Top 5 Things to Look for in a Neighborhood
For many house hunters, the neighborhood is just as important – if not more so – than the actual house. Your home may be the largest and most important investment you ever make. You can’t feel good about your purchase, however, if you aren’t in love with the neighborhood. There are several important factors to consider when assessing a neighborhood, from nearby schools and community life to commute time to work. Here are five things you can’t ignore.
- The School System
- Lifestyle and Community
- Low Crime Rates
- Entertainment and Amenities
- Outdoor Activities
If you have children or are planning to have them soon, you must research the nearby school system. Even if you don’t have kids, a desirable school zone will raise the property value of your home. Always choose a house close to schools you can feel good about having your children attend.
The ideal neighborhood will match your personal lifestyle – are you a morning person who loves to jog in the park or a night owl who loves a good dance club? Your neighborhood should accommodate your needs and desires as a single individual or family. You may prefer a downtown studio apartment for yourself or need a spacious three-bedroom in a gated community for your growing family. Assess your needs and narrow down your community from there.
Check out a neighborhood’s crime ratings to see if safety is a concern. While almost every neighborhood will show some crime, look for communities that are improving. Find crime rates that are decreasing, not increasing. Talk to the locals and see what they have to say about any recent incidents, such as break-ins or vandalism.
A neighborhood that makes the most of community life with enjoyable group events and plenty of exciting amenities is one where you can grow old pleasantly. Find a community that does things together and embraces social opportunities. Whether you’re single, a couple, a family, or entering retirement, entertainment is a major aspect of what neighborhood you choose.
Exploring the great outdoors is a wonderful pastime. Finding a home that lets you get outside in a safe, beautiful space is a major perk. Look for a neighborhood that offers or is close to outdoor tennis and basketball courts, community swimming pools, clubhouses, places to jog, parks, and/or golf courses. These amenities increase the appeal of a neighborhood and make it possible to enjoy where you live year round.