. What’s the noise level like? Is parking a nightmare after 5pm? Are there any strange smells or extremely busy traffic right on your door step? Are there any signs that the neighbors could be trouble? Try to go early in the morning, mid-afternoon and in the evening.
Get online and check the new area’s crime levels before making a decision. If not, then your real estate agent should be able to provide this information. It might make it easier for you to make a decision between two attractive neighborhoods or if you’re drawn to one area but it’s crime rate isn’t ideal then you can speak to local law enforcement to find out if it’s just a small area that’s affected.
#7 Quality Schools
If you have young children or hoping to start a family, you’ll want to know that there are good schools in the neighborhood. Excellent kindergartens, public and private schools all have a significant impact on house prices so if you’re retired or a single professional you might want to avoid such areas as they will add unnecessary cost to your purchase.
An area can look perfect on paper but not feel quite right in reality. Sometimes statistics aren’t enough and you need to get a feel for the culture and atmosphere of a place. Does the neighborhood suit your personality and can you see yourself living there? You will be happiest in a place that reflects your personality.
Do you want to be left to your own devices or do you crave a friendly neighborhood where people chat and look out for each other? Try knocking on a few doors and see what kind of a reaction you get. Is it frosty or warm and welcoming? Visit the local coffee shop and see if there are community events advertised or speak to the staff.
#10 Ratio Of Home Ownership
Ideally, you’ll want a neighborhood with a higher ratio of owned homes rather than rentals. Home owners take more pride in their home’s appearance and this works better for future re-sale value as well. If an area has less than a quarter of its housing as rentals then you can feel confident that the neighborhood won’t suffer from run-down properties.