When buying a home, most of the people have a limited amount of money that they can spend on a home. This means that you have to choose one set of advantages over another when it comes to deciding on the kind of neighborhood you want to live in.
For example, a neighborhood that has a good schooling system in proximity might not have such big and grand houses as compared to another neighborhood that is more on the outskirts of the city.
We have already mentioned good characteristics of a neighborhood. At the end of the day you will have to decide whether buying a home in a neighborhood that has good schools is more important to you rather than one that is nearer to the office and saves you an hour of commuting everyday.
Different neighborhoods can be good and advantageous in different ways. The decision can be tough. Just prioritise what is more important to you.
Prioritize your requirements
When you are on a budget and can afford only a certain amount of home, you need to prioritize what requirements are more important to you. Do you want to live in a neighborhood that has great schools, or would you prefer to live in a smaller home that allows for easier maintenance and has outdoor activities available.
Do you want to stay in a more average community that allows you to buy a bigger home or do you want to stay in the heart of the city where you are close to the action day and night.
Do you want a family home or a singles pad that allows you to live your fancy free and footloose lifestyle. At the end of the day, you have to decide what need and what is more important to you.
Research and investigate the neighborhood
As we have already mentioned in the previous section, when trying to estimate the amenities and features of a neighborhood such as health of the local economy, presence of amenities such as parks and entertainment, school quality, crime rate and the stability of the neighborhood, you should do the research and try to find out as much information firsthand as possible. This information is available from several sources and can be tapped into effectively to give you a fair idea of the neighborhood.
Local resources. Check the local library and local chambers of commerce for more information on the neighborhood.
Talk to the people who live in the neighborhood. There can almost be no better source of information than getting information about a neighborhood from the people who actually live there and what they have to say about other neighborhoods that you are considering. People staying in a good neighborhood may be very keen to point out the parking problems, unfriendly and snobby owners as well as other disadvantages of the other neighborhoods that you’re contemplating.
Similarly, residents of a not so good neighborhood may tell you about the problems that they are currently facing and how their neighborhood is not so good as compared to certain other neighborhoods and how they wish that they could move to that particular area.
Renters are an invaluable source of information because since they don’t have a lot of money invested in their home, they are more candid about the shortcomings of a neighborhood and about their future plans of relocating to a better area. Of course, you can observe a lot yourself by driving or walking through the neighborhood at various times of the day and evening to see how charming the neighborhood stays throughout the day.
Get the market statistics from your real estate agent. Days on market statistics indicate how long an average home takes to sell once it’s put on the market for sale. As a rule, the faster the property sells the more likely it is to sell close to the full asking price. Quick sales indicate a strong demand for housing in that area which will be an advantage in the future when you are ready to sell. It will also lead to a brisk appreciation of your home value.
Get help from professionals. Speak to real estate agents, lenders and appraisers to compare the potential value of property in each neighborhood. You should understand that the real estate agent who is responsible for selling a couple of homes in a particular neighborhood may give you disguised information and may not be so forth with us to point out the defects of a particular neighborhood.
However, appraisers have no vested interest in a particular property. Appraisers can charge to analyze the neighborhood property values and pricing trends but are likely to give you a more accurate idea of what your property might be worth in the future and whether it is overpriced or underpriced currently.
It makes sense to spend a few hundred dollars if you’re going to spend hundreds of thousand dollars in purchasing a home, to get an un-biased professional opinion on the neighborhood’s property value.