When looking to buy real estate in any locale, the location will affect both its value and desirability. When buying a home, the neighborhood and vicinity will affect more than value and functionality. They would also affect your overall lifestyle.
However, which points of interest should you look for and what takes priority over what. Bear in mind that this is not something that’s as easy to give an answer to. With that in mind and without further ado, here are some important details to pay attention to when looking at buying a home in a neighborhood.
One of the best-hidden neighborhood prospecting hacks is looking at sidewalks. Sidewalks tend to be an amazing indicator of the local community. So, if you notice potholes or cracks in your sidewalk or you want to have new asphalt paving, you may hire a paving contractor to fix it.
Also, if there’s a sidewalk somewhere, chances are that there’s also a park nearby (within walking distance), which you can find out even without looking at Google Maps.
Lastly, having a sidewalk in a neighborhood is a safety measure, especially if you aim to take evening strolls around the block. Just in Georgia for example, streets without sidewalks are posing a massive risk for pedestrians, making it dangerous to take a leisurely stroll without added risk.
Another thing you need to understand is the proximity of a store makes a huge difference both when it comes to your ability to save time and your ability to save money. With more and more telecommuters out there, if you do not live nearby local amenities, you will need to take time from your busy day to stop and shop. Sure, the cost of a single grocery run may seem insignificant when compared to the value of the home in question but those costs will add up over time. What seems insignificant now, could be a major burden in a few years.
It is also important to remember this may be important to potential buyers when you get ready to sell in a few/several years. Having nearby amenities can be an important selling feature for some potential buyers. For instance, those with specific medical needs will be very interested in the proximity to medical facilities, while consumers who have a particular hobby may be keenly interested in how close the property is to their favorite pastime. Keeping this in mind may make your home more desirable in the future.
How easy will it be for you or a loved one to find gainful employment in the area? Also, you need to think about the time...whether you need to travel for 1+ hours to get to work each day or spend only 30 minutes for your daily commute will affect your lifestyle in more ways than you can imagine.
You will also need to keep an eye on the future. Are there any major industrial works planned for the immediate future? How about 3-5 years down the line? Does the local job market appear poised for growth or could there be stagnation issues in a few years? Staying abreast of current events can make a big difference when choosing your dream home location.
As previously mentioned, future development projects can be a key contributing factor on whether a particular neighborhood is one you may want to consider. More industry can mean more new homes being built which could affect your future resale ability and value. For instance, if you plan to start subleasing a part of your home in the future or rent it out when you move, the fact that there are so many new homes on the market may make your plans somewhat harder to fulfill.
The problem lies in the fact that you, most likely, will not have this kind of insight in the local real estate industry. Therefore, it is a wise move to contact local real estate experts like Curtis Associates to keep you up to date on the latest developments. Another reason why having real estate consultants in your corner is they typically have a much greater market knowledge, which will help you when you are planning on buying in a neighborhood as well as potentially selling that property in the future.
This particular detail is of interest if you aim to flip the house in order to make a profit. Signs of local foreclosure activity may mean that the local market is down, which is a good idea if you aim to buy low and sell high. The problem, nonetheless, lies in the fact that if there are too many foreclosures in the same neighborhood, then this might not be an ideal place to settle down. While the number of foreclosures are way down in the U.S. from recent years, watching foreclosure trends can still be a key indicator when considering a neighborhood for your future home.
Each foreclosure home has its own story, but a contributing factor in many of these properties, is the condition of the local market which affects people’s ability to pay their rent/mortgage. Too many ‘for rent’ signs can be a red flag too as it may be hard for those owners to find a regular tenant. Same symptoms with, most likely, the same problem.
This, in particular, can be incredibly important to many consumers when looking for a neighborhood to call home. There are plenty of sites like safewise, areavibes, the neighbor app, crimereports, neighborhoodscout, familywatchdog, and spotcrime to name a few that can give you a better understanding of the crime rate and potential risk of living in a particular neighborhood.
Fortunately, by doing some online research you should have a better understanding of the risks associated with living in an area. This is important both for safety and peace of mind while living in the home as well as your ability to sell the place for a profit when it comes time to move on. Moreover, if you plan to start a family here, this may be a crucial factor.
Finally, it may be important to you to make sure the home is near various relevant institutions like schools, cultural venues, home/personal shopping, parks, and even hospitals (as already mentioned). This could affect your daily itinerary and the lives of your family.
It also affects the amount of money you will have to spend to travel to these places on a regular basis or in the case of an emergency. As for the local culture, it affects whether the local community is self-reliant or if you will have to go far away to satisfy this need.
One last thing you need to understand is the neighborhood does not have to be perfect in order to satisfy all your needs. The most important factors are always subjective ones. What is important to you may be insignificant to someone else or vice versa.
For instance, you might be so price-oriented that nothing else really matters to you or, you might be interested in starting and raising a family, in which case, local schools, crime rate, and parks could be a priority. In the end, what matters the most is that the neighborhood matches your lifestyle.