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Considering a Home’s Neighborhood

There is more to buying a home than you may think. In addition to the price of the home, you must also take into account the unit’s total cost.

This includes utilities, the price of any added commute, the insurance on the home and more. Considering these factors comes naturally when searching for a home. However, one of the most important details to consider when choosing a home is neighborhood.

A home is a long-term commitment. When purchasing housing, not only are you purchasing the physical structure, but you are also buying into the neighborhood. Because of this, you need to make sure that it is a neighborhood that you will be happy with in the coming years. For more information on what you should consider in a neighborhood, how to find the perfect neighborhood for you and more, refer to the sections below.

Make a List

There are many different types of neighborhoods your potential homes may be a part of. That is why it is important to know what you want in a neighborhood before beginning your search. If you begin looking for houses without knowing what you want, it will be harder for you to choose between homes. Because of this, it is a good idea to make a list before beginning your search. The list should include qualities that you want in a neighborhood and qualities that you do not want.

Test out the Neighborhood

Since you will be spending so much time in the neighborhood that you move into, it is important to try it out before committing to it. You can do this by visiting the neighborhood often. Take a walk around the neighborhood and ask yourself if you feel safe and at ease. You can also attend multiple open houses that are in the area to get a sense of the homes in the area. If there are restaurants or coffee shops nearby, stop in and see if you enjoy spending time there. Often, it is the restaurants, coffee shops and stores that really make an area appealing.

Look for Neighborhood Improvements

When buying a home, you want to make sure that the property value of the home is not going to decrease while you are living there. In fact, it would be beneficial if the property value increased, which is what many home buyers expect to happen when they purchase a property.

A good indicator of the direction that the property value in the neighborhood is going in is the amount of home improvements that are taking place. If you drive around the neighborhood and notice that a lot of people are renovating their homes and working hard at the upkeep of their property, then that is a good sign. If you drive around and many of the homes look disheveled or forgotten, then that may be a sign that the neighborhood is in decline and may not be a good long-term investment. Of course, this type of neighborhood may cause the price of your potential home to be lower, so you will need to weigh what is more important to you: location or price.

Look for Community

If you have a family or are thinking of starting one, then an important factor to consider when purchasing a home is community. You want to make sure that your kids have a nice place to grow up. You can get a sense of the community in an area by searching for neighborhood groups. One you find a neighborhood group, attend a few meetings before you move in. This will allow you to get a sense of the neighborhood while also getting answers to any questions that you may have about the neighborhood.

Some neighborhoods also have newsletters. If the neighborhood that you are considering moving into has a newsletter, subscribe to it and see what activities and events typically go on in the area.

When you are in the neighborhood, look around. Pay attention to whether or not residents are outside, people are walking their dogs, children are riding their bikes, etc. These signs could be indicators of how safe the community is and how family-oriented the community is. If those factors are important to you, then you should pay attention to the aforementioned details.

Measure Safety

For many home buyers, safety is the primary concern when moving into a new area. If that is the case for you as well, then you will need to do thorough research on the area. Most areas have crime ratings readily available online for you to look at whenever you want. If the neighborhood is listed online, then you can compare it to other neighborhoods in the area and make sure it is the best fit for you. You can also check municipal police department websites for these ratings, as well as local newspapers. This is a very important step in the home-buying process, as you do not want to unknowingly move into an area that is high in crime.

Look at the Schools

If you have children or are planning to have children, then school ratings are very important. Because you will probably be staying in your home for at least the next five years, you will need to check out all of the schools that your child or future children would be attending if you were to move into the area. You can search the online directories to find ratings for schools in your area. Does the school have a history of crime? What is the student to teacher ratio? These are all aspects that need to be considered when looking at schools.

If you have a child who is currently in elementary school or middle school but will move up to the next schooling level while you are residing in the home, you should look at both the school that your child would attend now and the future school before making your decision.

Neighborhoods are extremely important to the overall satisfaction that a home can provide. If you take all of the aforementioned factors into consideration, you should be able to find the best neighborhood for you and your family.

To review other factors to consider when buying a home, click here.

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