Buying a new home requires many, often sensitive decisions. When it comes to picking a new neighborhood, you need to consider these seven factors that may turn what you thought was a dream home into a no-go.
1. Local Schools
A school district’s reputation holds a lot of weight over the desirability of its neighborhoods. Even if you do not have school aged children, or any children at all, it’s important to realize that good local schools create a positive impact on the surrounding neighborhoods, which in turn, will boost your home’s future resale value. The quality of local schools can be rather subjective, however, it’s crucial that you do your research and determine which school is the best for you and which neighborhoods fall in its zoning lines. Don’t be nervous about visiting the schools or speaking with parents or faculty and administration to gain insight into a school’s true culture rather than only relying on its average test scores.
Everyone wants to feel safe in their home and neighborhood. Similar to researching local school rankings, take a look at the data that compiles all the types of crime in a certain area (unfortunately no place is 100% crime free). It could also be useful to ask local law enforcement or residents of the area your interested in moving to about any local crime and the actions in place to prevent or combat it.
Some buyers want or need to use public transportation. It’s important to gain access to transportation schedules, but it’s arguably more important to monitor infrastructure in the community. This could be observing new plans for parking facilities, roads, or work on existing streets.
You want to feel welcome in your new neighborhood. Will you be able to develop friendships with your new neighbors? Will your children have neighborhood playmates? These are questions that are often overlooked as sometimes people only tend to focus on the house itself. Observing the demographics of a neighborhood could make or break it for you. It could be a good idea to take a look at the neighborhood in this regard before purchasing that dream house.
5. Eating and Shopping
Do you want to be close to the big city where all the night life is? Would you prefer a more quiet location that requires a drive to your favorite restaurant? While shops and restaurants aren’t necessarily a priority when looking to buy a home, the distance from them could come into play later once you’ve already moved in. This is completely individual based on your experiences and interests, however, it shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s important to know where your local grocery shops are too! If you’re moving to a new area, visit its shopping districts and ask the locals about the area. Instead of standing in line, chat about the community with the other people waiting. You might even make a couple new friends!
6. Recreation and Family Facilities
Similar to nearby shops and restaurants, neighborhood parks, recreational facilities and family facilities can vastly change your opinion of a certain community. You might want to check if the neighborhood is near dog parks or veterinarian hospitals. If you need to be near a pediatrician’s office or certain family practice, don’t forget to make note of how far it is from your potential new home. Driving around the area is a good way to find these facilities and get your feet wet in learning how to navigate the area. The community’s city hall, chamber of commerce, and parks and recreation department are great resources for this information.
7. House of Worship
Are you willing to join a new house of worship or are you going to make a potentially long drive to your old one? Not everyone has a religious affiliation, but this is a key consideration when looking to buy a new home. Don’t be nervous about visiting any local churches and joining their worship for that day or asking about the community. You could discover which one works best for you and your faith in a new area.