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How to Choose the Right Neighborhood

Need help finding the right neighborhood for your home search?

Here are five factors that should figure prominently in your thinking.

1) Look at the Schools

Even if you don’t have kids, the quality of the schools in a given neighborhood should be high on your priority list. And this is because the property values are always going to be higher in communities with strong school districts. This means that your home will appreciate more during the time that you own it.

That said, you may have to settle for less house due to higher prices when you buy. But, also, buying a home in a highly ranked school district will help when selling the home years later since your future buyers will likely be families with school aged children.

2) Property Values

Independent of school quality, you should look at local trends in home prices to get insight into that community’s future. If property values have been in steady decline for the past decade, it's likely you'll face issues when it comes to reselling down the line.

Instead, look for up and coming neighborhoods where home prices are climbing. Projected population growth for what to expect for the future value of your home. After all, they aren't making any more land.

3) Traffic

Remember, if you’re buying a home, chances are you plan on living there for a long time.

Heavy traffic may not seem like a big deal right now, but in five years you may feel differently. When getting out of your neighborhood is a challenge it makes any chore or errand a much bigger hassle.

Also, congestion can have health and safety implications with respect to air pollution and car accidents.

4) Emergency and Medical Services

In the event that something bad happens, you want to be sure that emergency responders can reach you quickly. It’s also one thing to be close to a hospital, and quite another to be close to a good hospital.

If possible, concentrate on areas in close proximity to universities as these hospitals tend to have more modern equipment and more resources.

5) Crime

Don’t rely on looks alone when evaluating the safety and security of a neighborhood. Information on local crime rates and most common types of crime are commonly available from your local police department and various resources online.

Also, when doing your home search, you'll likely be out and about during the day which might make a bad neighborhood look good. Before you decide on an area of town be sure to drive through at night to see what kind of activity is going on in the neighborhood.

After all, you might be surprised, as they do say, "The freaks do come out at night."​

Those are my 5 tips for choosing the right neighborhood and, if you're planning a move, be sure to give me a call or schedule an appointment on my website. You can pick your own times and even cancel should your plans change.

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