|How to Choose the Right Neighbourhood for You and Your Family|
Choosing a neighbourhood is almost as critical as choosing a house or apartment; it needs to be safe, affordable and provide you with everything that you need. A happy home is often so because of where the home is physically located. As homebuyers it is therefore equally as important to note that not only are you buying a home, but in essence you are investing in a neighourhood.
Where your home is located is equally as important as your home itself.
Whether you are a first time homebuyer or are relocating to another part of the country, it is essential not only to look at the homes for sale but to take a close look at your potential future town and neighourhood. We tend to have these romanticized, pre-conceived notions of just how our perfect home will be and it is therefore imperative to pay attention to everything that surrounds your dream home.
Buy with your head as well as your heart.
Buyers tend to be too emotional when shopping for a new home. It’s important to look at the purchase of a new home from an investment standpoint. It is important to research various neighourhoods and find out what the housing market is like in your particular area of interest. Take note to see whether a particular area is on a financial incline or decline. With the information gathered a homebuyer will be able to assess whether their purchase will turn out to be a good financial investment.
Take advantage of the internet.
Put aside some time to do some research online. Your realtor can be a valuable source of information about your town and all that it has to offer, as well as information on the schools and their performance and ranking in the state. Also be sure to visit your town’s website if there is one.
Visit your new neighourhood or town.
Spend some time walking through the neighbourhood. Take note of the condition of the houses, the front yards, the streets and sidewalks. Observe if people you encounter make eye contact with you. If they do, chances are it's a safe and friendly community. Check for vacant lots or abandoned buildings. Both could be used for commercial developments which could change the feel of the neighourhood and impact the property values. Note the traffic and speed and if the streets seem quiet or noisy.
Drive through during different times of the day.
It is particularly important to drive through neighourhoods of interest at various times of the day. The neighourhood is lovely during the quiet afternoon, but is it still quiet and serene during rush hour or at night?
Make a list.
Make a list of what’s important to you. Just as you make a list of what you would like to have in your home, make a list as to what you would like to have in your neighourhood – be sure to note what’s crucial and what you can sacrifice. Do you have a family or do you plan on starting one? Is the school system important to you? If you are a parent you may want to arrange for you child or children to visit the school and to meet with the principal.
Just as neighbourhoods differ in personality, no two schools are exactly alike. Will you or your spouse be commuting to work? Do you need to live within certain proximity to a highway or near a train station? Do you commute to a major city? If you do is there a limit to your travel time? Take the time to test out the commute. Will it be doable or will it simply take too long?
Consider your lifestyle.
Another important thing to take into factor is lifestyle. Are you and your family active? Is it important that you are in a neighbourhood that is good for walking, running or bike riding? Do you need to be near areas of cultural interest such as museums, universities, restaurants and shopping? How important is it to you that you are near a grocery store, bank and gas station. These might seem like small issues, but to a busy mother of a large family, proximity can be everything.
Look all around the outside of your home.
Pay attention to your surroundings. Be sure to ask yourself questions like what is the outside like? What are the neighbour’s properties like? Are the neighbours too close for comfort, or would you like your neighbours to be closer? Pay attention to everything – all the small details. Often when you are buying a home you are buying into a neighbourhood.
If you can, take the time to talk to neighbours. Do they have children? Do you have children? Are these people you can see yourselves getting along with or even becoming friends with? Hopefully, after all the long hours of research and leg-work you will not only find your dream home, but the perfect neighbourhood to best suit your interests and your lifestyle.