Important things to consider you might not have thought of.
Sometimes we see a house listed online and we think, “Yes, this is the one!” But, occasionally we can get caught up in the excitement and readiness to move, that we forget to slow down and do our research. At the end of the day, we have to love where we live. Are you wanting a farmhouse with some property on the outskirts of town or are you looking for a tight community where you feel a part of a group? If the second is the case, then knowing your neighborhood and well is key to your success. Doing your research is sort of like “look before you book” or “try before you buy.” Check out how you can be proactive and know before you go with these five easy check boxes!
1. Check for Aesthetics!
For starters, if the neighborhood is not aesthetically pleasing, chances are, you’re not going to like living there. Neighborhoods that are attractive and that seem well maintained show that the residents living there care. No one wants to live next door to a slob. Ask yourself if you could see you or your family living there. Is this the place for me or do I prefer a spot with more trees? Do I want all the houses to look the same or do I like variety? You have to like it before you end up loving it.
2. Does it Have Easy Access?
In other words, make sure you can get to the grocery store within 10-15 minutes. Forgot to bring home the dessert for your dinner party? Yikes! In case of an emergency, a 20-minute drive can prove a hassle. Also, keep in mind your daily commute to work or your child’s school. Is convenience one of your main requirements?
3. Does it Seem Safe and Secure?
If you feel like you have to lock your doors, even when you’re home, it might mean it’s time to move… People should feel comfortable and at ease in their own house. Is there a neighborhood watch? How often do you see the police? When moving into a new neighborhood, it’s important to research what the environment is like. Are there kids playing in yards? Are cars speeding in the streets? A great way to check for safety is to scope the area. Take a drive through the streets and look for yourself. Getting a feel for your surroundings can make a huge difference when deciding to purchase a home.
4. What about Red Flags?
Red flags or warning signs that the neighborhood might not be the best fit is important to watch for. For example, signs suggesting that a new highway is being built near your house could prove unappealing. Are their foreclosures or vacant properties? How many rentals are in the area? If there are multiple tenants constantly in and out, it could bother the steady homeowners living there. Neighbor stability and longevity prove to increase positivity and a sense of connection.
5. Check if it’s Affordable!
Sure, getting a steal of a price is nice, but you want to make sure you are able to afford to live in the neighborhood. For example, some neighborhoods are a part of the U.S. Homeowners Association, an organization in a subdivision, planned community that creates and enforces rules for the properties and their residents. This regulates that residents in the neighborhood are required to pay their dues for things services like snow removal, trash, landscape care, gated security, etc. These fees can add up and may not be what you were prepared for as a buyer. Make sure to do your research.