“Neighborhood is everything.”
When looking for a new home, almost everyone agrees on one thing — No matter how pretty and perfect the house looks, if it sits in a bad neighborhood, the deal is off.
The kind of community of your next home should be as important as the house you are going to buy.
These are several factors for a community to be considered a good neighborhood. Some factors may be more personal and fitted to your lifestyle. Others are just very essential, you can’t can’t have them.
Exploring Neighborhoods Virtually
But what if you live a thousand miles to where you will be locating? Or maybe, you’re just in your window shopping phase, just wanting to check out your options but without the intention to buy? It would be costly to travel and visit every neighborhood on your list.
Luckily, you can now explore neighborhoods without having to leave your house. Many websites map out places based on different categories.
You can now check out local schools, see nearby crime statistics, evaluate the traffic situations and more. These sites can be a great avenue for you to begin your real estate search. This way, you can trim down your options to the ones you would really like to visit in person.
What is There to Look for?
If there’s is a dream home, that should also sit on a ‘dream neighborhood.’ There actually isn’t a perfect one, but having a mental picture of the ideal one will help you focus on what matters.
Here are the things you need to look for when exploring neighborhoods:
Prices of Nearby Homes
It can be shocking but the neighborhood’s average and median home prices can tell much about the place’s spending trend.
Homes in big cities are usually high-priced. This can be an indicator that the cost of living in the area can also be high. Make sure you review your home financing options by talking to a lender or a bank before you fall in love with lofty condo unit.
This factor will greatly affect your happiness and your wallet.
Check to see if work is near your office or your kid’s school. This can be the biggest convenience factor to consider.
The distance you have to drive to the nearest grocery or shopping mall or the hospital can translate to how much money you save or spend for gas. Will moving to this new place double your commute? Will it be worth it?
This is self-explanatory. You should stay away from places where the crime rate is high.
Find out how your potential neighborhood’s crime rate compares to the one in your current place. Real estate agents can provide you with this information should you wish for it. If you do not have an agent yet, you can check out some site online that provide you with this information.
The neighborhood’s culture is its very soul.
You have to consider that once you live in it, it will weave into your personality the culture it imbibes. Get a feel of the neighborhood. Ask around, read articles about it. If it has a community site, you can check that out as well.
Ask yourself if you can see yourself living there. Know what kind of community culture you want. This will make it easier for you to find the one where you can feel right at home.