Choosing the right location has long been the number one rule in real estate. With all the pressure and excitement of home shopping, how can you know if a neighborhood is right for you? 10 reasons why location is a determining factor in your home buying decision.
- Safety: Public safety should be on the forefront of your neighborhood search. Check out crime statistics and drive through the neighborhood to see if any areas look unsafe. Where is the police and fire station? Is there a local EMS team in case of emergency? Check municipal police department websites for statistics. A safe neighborhood means people will feel free to walk around, be outdoors and interact with their neighbors.
- Commute: Your commute is not just about getting to work. How far are you from the things your love? How far are you from the things you need? You want to enjoy your home, not your car!
- Amenities: The closer to the hubbub of a particular town, the better the location. Be sure to research parks & recreation. Is there shopping that fits your needs nearby? Check to see if the area is walk-able. Are there sidewalks or trails for walking or biking?
- Ownership: Stable neighborhoods are made up owners, not renters. Owners take pride in their homes, keeping curb appeal up and interiors updated. Take a drive through the areas you are considering. Are there a lot of ‘For Rent’ signs?
- Schools: Whether you have school age children or not, school rankings are important. Areas with good schools always demand the attention of buyers, keeping your home value growing. Make sure you research the rankings of the districts you are considering.
- Economic Growth: Make sure the area is growing. Is there local business? Is there room for more business to come into the area? Know where the business districts and commercial zoning is. While you want everything at your fingertips, you don’t want it in your backyard.
- Value: Be sure to check local home listings over the past 3-5 years. Are home values on the rise? How much turnover is there in the neighborhood? Is there new home construction in the area?
- Demographic: Visit the neighborhoods you are considering at different times of the day. Do the people look like people you can live around? Having common ground with your neighbors can be a life saver…You never know when you might need a cup of sugar?!
- Longevity: Make sure the neighborhood suits your needs for at least the next five years. Map out how your life may change; new job, expanding family. Can your neighborhood and home suit your ever-changing needs?
- Noise: Open the windows when you’re house hunting. What do you hear? Nobody wants to listen to trucks and traffic. Make sure there is a good balance in order to protect your investment.
Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a perfect place to live. You will find positive and negative aspects about homes and communities. Make a checklist of what is most important to you – needs vs. wants. Get as close as possible to your ideal place to live.