Location, Location, Location! An obvious and important aspect of buying a home is looking at the home itself, but another, and sometimes forgotten, is exploring the neighborhood. Limited amenities and services, unkempt communities and noisy neighbors can curb a home sale, and to avoid moving into an area that lacks the features owners are looking for, it’s important that buyers examine the community as closely as they do the house.
There are several features to examine when looking at a neighborhood and it can be helpful if buyers have a clear idea of what they want in a community.
Individuals may have a specific set of amenities they want their community to have, which may vary based on their family size, age and lifestyle. For example, individuals with young children may seek out a neighborhood with parks and playgrounds, while other demographics may want more cultural features and entertainment options. Those with an active lifestyle may seek out areas with parks, lakes and outdoor opportunities.
In addition, many parents choose communities based on the school systems, and they can rank different school districts by examining surrounding institutions on their state’s website. Some may offer special types of programs, while others are more geared toward athletics and educational initiatives.
It’s also important to consider proximity to work, major cities and schools as well when buying a home. Buyers should factor in driving distance and time to ensure morning commutes are not excessive and inquire about other forms of public transportation. Because really, who wants to sit in rush hour traffic during dinner time?!
Buyers may also benefit from examining the town’s history of violent crime, pollution, school test scores and growth. These factors may significantly drive the decision to purchase a home in a certain location, and knowing what to expect beforehand can help owners avoid surprises when they close on a new home.
Further, buyers should find out through the city if any large construction plans are expected to be carried out in the future. This may not seem important initially, but owners who are buying a home in a low-key quiet neighborhood may be dismayed if their town starts building more homes, shops and restaurants in the area. This is especially true for owners who belong to a homeowners association.
Last but certainly not least, talk to people in the community. Have lunch in town and communicate with current residents. Their answers can provide valuable insight regarding the neighborhood you are interested in. In addition to those living in the community a real estate professional can also provide their expert advice on the location you are interested in.
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