From RE/MAX Blog.
5 Things to Consider About a Neighborhood Before Buying
Thu, August 7, 2014
Buying a home is a long-term, important investment, so take the time to
discover what makes your targeted neighborhoods tick. There are a
number of ways to check the pulse of a community; talking to neighbors
can give you a great snapshot of what it’s like to live there. Here are
five other ways to determine whether a neighborhood is the right fit for
you.1. Is it an up-and-coming area or still in transition?
You might start by researching local home values and foreclosure rates.
Consider such factors as crime rate, development plans and proposed or
new businesses. You can even contact local officials, such as the county
property appraiser or the HOA manager (if applicable) for better
insights. Sometimes buying a home in a transitional area may prove to be
a good investment, but you probably want to make sure you'll feel good
about your home in the interim, too.2. Do the schools make the grade?
Even if you don’t have school-age children, you should be interested in
how the schools in your potential neighborhood perform. Homes near
high-ranking schools tend to maintain higher resale values. Start your
research by visiting GreatSchools.org
or using the SchoolFinder tool at education.com
.3. What’s nearby?
Consider what’s important to you in your future neighborhood, and then
explore the surrounding areas near your targeted home. Among things to
keep in mind are proximity to stores, schools and green spaces. Aside
from being practical, these amenities make it easy to mingle with
neighbors, set up kids’ play dates or just play fetch with your pup. WalkScore.com
is a great place to search for nearby amenities – all you have to do is plug in an address and mode of transportation.4. How far is it from work?
Try the new INRIX Drive Time tool on remax.com
to determine how long it will take you to drive to work, school or area
stores from your new home. You can also time a potential commute by
doing a test drive during the time of day you’re most likely to go to
and from work. Explore mass transit options. In addition to offering an
alternative to driving, good public transportation near your home can
have a positive effect on your property value.5. How safe is it?
A neighborhood watch, well-lit streets, walkways, security systems and
little to no signs of vandalism are signs of a safe neighborhood. You
can see a picture of the types of crimes that occur in the neighborhood
by researching on city-data.com
and the local police department’s website.