When you’re house shopping, you’re not just shopping for a home, you’re also shopping for a new neighborhood. And if you’re like me, you want your neighborhood to be good … and only getting better.
But how exactly can you find the right neighborhood and also a home you love at the right price point? Well, one of the ways you can buy your way into a great home and neighborhood — and stretch your buying dollar — is to find a neighborhood that is in transition. Called “fringe” or “transitional” neighborhoods, they are typically close to major metropolitan areas and were once neglected and less desirable but have been gentrified.
Buying in a transitional neighborhood allows you to get into the market relatively cheaply and build some equity. Your house gains value as the neighborhood improves. It may not be your dream location now, or the seaside beach community you want to retire to, but over time you will build even more equity and then move on at some point.
How to find that perfect diamond in the rough? Here are two ways:
- Has a Starbucks just opened on the corner, or maybe a Whole Foods Market? These are all good signs that a neighborhood is on the upswing. You can bet that big chains like Starbucks spend a lot of money and time analyzing neighborhood potential before they invest in and open up a new store. Go on, tap into their multimillion-dollar market research and be their neighbor.
- Check crime in an area in just one easy click with Trulia Crime Maps. It may look like an improving area, but you want to make sure your up-and-coming block, street, and overall area are safe and not at the center of serious crime waves. Just plug in your city, zoom into your potential block, and get a pretty comprehensive look at what has been happening lately crimewise. If it looks quiet and surrounded by or adjacent to other low-crime areas, you may have found yourself a deal!
So go ahead, take a look around! Do you see a Starbucks or a big box retailer in a neighborhood that hasn’t always been an obvious choice? These neighborhoods are beginning to find new life, and you may have just found your new life there too!