Buyers are too busy looking at how the home looks on the outside and inside that everything else is overlooked. Buyers will argue that only the home matters, but the home is only a portion of the puzzle. The bigger picture future home buyers’ neglect is the neighborhood. The area around the home will determine how you feel about the home and everything around it. The sound of shouting, fighting, glass breaking and gunshots isn't something anyone wants to hear day after day. Avoid this by searching for good neighborhoods.
Each neighborhood has their pros and cons, so looking for that perfect neighborhood isn't in the cards. An acceptable vibe of the neighborhood depends on how you feel about dealing with the cons. In general research the following:
Crime: Crime is what drives people out of neighborhoods, not keep them in. A realtor can tell you about neighborhood crime history, but the best place to look is at the police department or at online websites. Both are better at telling you the crime rate. Crime is also about looking out for sex offenders. Anyone with children or been sexually assaulted need to pay special attention. Websites and police can assist in that department too. By law sex offenders must inform police where they live at all times. Pay careful attention to living near a prison.
Traffic: How busy is the street? Is it so busy that you can't get out of the driveway? The best way to know is drive in traffic during different times of the day. Be sure to visit during the morning, afternoon, evening and weekends.
Noise: The question isn't finding a neighborhood that is silent all the time. The question is how much noise you can handle. Hearing kids riding bicycles, street festival, dogs barking, construction sites and teenagers cranking up the music are just a few examples of noise that occurs in neighborhoods. Follow the same rules for traffic and listen for noise.
Construction sites: Speaking of construction sites the noise heard may be part of a future development plan. Find out if the project will be good or bad for the community. Make a decision on buying after hearing the facts.
Curb appeal: Buyers don't think about looking at the curb appeal of other homes but it matters. The appearance of the neighborhood says it all. If the home of interest doesn't match the way the neighborhood looks don't buy it. It will be hard to sell to someone else. If there's too many for sale/rent signs or boarded homes stay away. Residents in the neighborhood know something you don’t.
Proximity to necessities: Necessities are the bare minimum that most or all people need. Hospitals, police stations, fire departments, libraries and public transportation (buses, cabs, airports, trains, etc) are a few of those necessities. Families with children want to be in close proximity to schools. Even if you don't have children being near a school helps because you may have children in the future.
Proximity to amenities and entertainment: It would be nice to live near these must-haves: stores, shops, restaurants, laundromats, beaches, parks, stadiums, theaters, concerts, museums and gyms. Choose the amenities and entertainment venues you feel are important to your home search.
What to look for depends on what's important to you. Some of these things will be more important than others, and that's all right. The goal is to live in a neighborhood that you enjoy with peace of mind. That'll make staying in a purchased home that much better. Contact us for more information on home buying.