When you begin the process of buying a new home, you might be inclined to think about all of the features that you are hoping to gain – square footage, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the size of the yard. But as important as the actual home itself is its location.
There’s a reason that homes on busy streets or next to dilapidated buildings are sometimes hard to sell. Likewise homes in high-crime neighborhoods or communities with failing school districts can become a victim of their environments when it comes time to sell. A good neighborhood has it all: good schools, the security of a low crime rate, access to transportation and amenities, and even friendly neighbors.
So how do you begin to research a neighborhood that you haven’t ever lived in?
Fortunately, a good real estate agent will have the answer to a number of these nagging neighborhood questions. He or she can give you information on everything from resale potential to schools to where the nearest grocery store is located. Here are a few other resources you might use:
Online tools. Plenty of Internet sites include information on school rankings, neighborhood demographics, and crime rates. Start online to get a general idea of the complexion of a certain neighborhood.
Local publications. You can learn quite a bit by reading the community paper in an area you wish to consider. What are the concerns on the mind of people in the area? Are there new initiatives being considered?
Town hall. Paying a visit to a town’s government offices and school department can provide you with statistics, maps, and that all-important “feel” for a community. Stop in and see what you can find out in terms of utilities, services, and the structure of the town government to determine whether these are a good fit for you.
Boots on the ground. Don’t be afraid to visit an area to do a bit of personal investigation. Driving around a community can acquaint you with area services such as public transportation, shopping, parks and recreational opportunities, and cultural attractions. You can drive by the local schools to see where they are located in relation to the neighborhood you’re considering. And you may want to consider a stroll through the neighborhood to see whether you feel at home. Better yet if you can strike up a conversation with a prospective neighbor and ask a few questions about the area.
neighborhood is almost as important as loving your home. After all, few of us
spend all of our time holed up indoors – even during the New England winter! So
when you’re making that list of features you’d love to have in a new home, go
ahead and create an additional list of neighborhood must-haves to share with
your agent. If you begin your home search by pinpointing desirable
neighborhoods, you’ll be sure that when you do find the home of your dreams,
you’ll also love its location.
Content courtesy of http://www.realtytimes.com
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