Choosing the right neighborhood takes a lot of thought and hard work. You may find your dream home, but if it’s in the wrong neighborhood you and your family could be miserable. While the search can be overwhelming, putting in the extra effort now will certainly pay off down the road.
If you’re ready to get started, this insight from The Degnen Group will help. With over 150 years of combined real estate experience, the team has plenty of advice to point you in the right direction. To make sure you don’t make an expensive mistake, keep these nine factors in mind when choosing your new neighborhood.
Of course, budget is the number one thing to keep in mind when browsing potential neighborhoods. When you know how much space you need, find a few neighborhoods that have homes in your price range. Then, you can use the rest of the categories on this list to narrow your options further and choose the right neighborhood for you.
How much time are you willing to spend in traffic every day? A long commute will cost money in both gas and car maintenance, but even more importantly, your time is priceless. Sure, an hour or two may not seem long now, but over a few years, that’s a lot of missed time with your family. The thrill of moving into your new home will wear off, but the pains of a long commute will last forever.
For those with kids, or couples planning to start a family soon, the schools in a neighborhood are incredibly important. If you don’t like the district your home is in, sending the kids to a private school will add a significant cost to your budget. Because of that, it’s important to thoroughly inspect the quality of the school district before you move in.
Nobody wants bad neighbors. If you don’t want to be the one sharing neighborhood horror stories every time you meet up with friends and family, you need to do your due diligence before you buy a home. That means talking to the neighbors all around the block. Ask them what they like about the neighborhood and what they don’t. These conversations will help you make a judgment call on whether or not your family will be a good fit in the community.
5. Noise Level
Your house should be a haven, where you and your family can relax and enjoy quality time together. If constant noise outside is keeping you up at night or interrupting every conversation, you’re not going to be happy. Visit the neighborhood at night to make sure there’s not something that you missed, like a train, loud planes, or traffic outside.
Speaking of traffic, you should also stop by the neighborhood during the morning and evening rush hour. Are there cars lined up and down the streets? Does the neighborhood have a cut-through street that gets clogged during the daily commute? These are things the seller probably won’t tell you so it’s a good idea to investigate them for yourself.
7. Extra Charges
The cost of your home will increase dramatically if your neighborhood has a Homeowner’s Association (HOA). They can also restrict your freedom to paint your house, decorate, and even garden the way you want. Look into whether or not the neighborhoods you like have an HOA and make sure you understand all of their fees and policies before you buy.
8. Neighborhood Trends
Ideally, you’d like to at least break even when you sell your house or even make a few bucks. But, if your neighborhood is trending downward, your home’s resale value will as well. Take a look at the past few years and the prices that homes have sold for. Are they going up or down? Additionally, do you notice a lot of for sale signs or empty properties? Has the neighborhood been in the news for any reason? These small things can speak volumes about the future of the area.
9. Personal Taste
Last but not least is personal taste. When it comes to choosing a new neighborhood, there are many different styles to explore. Do you value modern homes with all new appliances or older houses with history and character? Once a neighborhood checks off all the boxes above, the final step is to find your dream home inside it!
Keep These 9 Factors in Mind When Choosing Your Next Neighborhood
Choosing the right neighborhood for your family is even more important than choosing the right home. That’s why you need to keep these nine crucial tips in mind when you start house hunting.
Of course, the price is one of the most important factors, so don’t forget to add any extra charges like HOA fees into the budget. Additionally, talk to the neighbors to get a feel for the area and visit at different times of the day to assess the noise and traffic. Finally, look closely at the schools, commute, and neighborhood trends to ensure that it’s a good long-term investment for your family.
With these tips from The Degnan Group, you’re sure to find the perfect fit!