One of the biggest tasks associated with moving is finding a new home. Most people would prefer for this home to be in a nice neighborhood. So what should you look for when selecting a new neighborhood? Here is a list of things to consider when choosing a neighborhood.
Sidewalks: Sidewalks make neighborhoods safer. If you have pets or children, then this will be especially important to you, as you will probably find yourself walking around your neighborhood quite often. In addition to this safety aspect, sidewalks are also an indicator of an active community. If you want to be able to walk to the store, or to a local park, then sidewalks are something that you will want to look for in your new neighborhood.
Taxes and other expenses: It is easy to get so caught up in owning a home that you forget to investigate the additional expenses that living in some neighborhoods require, such as a homeowner’s association fee. Property tax is another cost that many people don’t take into consideration when selecting their home. Make sure you don’t forget to account for these expenses!
Convenience: Ideally, you want a neighborhood that is close to the shops that you frequent, the school that your children attend, as well as to your job. A neighborhood that offers you this convenience not only cuts down on stress levels, but also saves you time and gas money.
Foreclosures: Although you might think that a street lined with foreclosures is a homebuyer’s paradise, this is not always the case and can actually be an indicator that the neighborhood is not located in a very good area. This is because when real estate prices decline, so do property taxes. Property taxes support the city’s public service and safety, so when they get too low, these can be compromised.
Future plans: Before purchasing a house, it is always a good idea to check with your local planning office to find out the city’s future plans for the area to which you are thinking of moving. The planning office can tell you about any upcoming construction projects or road expansions that could affect your neighborhood. After all, you don’t want to buy a house that will soon be right in the middle of the city’s newest busy throughway.
Sounds and smells: Visit potential neighborhoods at several different times during the day so that you can detect any undesirable noises or smells in the area. Neighboring train tracks, restaurants, hospitals, fire departments, and air traffic are just a few sources of unwanted noise that could be present in your new neighborhood. And while you are listening, don’t forget to take a whiff of the surrounding air. Neighboring paper mills, landfills, or even a stagnant lake can all be sources of unwanted odors that you may want to avoid.
Crime rate: Find out the neighborhood crime rate and how it ranks against other neighborhoods in the area. There are websites out there that can give you this information, or you could ask a real estate agent.
Schools: Good schools are important, especially if you have children. Check out the public and private schools nearby. How are their academic reputations? Do they offer the extracurricular activities that your children are looking for? And for those of you who don’t have kids, you may be tempted not to put much value into the school system. However, keep in mind that the quality of the schools in the area will affect the resale of your home. Good schools are important to everyone!
Good luck in your search for a new neighborhood! We will be excited to move you there!