Picking the Right Neighborhood
Neighborhoods come in a variety of shapes and sizes, all appealing for different reasons. Before putting an offer on a home, or even beginning your search, narrow down what you want from the neighborhood that is just right for you.
City vs. Rural – Do you enjoy the hustle and bustle of city life? Or do you thrive in a slower, rural lifestyle? Take into consideration any future plans of starting a family, changing jobs, or taking care of a parent.
School Districts – Whether you have kids now or are thinking about it, a school district is always something to consider when purchasing a home. A district can clue you into the dynamics of a neighborhood.
Commute and Transportation – Consider the commute to your job or public transportation available. Make sure any adjustments on your part are feasible.
Safe and Secure – Take a drive through the neighborhood both during the day and in the evening. Getting a feel for the safety of the area at different times is important. Do you prefer a gated community?
Check City-Data.com – This website does a great job of breaking down the area you are considering. Simply put in the zip code and then browse the information provided. From median home prices to population breakdowns by race and culture, you can get a very basic and generic overview of the area you are considering.
Location – Take a hard look at the location of the neighborhood in relation to shopping, grocery stores, the freeway, even doctors. Figure out what is most important to you to be close to and find neighborhoods with this feature.
A neighborhood is no small feature to consider when purchasing a home. Do not jump into searching for a home without first having clearly defined what you need in a neighborhood. Lay out your “must-have” features versus your “would-be-nice” features to make the search go more quickly. When it comes down to it, make sure you are picking features that best embody you and your lifestyle. The happier you are with your neighborhood, the happier you will be with your new home.