Before you even start looking for a home to buy, you need to consider the neighborhood. You don't want to fall in love with a home if it is in an area you can't stand. After all, the right neighborhood is not just about the home, it is about your lifestyle. Where to start looking can be daunting, but following these 5 tips will help to make sure you’ve made the right decision.
Why are you moving?
First, you have to ask yourself why are you moving? What do you like about your current location or neighborhood and what would you change? It is helpful to first make a list of pros and cons of where you are now then list needs, wants and must haves for where you want to be.
Research activities and amenities
Next, you will need to decide what amenities are must-haves versus nice-to-have and at what cost. It is easy to only focus on the price of a home and forget about additional expenses of living in a certain neighborhood. If you have a young family, you may want an active community that embraces outdoor activities and has a fitness center, a pool, trails, and parks. If you want a more quiet and mature community, you may want to consider a neighborhood close to family with a social club. If you are young and single, nightlife and convenience might be what is most important to you. Regardless of your stage in life, make sure to look into the taxes and HOA fees and rules associated with some of these amenities. It can be a surprise cost that could rule out certain neighborhoods.
Use your senses
Another tip is to visit the neighborhood at different times of the day and different days of the week to get a glimpse of what it would be like to live there. During the weekdays, many people are at work and children are in school. Coming back in the evening or on weekends could provide some insight into noises you may or may not want to live with. You also need to smell what is going on at different times. A stagnant lake, local restaurants or local plant could bring some unwelcoming odors making that neighborhood not so perfect for you.
Research the community
Make sure to research the community surrounding the neighborhood. You may need to look into the schools whether you have children now or not as they can greatly affect the value of a home. The culture of the community is an important factor on how the neighborhood makes you feel. Also, consider the convenience of restaurants and shopping nearby. Finally, security is a big concern for many homebuyers and you will want to take the time to research area crime rates to make sure you would feel safe.
Location, location, location
Finally, the location is one of the largest deciding factors when purchasing a home. How close is it to major destinations you often frequent? Is it a drive you will want to make when commuting to and from work? Is the current real estate market healthy in the area and a wise investment? Finding answers to these questions now will ensure that you won't regret your decision later.
When choosing a neighborhood, make sure to surround yourself with the people and places that will make you happy now and in the years to come. COListings agents are here to help answer these questions and make sure you have all the information you need to make the best choice for you and your family. Contact COListings today for help with where to spend your tomorrows.