Once you have decided you are ready to be a homeowner, the next thing you need to decide is where you want to live. Within any given city are a number of neighborhoods and you need to determine which neighborhood is best for putting down some roots. But, there are many factors that will influence that decision, some of which you have control over and others you do not. One thing you will not have control over is your budget. Everyone wants the nicest house they can buy in the best possible neighborhood but some neighborhoods are more expensive than others so the first thing that will narrow your search for a neighborhood is the average price of a home in the neighborhood. Once you know what neighborhoods you can afford, there are a few specific things you will want to look for.
1. General Appearance of the Neighborhood
How does the neighborhood seem when you walk or drive through it? Are the home’s well kept? Are there children playing outside and neighbors socializing? How is the noise level in the neighborhood?
2. Commute to Work
How close is the neighborhood to where you work or spend a significant amount of time? Nobody wants to spend hours in the
You will get some idea of neighborhood safety when you visit the neighborhood. You may also want to stop a neighbor or two and ask them how safe they feel the neighborhood is. But, for a more complete picture of neighborhood safety you can also look online to find local crime rates and other neighborhood safety information.
4. Rising Home Prices
Rising home prices are a good sign that your investment will be a good one. Forbes explains why you should check to see if your prospective neighborhoods have rising home prices or not, “Climbing home values is one of the biggest markers of a great neighborhood. But home prices are ticking up across the U.S., so what constitutes a good growth rate? The median price of existing single-family homes hit $232,100 in the first quarter of the year, up 6.9% from a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors. With that benchmark in mind, consider a place where home values are increasing at a faster rate than the national average.”
If you have children or plan to while you live in the house you should check out the neighborhood schools. How are they rated and what do parents think of them? Any parent knows that it is important to be in close proximity to good schools.