Buying A Home Part 2 Choosing The Right Neighborhood

Dated: 03/22/2018

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Each and every neighborhood has its own different character and appeal. If you’re in the market for a new home, finding the right neighborhood is a huge part of the process. It might even be the most important decision, besides choosing the actual home. Of course everyone’s preferences are different. But there are ways you can narrow down which neighborhood will be best for you.Compare mortgage rates now.Make a ChecklistBefore selecting the right home for you and your family, take some time to make a checklist. This should include what you’re looking for in a neighborhood. Take time to understand what appeals to you and your family. Do you enjoy the busy streets of the city? Is living near shopping malls, coffee houses or restaurants important to you? List whatever is important to you!It helps to consider these factors when looking at what neighborhood works best for you:Home Values – No matter where you purchase, knowing the median home value in an area is key. Find out whether the home values in the area are generally stable, appreciating or depreciating. You might also want to look at what’s bringing home values up or down. Is it new construction? Deteriorating roads? New restaurants and nightlife? A fantastic school district?Nearby Attractions – A great neighborhood tends to be near a number of shopping centers, grocery stores, restaurants and more. It helps to find the distance from your potential new home to local grocery stores and shopping malls. Take into account whether you want to be within walking or a short driving distance. Busy or Quiet – You also may want to consider driving through your prospective neighborhood during various times of the day. This would give you a better feel of what the neighborhood is really like and whether it fits your standards.Emergency Services – Knowing where the nearest emergency services are located can be a critical factor in your home buying decision. You won’t want to be surprised by having to trek a long distance in case of an emergency. Don’t forget to check out the number of urgent care facilities and clinics, too.Find Your GemBuying a Home - Part 2: Choosing the Right Neighborhood Once you’ve chosen a neighborhood, get to work. When buying a home, you’ll want to get a great purchase price for the home. You will also want to find a home with instant equity as well.For example, if homes are selling for $200,000 in your desired area, take time to find a home that is selling well below the purchase price. The key to finding your gem is patience. Continue to canvas the area. You may find a home that needs tender loving care, a foreclosure or a for-sale-by-owner.Do Your ResearchKnowing as much as you can about a certain neighborhood is very important. There are many databases that can provide information on different neighborhoods. Yes, familiarize yourself with the attractions in the neighborhood. But also look at crime statistics, sex offenders and nearby police stations and hospitals.Familywatchdog.us is a free website which helps you locate registered sex offenders in a certain area. In addition, users can sign up to be updated of newly registered sex offenders.Neighborhoodscout.com is a free website that provides crime information specific to an area. It can help you see the different types of crime in a certain area. In addition, users are provided information regarding common crimes in the area.What’s Your Neighborhood Worth?Buying a Home - Part 2: Choosing the Right Neighborhood Lastly, it is also important to understand the value of homes within a certain neighborhood. Zillow.com provides a “Zestimate,” which is simply an estimate of homes selling in the area.This way you can get a gauge of what homes are worth in your desired neighborhood. As mentioned earlier, certain neighborhoods’ values may appreciate, while others may depreciate. Look for neighborhoods where the values are appreciating over time.The TakeawayNo matter what neighborhood you choose, doing your thorough research is key. If you’re a first-time home buyer this is especially true. Let SmartAsset help you crunch the numbers and make a smarter decision.Remember: your choice, your future!

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Justin Burnham

Justin Burnham is a real estate veteran of over 10 years. As a life-long resident of Orange County, Justin has a deep knowledge of its neighborhoods, schools and business areas. This, along with his s....

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