Tracking down and finding the right neighborhood is more than just finding the right house. The house might be perfect but if the neighborhood leaves too much to be desired, you probably are not going to settle for the house. Whether it’s a school district, close proximity to the local coffee shop, or you just want a certain lifestyle that similar to yours, finding the right neighborhood is a huge part of the home buying process. So how can you find the right neighborhood for you? Here are four simple ways to seek out the right neighborhood when buying a home.
Understand your lifestyle
Ones that you are exactly looking for? Are you a young family with small children? Close proximity to good schools and parks might be a priority. Are you a young single millennial looking for the nightlife and lots of entertainment close by? What about the commute, neighborhood vibe, and your must haves when living in a home in a particular neighborhood? Do you want a family-friendly cul-de-sac with a lot of dead-end road so your kids can play in the street or a walkable, urban feel in a condominium that’s just down the street from your favorite coffee shop or trendy bookstore?
Check it out ahead of time
The online property listing can show you a lot about a home but it will show you the neighborhood. Sure, you can check out Google maps and get a good idea of what the street looks like, but it won’t tell you the smells and the sounds of actually being there. Take a drive-by through the neighborhood at different times of the day. It might be extremely loud in the morning or late at night or there could be dogs barking all hours of the day and night. Does the house look amazing online but every other house in the neighborhood has 10 to 12 junker cars in the front yard? Now, if that’s your thing, you may love it, but if not, this may not be the house for you.
Ask the neighbors
Sometimes the best way to find out about a neighborhood is to simply ask the people that live there. Walk the neighborhood and if anyone’s walking their dog, mowing their lawn, or washing their car, have a quick chat about how they feel about the neighborhood. What do they think about commute times, other neighbors, or maybe how fast people speed through the neighborhood?
Do your homework on safety and schools
As a real estate agent, I cannot steer you to one neighborhood over the other but I can provide resources and where to find the information so that you can make an informed decision. Did you know that over 20% of people regret where they live because the school quality in that area was oversold? There’s a lot of information on the online listing but not everything. It’s important to look up crime and safety in the area, school reviews and ratings, and even talk to the local police station about any major issues they might have with the potential neighborhood. – How to check out a neighborhood’s safety
Finding the right home in the right neighborhood does take a little bit of research but you’ll be much happier without any regrets in the future by learning all you can now.