Finding the right neighborhood can be just as important as the right house
When you’re looking to buy a new home, you need to keep in mind the location of that home and the neighborhood surrounding it. In many cases, it’s the neighborhood that will make you feel welcome and content, not necessarily the floor plan and square footage.
Come up with a list of what you’re wanting out of a neighborhood. (Feel free to use to the following questions as a guide.) Then, refer back to your responses when you are considering what neighborhood will fit your lifestyle (and life-stage) best:
- How long will it take you to get to work? School? Church?
- Are you willing to spend a bit more on gasoline for the “right” neighborhood?
- Could you occasionally ride your bike from here? How about walk?
- Is public transportation an option?
- Are there neighborhood perks? Pool? Tennis? Playground? Walking paths?
- Are there parks nearby? How close?
- How far is the nearest grocery store? Or your favorite boutique?
- Does the neighborhood do any of your property/home’s maintenance? (Home exterior, landscaping, lawn mowing, etc.)
- Is this an age-restricted community? Are there additional benefits to this?
- What restaurants do you frequent? Are they close?
- Are there movie theaters? Live theater? Symphony?
- Local breweries, wineries, and distilleries are popping up all over. If that is an interest, is there one nearby?
- Is there a city pool, community center, water-park, or skating rink nearby?
- Are there bantam sports offered in the area?
- Is the neighborhood clean? Yards, streets, common areas?
- Is it scenic and “visually appealing”?
- Are there sidewalks and streetlights? How do they look?
- Is the entrance well-maintained?
- How many homes are rented? (Renters often do not care for a home with the same enthusiasm/effort as a home-owner.)
- Are the yards large or small or mixed?
- Does the neighborhood have nice trees and foliage?
- Is there a Homeowners’ Association? How strict is it?
- Does the neighborhood have a social media presence? (Facebook, NextDoor, Twitter, etc.)
- Are there neighborhood groups that meet? (Card parties, parent groups, religious studies, etc.)
- Does the neighborhood host events? Halloween, 4th of July, National Night Out, Yard & Holiday lighting contests, etc.
About the Authors: Steve and Tonda are co-owners of The Hoagland Group -- a small family real estate team specializing in helping families make great moves. How can we help you?